Leicester Comedy Festival review: Lost Voice Guy at Curve

ISay-theannualcomedyconversationfeaturingLostVoiceGuy_680x680Review by Ella Lloyd

The atmosphere was extraordinary. Complete silence filled the Curve theatre as Lee Ridley, otherwise known as ‘Lost Voice Guy’, grinned down at his Lightwriter.

Anticipation filled the room. What he would say next? Whatever it was, it was sure to be dark.

Even when it came to discussing the bullying he had experienced as a child, Lost Voice Guy still cracked a joke, claiming his tormentors’ barbs were never as funny as his own.

Typically, you’d expect non-stop laughs at the Leicester Comedy Festival, but those long silences set a bittersweet tone in I Say – the Annual Comedy Conversation, a 60-minute interview by festival director Geoff Rowe, which freed Ridley of his usual stand-up style.

Despite the faintly morbid nature of much of his material, which occasionally edges on distasteful, there is much more to Lost Voice Guy than meets the eye.

Sporting one of his classic slogan t-shirts – ‘I was disabled before it was popular’ it said – he told Rowe how humour had helped him in terms of coping with his disability. If he didn’t laugh at his own situation, he said, he would cry.

There was something quite special at work here. His answers could make you laugh, but also make you really think. How can something be so light-hearted but so serious and important at the same time?

This was a show, then, that left a deep impact, and also shined some light upon the issue of disability in the comedy scene.

And it may sound quite childish but there will always be something quite entertaining about a computer-generated voice saying ‘f***’. So you can imagine the reaction when Lost Voice Guy said he “f***ing loved swearing.”

He spoke throughout the show of the support he had received from close family and friends whilst pursuing his career in comedy.

One of his friends was the first person to suggest a career in stand-up comedy. Rowe asked whether the two were still mates. Yes, said Lost Voice Guy. “But he hasn’t received a penny.”

 

Leicester Comedy Festival review: Roger Swift’s Machine Pun at Grays@LCB Depot

RogerSwiftsMachinePun_680x680
By James Cannell

What can you class as bad comedy? Is it bad because of the jokes? Or is it the delivery of them? Whatever the case, Roger Swift knows exactly how bad his puns are, which is what makes them so glorious.

Swift’s act seems unsure in its delivery, but that could have been intentional. The audience couldn’t be faulted for coming out being more confused than when they went in. Maybe that was intentional too. Perhaps that was the whole point, that there was no point to it. If you can’t tell, it is all a bit bewildering.

Swift’s work blended a mix of observational and prop comedy, all produced into one-line jokes that is then blanketed in unintelligent word play that was hard not to laugh at. Whether you were laughing at the actual jokes or Swift himself is another matter.

Swift is a make-do-and-mend type of comedian, often resorting to home-made props to support his act. But let’s be honest, a dildo strapped to a sieve can make anyone laugh.

There isn’t much that Swift wouldn’t joke about. His unfiltered approach was a breath of fresh air in comparison to the many snowflakes that now litter the scene. He did not pretend to be anymore than what he was, this was Swift, in all his stupidity.

The jokes were intentionally bad, even Swift knew that, which is why they were perfect. But it was not the comedy that let him down, nor was it his crowd. Like any good craftsman, Swift’s tools seemed to be the folly of his show.

It seems that the LCB Depot was not fully prepared for the Machine Pun man, consigning him to the corner of a venue, lit by no more than candlelight. It seemed a shame to leave such a comedian quarantined, especially one with malfunctioning resources.

But the show must go on, and so did the non-stop puns. They kept the audience amused for the whole one-hour session, but you couldn’t help but feel like a test subject for much of his new material.

Roger Swift was a finalist back in the UK Pun Championships back in 2017. Unfortunately, since then he hasn’t made much of a splash in the world of comedy. Here’s hoping he can change his luck in this year’s championships, at De Montfort Hall tonight.

Leicester Comedy Festival review: Bring Your Own Dog Comedy at Brewdog

adult black pug

Photo by Charles on Pexels.com

Review by Kyran Kennedy

Being heckled by the audience as a comedian can be difficult for the act, but getting barracked by a room full of dogs is something you can’t quite prepare for – and that’s just what happened at Brewdog last night.

A fantastic idea on paper, but having more than 15 dogs in the same room as each other and expecting them to behave is quite the arduous task even for the most experienced of owners.

Jack Campbell hosted this evening of dog-related puns alongside his canine companion Millie, where Jack helped the dogs and owners settle in.

Jack Gleadow, who is ironically not the biggest fan of dogs in general, put on quite the act during the early stages of the show.

Gleadow was certainly the highlight of the show and can take all the praise for being the centre of attention during his act.

The majority of his act involved him making gibes at himself for being unable to cope with the mass turn out of dogs in the audience and his own witty criticisms managed to keep the audience distracted from the dogs for long enough to let out a significant amount of laughter.

Sarah Johnson and her dog Charlie put on a decent performance, using the show to test out a truckload of canine related puns.

This went down well with the audience, bar the odd doggy distraction, but it was really one for dog owners that people without dogs would struggle to relate to.

The stage then became overrun with woofs and barks as Daniel Nicholas attempted to create a game show-like event where dogs and their owners would come to answer questions on stage.

Both the dogs and owners seemed less than impressed as the dogs remained centre of attention throughout, with nobody really paying attention to the questions Daniel asked.

He also attempted to get the audience to do various other interactions, which most reluctantly accepted to partake in, reminiscent of something you might try at your kid’s birthday party. The audience’s involvement seemed forced and not something they enjoyed.

All in all, quite the wholesome occasion if you like dogs and for a unique event it was a popular one. Nevertheless, the dogs certainly stole the show and it’s as though the comedy suffered because of it, the dogs probably ended up with the most laughs out of everyone who went on stage.

Bring Your Own Dog Comedy runs on Sunday February 16 and 23 at Brewdog, Leicester.