Find out what’s happening with the society and with the Sheffield comedy scene for the month of September 2017.
Hello folks, and welcome to The Sheffield Revue’s Inaugural Monthly Update. Every month this feature aims to inform you about all things comedy going on in the society, in Sheffield, and indeed around the world, although we may be overreaching with that last part. Think of it as a nice little monthly magazine, only much shorter, more niche, and only available online. Think of it as the world’s most lazily updated blog, but with comedy listings.
It’s September, which means that the committee is busy running around trying to sort things out for the start of the academic year. It’s normally busy at the best of times up here at TSR HQ! It’s all very exciting though; we’ve got some very interesting things planned over the next year, and if we pull them off then this could very well be the best year in the society’s history! But we’re getting ahead ourselves. One month at a time.
In the comedy world, September means dealing with post-Fringe blues. A collective, industry wide hangover after the sensory overload from being in the same proximity of seemingly every other comic that has ever lived in the known universe. After spending a month waving flyers around in a locale that at times resembles the blandest circle of hell, comedians tend to spend this month either starting to tour or having a crisis of faith, pondering whether they belong in the industry at all. For comedians, much like students, September means it’s back to school, except this school is full of people asking for petrol money on the way to a gig in Leicester. It’s fun times all around.
We ourselves have come out of our first Fringe run in 4 years: a run that went better than anyone could have hoped. Thanks to everyone who turned up to support us, and to everybody who helped out. It really means a lot to us.
Anyway, on with the info!
What Makes The Fringe Beautiful?: Loyal member and contributor Ethan ruminated on what being a performer at the prestigious & popular festival for the first time was like, among other things.
Loose Cannon Returns!: Our weekly podcast has finally returned from hiatus and we’re kicking things off with a series of four special episodes recorded at the Fringe.
Activities Fair (21st September, Students Union, All Day): Come and meet us as well as 300+ other societies in the Sheffield Student’s Union annual Activities Fair extravaganza, and find out about what we do in person. You’ll be unable to avoid the fair for the day so you might as well come and see us at our booth and have a chat.
Giving Comedy A Go (22nd/29th September, Meeting Room 1/View Room 4, 6pm): You’ll get a chance to taste a taster of what we do and try out writing and performing comedy for yourself to see if it’s for you. Plus you’ll get a chance to meet the wonderful people who make this society what it is. It’s completely free, and all you need is a pen & paper. Both the sessions are exactly the same, you only have to go to one of them. Choose wisely.
Comedy In A Basement – Homecoming (24th September, Blues, 7pm, Pay What You Want): Our first show of the academic year is a big one, as we take our non-award winning Edinburgh Fringe sensation back to Sheffield for one night only. Expect a showcase of some of our best stand up sets from the run, as well as the sketches that performed at the ‘Sketch On, Sketch Off’ showcase, and of course a performance of the Comedy In The Basement show itself.
Mr Panda’s Comedy Night (Wednesday 6th September, Hagglers Corner, 7pm, FREE): Join Charlie Gascoyne and her companion Mr Panda for another edition of Sheffield’s hottest & newest stand-up comedy night. Featuring Andrew Marsh, Gary Jennison, & Tom Young.
Daft Chuffs (Tuesday 12th September, DINA, 8pm, FREE): Scott Liversidge & Tom King host this monthly night at DINA. The only night where you can expect “Big Comedy, Big Things, Big Audience” and “Bigs Allowed”.
Regather Comedy Club (Friday 15th September, Regather, 7:30pm, £5): The monthly comedy showcase hosted by Sean Morley returns. This month is headlined by the surreal sketch comedy duo and TSR alumni Sam & Tom.
Sheffield Improv Jam (Thursday 28th September, DINA, 7:30pm, FREE): Interested in improv? Fancy trying it out? Well isn’t this just your last Thursday month. Join Alex, Bobby & friends in a selection of fun improv games and get to know the Sheffield improv community, because why not.
Jimmy Carr – The Best Of (Friday 15th September, City Hall, 8pm, £30): In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past decade, you’ve probably come into contact with something that he’s been a part of. In this he collates the best material of his career in one epic solo show, hence the name.
Stewart Lee – Content Provider (Wednesday 20th September, City Hall, 8pm, £26): The iconic cult comic and ‘comedians comedian’ finally makes his way into Sheffield after seemingly touring in every other known town in the UK.
Antlers – A Night Of Improvised Comedy (Thursday 21st September, The Montgomery, 8pm, £6): The improv comedy troupe host an action packed night at The Montgomery. Featuring songs & scenes spontaneously devised from the suggestions of the audience.
Andy Hamilton – Change Management (Tuesday 26th September, City Hall, 8pm, £20): The 30+ year comedy vet and the mind behind shows such as ‘Outnumbered’ & ‘Old Harry’s Game’ brings a brand new solo show to Sheffield about coping with an ever changing world.
Rob Brydon (Saturday 30th September, City Hall, 8pm, £33): As seen on shows like ‘Would I Lie To You’, ‘Gavin & Stacy’, & ‘The Trip’, comedy megastar Rob Brydon brings his mega show to Sheffield. Mega.
Every month we ask members young & old the important questions of today, in comedy and beyond. Here are their answers for this month.
“If you could ban any colour, what would it be and why?”
“Fuck Yellow. It’s a pathetic sounding word for a pathetic colour.”
“Orange. It shouldn’t be allowed to be a colour & a fruit. #STAYINYOURLANE”
“I wouldn’t ban blue but I heard the Ancient Greeks got along just fine without it and they invented pathos, so they must have known what they were doing.”
“I’d ban the blacks. As in the range of colours darker than grey. What did you think I meant? No, definitely ban all the blacks.”
“I would ban puce (or is it puse?) I don’t know what it is, heard it referenced in Monsters Inc once. Don’t like it.”
“I’d ban maroon, just to get rid of that band.”
“Do pathos & comedy mix? Does comedy betray itself by seeking out emotions rather than laughs, or is it to its benefit that comedy seeks out the entire emotional spectrum?”
“I like pathos. Humans are boxes full of emotions and for a human (or humans) to be stood in front of an audience for a prolonged period of time without expressing any would be weird, and just as weird if those emotions weren’t nuanced or were static. Any non-pun based joke probably has some sort of emotional edge.”
“Emotion is key to good comedy, simply put you need to understand something in order to achieve an accurate and reflective parody or satire, and you need to understand the emotional response you’ll invoke with a bit, the ideal one being laughter.”
“I don’t really have a refined conceptual appreciation of the nuances of theatrical expression but I’m struggling to grasp how a concept “betrays itself”. It’s a concept. It doesn’t make much sense to me.” (Editor’s Note: Fair point, well made.)
“I cannot stress enough how important pathos is in the majority of styles of comedy, especially in the modern era. If you’re a standard one liner then fuck it, go for broke on humour and screw feelings. But for others, especially storytelling comedians, a sense of raw emotion is essential. People watch comedy to escape. To see what they can’t see at home. For most people live comedy is an experience, which means its on an act to make it as much of an experience as possible. One way is to make it a personable show, entice them in with reality. People empathise more with raw and honest characters so show them your true colours and their reactions will be through the roof. Moreover, in the modern day of social media, jokes aren’t original anymore. Even the freshest one liners can be traced to jokes in the eighties. Pathos makes live comedy fresh, as if each show is brand new and personal to that audience watching. And you can’t get that on fucking twitter.”
“It depends on the comedy involved. I believe stand-up requires pathos in order to differentiate the comedian from a talking joke book. Sketches don’t require it, however, though it can help the audience connect with the troupe. The funniest comedy to me is that which expresses an idea or feeling. Even if it’s an idea about poo, pathos can help – but, it depends on the comedy.”
Something relaxing, here’s a crossword. See you all next month.