Every February, Leicester holds one of the world’s largest comedy festivals. Tis a ruddy good festival and I’ve even blogged about it before. Ever since coming to Leicester, I have made it an annual tradition to get to at least one show when the festival rolls into town. But until now, I have generally always been to see widely known and super established acts; Rich Hall, Ed Byrne, Dylan Moran and Jimmy Carr to name a few. This year was a little different and I decided to see two shows performed by artists who are not quite as well known as the “galacticos” of comedy.
As they aren’t quite as well known, I feel the burning need to tell you who they are and that you should go and see them because they are simply wonderful. This is High Tea Comedy.
First I introduce to you Kate Lucas. A red head with a guitar, angelic voice and darkly brilliant sense of humour. Last year may prove to be a defining year of her career as she was crowned Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year 2014, putting her alongside the likes of Johnny Vegas, Romesh Ranganathan and Josh Widdicombe.
I first discovered Kate Lucas performing as a support act to the sketch trio I will come to a bit later. I am a big fan of musical comedy with Bill Bailey, Tim Minchin and Rich Hall/Otis Lee Crenshaw amongst the favourite ever acts I have seen. So when the lovely Kate Lucas walked on stage with her guitar, I had high hopes. Hopes she fulfilled with such aplomb, I went home and booked tickets at a highly affordable £5 for her first ever solo show.
So what can you expect from a typical Kate Lucas show? A wonderful selection of self deprecating songs mixed up with some witty banter in between, that’s what. I think a slightly twisted sense of humour is a prerequisite for being an audience member, which became more evidently apparent when she opened up with a song about an unwanted child and the disappointment of childbirth. Throw in a song about Mary Fucking Berry, the deranged reality of Disney and a song about her inappropriate lesbian love with a pensioner and I think you get an idea of what she has in store for you.
The Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year award has been a major springboard for a number of comedians, so I expect to see more from Miss Lucas in the coming years.
Meet Tom Parry, Matthew Crosby and Ben Clark, or as they are collectively known, Pappy’s. This sketch trio first arrived in my life when I discovered their Flatshare Slamdown podcast, which I strongly recommend you download as it has left me crying with laughter a number of times. Pappy’s are already well established on the comedy circuit and have their own BBC Three sitcom Badults, yet they aren’t exactly a household name, and that really needs to change.
What can you expect from Pappys? Well before their act starts, you may see them zigzagging about the stage, carefully placing a selection of interesting props. When they return to the stage to perform, don’t expect them to use a mic, talking loudly will do just fine. After that, it’s no holds barred. You will be subjected to an insanely random selection of sketches utilizing the aforementioned props that frequently border on the surreal mixed in with some ridiculously punny wordplay and a few songs where the word bizarre doesn’t even start to cover it.
When I saw them performing a song about gloves, a slight wardrobe malfunction caused the show to collapse inwardly into hysterics. Seriously I laughed so hard that I cried and my hearing ceased to function. The live aspect of a Pappy’s show and the chance of things just happening (like someone getting smacked by a chair that was heavier than they expected) is what makes them a true delight and sees them rightfully credited as the best UK sketch act going.
After the show, I even got to meet the guys as they began to tidy up the array of discarded props and what a lovely bunch of guys they were. In short, having never seen Pappys perform before, they are now my favourite act and I cannot wait for them to return.
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