misc

Casted my first vote in the UK in General Election 2019. A few observations:

  • Apparently this is an unusual time for a general election. The last general election held in December was in 1923.
  • They give you a pencil instead of a pen or a stamp. This is due to the fact that ink can smear and can void the ballot paper. But if you prefer to use a pen you can bring one yourself.
  • You receive a polling card before the election that gives you information about where you should cast your vote. You are not required to bring that card or any ID with you to the polling station (in England at least - turns out you do have to have your card and a photo ID in Northern Ireland)
  • I was at the polling station at about 7:10 and was done in about 5 minutes. There were only 2 people ahead of me at the time but when I was leaving the queue was about of 10-15 people. So it matters when you vote.

travel

Another night out at The Comedy Store:

In The Comedy Store London, Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights are pure stand-up nights. They are the club’s flagship shows and almost always they sell out. This Thursday was no exception. I watched 4 comedians listed in the bill plus 2 open slots.

The compere of the night was Justin Moorhouse who was quite successful in that. He had a lot of banter with people in the front rows. Also he was good at dealing with obnoxious hecklers.

Justin Moorhouse

First act of the show was my favourite Comedy Store comedian: Paul Throne

Paul Thorne

It’s been a few years since I last his full act so I was excited to see new material. Unfortunately he didn’t have anything new. Most of the act was bantering with people and his old stuff so it was a bit disappointing.

Next was an open slot: Ryan Dalton. He was very good (and very tall!)

Ryan Dalton

3rd act of the 1st half was I think the best of the night: Sarah Keyworth. This is the first time I’ve heard of her but after Paul Thorne disappointment she has moved up in my list of comedians and playing for the top.

Sarah Keyworth

Interval

Second half also had 2 acts and an open slot show. First comedian to take the stage was Laura Lexx. She was very energetic and fun and I liked her act a lot.

Sarah Keyworth

Next open slot wasn’t quite a good fit I think. I generally don’t like one-liners and the energy of the act was very low. At that point people were already drunk and especially after the energizer Laura Lexx it felt a bit slow. But still got a few good laughs.

Sean Patrick

The last act of the night was Mick Ferry. It wasn’t really my cup of tea so I left the night remembering mostly Sarah Keyworth’s and Laura Lexx’s acts.

Mick Ferry

travel

The Comedy Store has shows other than The Best in Stand Up. On Tuesday nights they have The Edge (used to be called The Cutting Edge) which is improvised topical stand-up comedy. I paid a visit this time as it’s been a while since last time I saw this show.

The bill for the night is:

Before the Show

My first observation was it’s completely different than The Best in Stand Up which is generally sold out. Tuesday night it was quite empty

The Show

The Edge is comprised of several games. The first game of the night was called Live or Die. The compere asks a specific part of the audience to pitch in with a piece of news from this year but not in the last 10 days. Then one of the comedians volunteer and take the microphone. They improvise on that topic for a few minutes and the audience shouts Live or Die. The ones that get a louder Live cheer proceed to the second and final round.

The second game is called the The Panel. 3 of the comedians set in a panel setting and Tania Edwards acted as the host and walk around among the audience and took questions.

Before the first half’s end Paul Thorne (who got in charge for the 3rd game) asked for the audience for the recent news and they were all added to the whiteboard. Then all the comedians were assigned a topic to study during the interval.

The second half started with each comedian going over their topics for 2.5 minutes. Stephen Grant won this game. The person who suggested that topic won 2 tickets for West End show.

The last game was The Bus Stop. The idea in that is all the comedians line up. The first one start with a joke and the others continue with a similar subject (which didn’t quite happen). That part was a bit cut short as I think they were running out of time for the show.

After the Show

It ended close to 22:00 similar to their other shows. It was alright in general but as it’s improvisation there’s no way to tell how good it’s gooing to get. Paul Thorne was great as usual but Tania Edwards bombed and didn’t feel comfortable with improvisation. Stephen Grant was also great. The bottom line is you have to pay attention to the line up and make sure the comedians are good at improvisation. Also they tend to use their regular stand up material. So if you had seen a recent shows of theirs the jokes can sound a bit repetitive.

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