Review of June 20th Super show
What a show!! It really was an emotional rollercoaster of ups and downs but thankfully there were more ups than downs. We billed this show as ‘The Super Show’ and it lived up to the expectations and even exceeded them. People often ask me the secret to the success of Enterteasement and tonight’s show was the perfect example of how to put on a great night.
What you need:
- Great Comedians
- Great Burlesque
- Great “Magic”
- Great Venue
- And most importantly…a great audience.
I’m happy to say, we ticked all 5 boxes and put on what I’d consider to be a 5 star show.
JOJO Sutherland Compere
We’ve had JOJO headline and compere for us on many occasions and she’s always done exceptionally well. For the last 10 years (probably more) she’s been one of the best comedians in the country. However, 2015 has been ‘The Year Of The JOJO’. She’s written a new set and can honestly say I’ve never seen her funnier or happier on stage – it’s where she belongs. JOJO was originally headlining for us, but due to a slight mix up with times we had to ask JoJo to compere at the very last minute. She agreed and 5 minutes later she was on stage and had the audience in the palm of her hand. Although the Enterteasement audience are brilliant it can take them a while to warm up as there’s still that fear factor about “what is burlesque? Am I going to have to wear a gimp mask”? (yes, I was once asked that once) This accompanied with an earlier start to our shows than most other comedy shows can make it challenging for the compere. However, a combination of the audience being brilliant and JOJO being amazing the audience were in stitches from the moment the her hand touched the mic.
To spice things up for JoJo we had a table of 18 & 19 year old lads who were hammering down the Vodka Red Bulls to celebrate their friend’s birthday. One of the guys wanted to be part of the show and started to heckle (to be fair it was more shouting out than heckling but they just wanted a bit of extra attention). JoJo welcomed the 19 year old and his cheeky charms were no match for the roasting he received – all with comedy effect! After this…they didn’t want any more attention – job done.
RAYMOND MEARNS Comedian
The man is a genius. I’ve been attending comedy clubs since I turned 18 and I can safely say in my time involved in comedy there’s no one like Raymond. Most acts spend years working and tweaking their set to have twenty minutes of gold dust. They’ll then tour with this twenty minutes and never change it over a lifetime. The people you see on the TV who have a new set every week have a team of writers. Raymond on the other hand is tuned into Comedy FM. At last year’s Edinburgh Comedy Festival, he performed a different one hour set every night for the full 3 weeks. So unlike most Homo sapiens he can pluck twenty minutes of comedy gold out of anywhere and everywhere which annoyingly is often a lot funnier than a set a comedian has worked on their whole life. Annoyingly he can whip of a 20 minute set off the top of his head that is often a lot funnier than a set a comedian has worked on their whole life. This time Raymond decided to deliver a set about being on a cruise ship. He managed to get about 3 minutes of laughs just describing the size of a cruise ship and another minute of laughs describing how many decks there were on a cruise ship. All was brought to a marvellous finish with a story about a trampoline. It was simply brilliant, the audience loved it and he exited the stage to massive applause.
Kieron “The Internal Contortionist”
A few months ago I was contacted by Paul Nardini, a former World Champion Of Comedy Magic, who recommended, Kieron, an act he’d met at a convention. Kieron is a very highly respected magician and magic creator. However, for the past year he’d been working on a regurgitating act. He was speaking to Paul and had explained how it was difficult to find venues to book him as it was such an unusual act. Having performed at Enterteasement, Paul thought we might like his act…he thought right – we loved it.
Kieron had travelled up from Bristol that day and arrived at 6:30pm. At this point he had still never performed in front of a live audience
He took to the stage and drank 2 litres of water in one go. If you’ve ever tried downing a pint, you’ll appreciate how difficult this must be. After showing his mouth empty he regurgitated some water and spat this over to the front of the stage, receiving screams from the audience. This was then repeated and finally he regurgitated the rest of the water into a bucket. This was a great start to the act as lots of people think regurgitating is a magic trick where things are concealed in the palm of the hand. Although in theory objects can be concealed in this way, liquids cannot so this was a highly entertaining and functional start.
Next up he threw out bread? Eh? Yeah a loaf of Warburton’s Tostie Bread was opened and slices were thrown out into the audience. I don’t know why but there’s something funny about an outsider flying through the air. Kieron then crumpled up a slice, rolled it into a ball, put it in his mouth and in full view of the audience it vanished down his throat. After the scream and the audience had taken their hands away from their faces, Kieron regurgitated the bread. This received a massive round of applause.
Now Kieron doesn’t advertise himself as a Regurgitator, he’s an internal contortionist. His next trick explained the difference. He brought an audience member on stage and for comedy value, practical value…and just plain avoiding a law suit he dressed the girl (Gemma) up in a bin bag and some marigold rubber gloves – it was kinda like one of the outfits from a low budget sci-fi film from the 70’s. Gemma was asked to put her fingers all the way down Kieron’s throat and inspect his mouth and again this had a comedy effect and it did explain that he wasn’t hiding any objects under his tongue etc.
Next three buttons of different colours were put into his mouth and he swallowed these one at a time and brought them back up one after the other. There was a slight error here because the audience member had asked for the red one to appear first but the purple one appeared. Kieron was quite visibly annoyed for making this error but the audience really couldn’t have cared less as he had just swallowed three buttons, moved them around inside himself and made one of them re-appear, all with his mouth open! Kieron covered this with a great line explaining the problem that
” I’m colour blind on the inside”
The next two buttons were brought up in correct order and again this got a very strong response from the audience.
Next up were the Polo Mints. Two polo mints were swallowed and internally the mints were linked then regurgatated. This is an excellent effect that magicians often perform with their hands so doing it inside your body is even more impressive.
For the big finale, a silver dollar was produced from his mouth and one of the buttons was dislodged from his nose with a pair of pliers.
I suspect we’ll see more of Kieron, he’s working really hard on this act so I’m delighted to say that Enterteasement were the first to host it. When you see him on the TV in a few years you can say, “I was there first”
ROXY STARDUST Burlesque
Roxy performed 2 acts for us the first was her Granny Stardust routine.
There’s always that fear factor for our burlesque performer because for most people this will be their first experience of burlesque. However, this is where Roxy comes into her own. Roxy has been involved in burlesque for years, she also hosts her own burlesque shows and she has trained in Performing arts in New York (as well as Glasgow) so one of her real strengths is interacting with an audience. In this performance of Granny Stardust she performed as if she was an old lady who instead of taking one of her own pills had accidentally popped an ecstasy and downed it with some Red Bull. Remember that scene in Dirty Dancing where Baby sees how the staff dance when they’re out of sight? Well this is how I like to think what happens at the old folks home when visiting hour finishes.
Her second act was a Mini Mouse routine. Again another comedy routine where she started off as a Hollywood Mini Mouse and performed a comedy strip tease.
2 very good story telling performances that got the audience on side and in the swing of things.
MIMI FATALE Burlesque
MIMI Fatale is relatively new to the burlesque scene and has been taking lessons with the Academy of Burlesque. Our team went on a staff night out to see one of their performances and we instantly fell in love with the her act.
MIMI comes on stage as Lucy – the bored checkout girl. The music played is a mixture of classic elevator music and tannoy announcements. Lucy is playing the part of any checkout girl, she’s on autopilot, she reaches in takes out a tin of beans and places said tin on the shelf. She carries out this process until she removes a chocolate dessert. When she touches the chocolate dessert she music changes and she is temporarily transported to a fantasy land. As she lets go of the chocolate, she is brought back to reality and continues to stack the shelves. Every now and then she accidentally touches the chocolate and is temporarily transported into another dimension. Eventually she gives into temptation and she eats the chocolate. Whilst in this fantasy land she stops being Lucy the check out girl and transforms into MiMi Fatale the sultry burlesque dancer. The M&S uniform is removed and when there’s no clothes left, there’s also no chocolate remaining and therefore she is brought back to reality and realises she’s in the supermarket wearing next to nothing.
Lovely story, full of comedy, original, sexy – a great act.
Note: My girlfirend says that that’s what every girl goes through when they need chocolate – it must be interesting being a girl.
RUBY TRIX Burlesque
Like MIMI FATALE, RUBY TRIX is a student & performer for Academy of Burlesque. When we saw her act we knew instantly that it was right up our street. Although her act is very original, has a lovely story telling thread for me it was all about seeing the Queen dancing. When I think of the Queen, I visualise a wee old woman who occasionally waves a hand so to see her on the stage all fingers and thumbs just melted me inside.
However, as it’s not all about me here’s how her act went. The queen took to the stage and with the national anthem, “God Save The Queen” playing through a radio. Now as you might be aware, this isn’t going to go down very well with most of the audience. However, her radio started hissing and whilst tuning it back in ‘Dignity’ by “Decon Blue” started playing. It’s a song that gets everyone on the dance floor and the queen wasn’t exempt she started dancing and the audience started singing along – what a great atmosphere! Everyone started clapping along.
However, the radio broke again and next thing the queen is back sitting on her chair and listening to the national anthem again. The audience weren’t happy, however, the hiss started again and this time when tuning it a different song was played “I Want To Break Free” by Queen. She lifted a newspaper and it was about the YES campaign and Scotland’s hope to break free. Not only was this very crowd pleasing to most of the audience, this is also when she started removing her clothes in time to the music.
A fantastic crowd pleasing burlesque act.
BRUCE FUMMEY Comedian
Bringing the show to a close, was the current Scottish Comedian Of The Year Bruce Fummey. Despite winning the contest I feel (as do many others) that Bruce is one of the most underrated comedians in Scotland. He’s also one of the most intelligent people in comedy. By day he’s a physics teacher and in his spare time he’s an avid historian specialising in Scottish history. If you mix these 2 together with his Scottish / African background you get a delightful set full of topics other comedians can’t touch. His proud boasts of being “The Best Comedian on the Afro Celtic Circuit” went down superbly well. But I think the audiences favourite part of Bruce set was when he managed to do a whole section on Scottish independence and link this in with Ruby Trix’s performance as the Queen”. This received a massive cheer from the audience and was a great close to the night.
BACK STAGE GOSSIP
This was actually one of the disaster shows of all time. To list everything would be too long. On the night one of the speakers wasn’t working and after a lengthy troubleshooting process my sound guy discovered it was a dodgy cable. It’s one of those things that happens once in a while and in the last 4 years at the Admiral we’ve been quite lucky. What’s next though – the microphone didn’t work. We didn’t get this working till after 8pm. Luckily we had a good sound tech on board and the Admiral were really helpful and we worked towards a solution that the audience probably wouldn’t have noticed anything was wrong (hopefully)
Missing items: One of the burlesque acts had arrived 3 hours prior to her performance and around 40 minutes before she was due to be on stage she performed a last minute check only to discover she had forgotten to pack….pants! Luckily she only lives about 15 minutes away but she had to shoot off and returned 30 minutes later waving them as she came in to say “I’ve got them”
Act of the Night: JoJo Sutherland.
Really hard to pick tonight as there were so many outstanding acts on the bill. But I thought she was marvelous and several of the comment cards agree. Plus she swapped last minute from Headliner to MC and that really helped us out.
Star. This was her first show back since becoming a mammy. In the previous few shows before giving birth she was massive (I really hope she doesn’t mind me saying that). So there were some tasks she couldn’t perform in the last few months. However she returned on Saturday and I was slightly worried that she might be rusty or have a bit of Baby Brain. There was nothing to worry about – she was more focused than ever and ran the majority of the show single handily.
Lindsey: Although it was her friend’s birthday and she couldn’t stay the whole night she still wanted to attend, do the door and make sure everything was running okay. As we were a bit short staffed and I was dealing with the technical issues, Lindsey stayed an extra hour and ran the front of house.
Stuart Crawford: I genuinely believe Stuart is the Best Cabaret Photographer in Scotland. When I look through the photos I really feel that he captures the moment and the images this month were the sharpest images he’s ever uploaded. Plus he’s written most of the funny captions this month as well.
Chris Matthews: This man is my hero. He’s been voted number 1 wedding DJ in Scotland for the last 2 years and is one of the most meticulous and professional people I have ever met. For me Enterteasement really came to life a few years ago when we introduced the black sparkly curtain. Chris donated that to us…just because he likes the show. Not only that – he donated his services free of charge on Saturday and we received a glowing report on the music choices. Not only that but he worked meticulously and came up with a solution for all the technical issues. He did this with a smile on his face which considering he was only meant to be there to play some music is a testament to his professionalism. Not just a great DJ, but a great person and one I’m lucky enough to call my friend.
THE ADMIRAL: The staff at the Admiral have been great with us over recent years. They really support what we’re doing with the show and their staff are really friendly and easy to work with as well. When I’m talking with other people who run shows I’m often reminded how lucky we are that have a venue pushing us forward rather than holding us back. On Saturday they were, yet again, a joy to work with and helped us out with mops and it was good to see their bar staff laughing along when the comedians were on stage and cheering when the burlesque performing.
On a personal note: I think I needed this show to re-ignite the passion and to drive things forward for the remainder of 2015 and expand in 2016. There’s a lot of competition out there but the fact so many people choose to spend their weekends with us is really humbling. I feel blessed to have the plethora of acts to choose from and our audience of regulars who are ever present.
Long may it continue.
next show August – more news coming soon!!