Comedy Reviews 2005

BUXTON OPERA HOUSE - The Buxton Buzz Comedy Club


Seymour Mace, Ben Schofield, Damion Larkin

Damion Larkin

Played a nervous and shady character with a sinister sense of humour, however fell victim to Buxton's cold crowed but didn't necessarily do bad he was quite quirky and was a quick thinker when faced with obstacles. The first act slots are normally pretty tricky it's before the crowed loosen up and relax however Damion cracked it well and was triumphant

Ben Schofield

"not a wrestler" a very full of life character with many interesting anecdotes. A friendly and warm comedian with a fantastic sens of humour. I enjoyed this a lot with his tales of TV shows and one night stands. He ended on a game of relationship family fortunes and left the audience howling. A fantastic comic and another hall of fame for the Buxton Buzz

Seymour Mace

From BBC Three's Ideal. Seymour was a very good act with his costume of a pinstripe suit, very tight. His act was funny. He played the role of a sad middle aged man and spoke in great detail about the things he loves and hates with a little bit of alternative surrealism in there too. His act was more of a rant than a staged show but left the crowed screaming for more yet another phenomenal performance by a TV actor. Keep and eye out for this guy.

This was compered by our very own Bill Woolland, a very funny and cocky scouser with a lovely sense of hour and a warm welcoming nature made all of our comics and audience feel right at home, and kept the crowed on their toes

The last Buzz on the festival is next week so be sure to check it out.

George Flett

9th July

Matt Brandon, Mrs. Barbara Nice, Tim Craven + + Mat & Faron , together with compere Agraman

Matt Reed

A young chap from Derby very funny along the lines of the modern student life

a difficult venue for such a fresh comic brimming with potential and gave an excellent warm up for the evenings comedy

however it did not prepare us for what was coming next


.....Barbara Nice..... a vivacious and full-of-life character talking about her life as a middle age women coping with the domestic anarchy of the 21st century that found humour in such diverse subjects as hoovering and incontinence embracing the whole audience with laughter and participations not to mention, the mush pit and alien invasion. Props including tacky mice and Robbie William's music. An excellent comic and shall not be forgotten fast here at the Buzz Club good luck to the follow up presenting........

.....Tim Craven .....

........"no relation to Wes craven " so he says. Again, another young and fresh pocket of talent from Stoke on Trent started his comedy career in January and already he's looking good touching down on more dirtier and darker points of observation from the eyes of a 24 year old student hard act to follow very raw and grizzly, however, extremely amusing and left the audience satisfied

Mat & Faron

Fantastic musical double act from Sunderland with their Tenacious D style antics and their cleverly staged performances. Very controversial for the evening's audience with their musical adaptations of cancer and date-rape. Fresh, yet experienced. Lovely guys as well. Their humour was of the same wave length, and exactly of my personal taste and, surprisingly left the audience screaming for more!!!

This was all linked with Buxton Buzz's very own Agraman the human anagram.

With his humorous parody of a comic and his very own awful puns and silly poems only making the other comics look infinitely better, I'm sure this was intentional, if not apologies sent.

Overall a fantastic night involving lager, laughs and learyness

Well recommended and keep a look out for the next Buzz nights coming soon

George Flett

23rd July

All three were class acts - well worth 6.00 of anybody's money

Sam Avery

A very good opening act. Very fluid with his act. Timing was an issue with his speed and delivery but very good with a tougher kind of comedy. An excellent guy. He shared his worries of getting old (merely 27, he has a long way to go yet) and his tales of lap dancing girlfriends. A young bright comic with a positive outlook and a few years of hilarious action ahead.

Bob Cobe

Stood in as a last minute jobby as Tom Binns could not make it. Not bad for an American, now based in Manchester. Did a first class impression of a Manchester scally. I am not quite sure if the audience understood his humour. He chose some controversial material, such as Michael Jackson!!

It would be unimaginative to say he was a typical American, loud and self confident, but he was. Notwithstanding this, he was a good comic.

Steve Day

Hails to be Britain's only deaf comedian. I don't know who was more nervous, Steve or the audience. It was apparent when he opened that it was the audience. Steve was warm and amusing with his tales of family life and British Gas bastardry. He was extremely funny, both visually and orally. With an understanding of his condition the audience seemed to laugh with empathy together with the comedy but nonetheless a bright and very intelligent man who left the audience screaming for more.

And of course, this was all held together at the seams by none other than Bill (The Inseminator) Woolland. Best wishes go to Bill and his new baby.

The Flett's



Old Clubhouse Studio - 15 July

Four Blondes and a Blackhead opened their short, pre-Edinburgh run to an enthusiastic full house.

The improv format is pretty well established by now with the audience helping to structure scenarios within which the comics work - and hard work it is. So for example, a party host was given the job of trying to work out the occupations of four guests from verbal non-verbal clues. Strangely enough she had problems with the chicken sexer!

Improv, by its nature, is bound to be uneven - some ideas catch fire and others struggle to get out of the chair so to speak. For the audience, part of the fun is watching the performers mentally and physically wrestling with the ideas given to them. In the tiny Clubhouse Studio it is easy to share the relief, confusion and frustration as situations are resolved.

Four Blondes and a Blackhead are Victoria Cook, Stephanie Davies, Jo Dakin, Kerry Leigh and Carys Kaiser - if you want to catch them, book now or prepare to be disappointed!


MEDIAMEDEA - Moving Pictures

Moving indeed!!!

An incredible story about two long lost sisters reunited in their middle ages.

An uncomfortable and unnerving introduction for the audience as well as the actors before the realisation of their relationship. The acting was superb and so real. The play consisted of two women and their stories of the past up to the point of meeting each other. Such a gripping and moving piece and well worth to seeing. An incredible and dramatic story, not for the action packed fun fans but definitely for those who love a heart warming drama


George Flett

THE REC THEATRE CO LTD - Tom Stoppard's The 15 Minute Hamlet with Romeo and Juliet - Deceased (The Musical)

Old Clubhouse

The REC theatre kicked off their contribution to the Buxton Fringe in style last night with their version of Tom Stoppard's 15-Minute Hamlet and the return of Martin Beard's hilarious Romeo and Julie-Deceased.

The 15-Minute Hamlet would give the Reduced Shakespeare Company a run for their money. Delivered at break-neck speed, the company took us through the highlights of the bard's great Danish tragedy with barely a pause. This witty rendition lost none of the poetry - can any of Shakespeare's plays be quite so rich in phrases which have become part of our every day speech?: "cruel to be kind"; "there are more things in heaven and earth"; "Ay, there's the rub!" - and was funny, thought-provoking and camp all at once. Highlights (of these highlights) included Hamlet himself and a memorable gravedigger - but it was all memorable! The scenery was inventive, the cast changes astonishingly deft, this reviewer had trouble keeping up. Blink and you missed the hilarious 30 second encore. Blink twice and you missed the fact that you were now in fact watching Romeo and Juliet - Deceased.

From the early "Sod destiny!" taken from the opening interchange between the excellent Mercutio and Paris, it was clear that this was an irreverent look at another of the bard's great works, this time from the perspective of the afterlife. A world weary and, it appeared, slightly inebriated Shakespeare tried to make sense of it all - but what exactly was this relationship between the eyelid-fluttering Romeo and the stunningly good and camp Paris? In a touching speech, the first-rate Paris revealed dilemmas to rival those of the main character of the previous play. The evilly jealous Tybalt was a tremendous presence throughout, not least during the wonderfully staged sword-fight with Mercutio. Juliet delivered a beautiful and touching version of "Anyone who had a heart". Throw in background singers writhing on the floor and a storming version of "I just want to make love to you" between the ghoulish Rosaline and the larger than life Tybalt and you had some extraordinary ingredients - Tybalt's face at the end of the duet was quite a picture! The interchanges were swift, the singing and acting first-rate, the audience applause appreciative. The end of the play brought with it a subtle, intelligent twist typical of this well-written, stunningly original play.

Go and see these unique and moving performances by a thoroughly professional and well-directed theatre company. I wasn't sure to begin with, but now...I'm a believer!

Ian Hamilton

THREE'S COMPANY - Plane of Existence


Ever wondered why people just burst into song for no reason? It's because someone is writing the music of our lives!

If you're over twenty you'll need to see this play more than once because you'll be playing catch-up for two hours. If you're under twenty you need to see this play because you're part of a talented generation that's reaching for a higher plane.

The play really takes off once the plane heads for Mexico City - with a Mexico ditty - aboard are three familiar characters that have accumulated 80,000 in stolen cash - where better to go and spend it? Don't panic but the pilot also plays the piano and the co-pilot plays the drums!

Alarmingly the female roles (air stewards) appear to be a sexual stereotype that should have been wiped out in the 1960s - they are even called airhostesses and the sexual orientation of all the male characters is in no doubt with jokes full of innuendo and tongues scraping on the floor. However, when the sexiest hostess speaks, she has the mind of an existential philosopher, quoting Descartes, stuck between time zones - and leaving the audience to decide who really is the puppet master as she controls the final musical number.

Threes Company have the opportunity to reveal their expanding talents, acting, singing and dancing. Each member plays two characters in the different 'classes' of the plane.

Michael Grady is both the ridiculous Andre, who tries to reject his 'part', and Claude, a Wagnerian Lloyd Webber - 'wunderbah!'; while Yaz Al Shaater's sleazy character Cameron is into 'Wonderbra'. His idiot Nick, still stuffing bananas, is a closet philosopher as he mourns the loneliness inherent in 'ignorance is bliss - no way!' He wants to know who is writing his lines as he loses control.

Tom Crawshaw plays nerdy Neville who joins the 'Mile High Club' - even though it was, 'Easy Jet rather then Virgin'. But did it really happen or was he just a character in search of a script, reading his lines off a paper plane? Tom's Jeff gives us a Jerry Springer moment when he deliberates on the difference between real life and stage people. Instead of 'Wilde he is vaguely radical.'

Tom Crawshaw has written a fast moving script and even pacier lyrics that 'the three' deliver with a quality of diction Gilbert and Sullivan devotees would enjoy.

A talented band of musicians challenge the audience to, 'name that tune' with a playful soundtrack that ranges from the sound effect of a fly, a BA advert, through blues to accompanying the recitative as the play moves to an opera of the absurd. Deliberately farcical chorus girls burst on stage as can-can dancers escaping from the set of Moulin Rouge.

"Where is the plane headed? Where is the play headed?' we all wonder - heed the warning - "Don't swallow the fly!"

Visually full of fun and humour the puppet dance, 'We've been here before,' is a highlight as the experience of theatre is compared with mind-altering drugs. See for yourself and ponder about 'our play of existence'.

Aly Phillips

Plane of Existence

I didn't know what to expect while queuing up for the show, mainly because I hadn't seen the other two (although I had been assured that I didn't need to) but also because I had forgotten the pen and paper to make notes on.

The play began, and opened with a quick summary of what had happened in the other two parts of the trilogy (problem solved) - which leads me on to the first point about why this play was good - that quick summary set the scene for anyone out of town who had heard about Plane of Existence but didn't see the other two parts to the trilogy.

The first part introduces us to the main characters played by Tom, Yacein, and Michael. We see the lives of the characters and how they react. The second half sees them struggling to cope with the meaning of life and whether existence is real. Also an air hostess who appears to follow the generic stereotype for an air hostess but there is more to her than meets the eye.

The play in itself is enormously funny; it's quick, light hearted and very clever in many parts. Apart from the extreme comedy, the play itself was very cleverly written, due to the dual world part of the play separated by comedic pacey songs.

The play is very involving throughout the show. The set is designed to include the audience (a set of three aeroplane seats facing the audience so that all dialogue is aimed at the audience) and also, a narrator. The play was never boring because of this, and in turn all the action had a pace to it, and every scene furthered the plot on even further, there was not one bit I noticed where I stopped to think "Why did they add that in?" The plot challenges the audience's sense and feeling of the world around them leading to a whole possibility of "what ifs".

Plane of existence is another excellent play by Threes Company and is the last they will perform together before they go their separate ways. You must see this play before it stops showing!

Shaun Wilde