Review: Smoker

MOLLY GAVRIEL: ‘Witty but unoriginal, the show was a poorly executed agglomeration of student comedy’

ADC theatre daisy Emma sidi good or you Katy Bulmer Smoker spaced

Tuesday 8th June, 11.00 at The ADC.  £4-6.

The last Smoker of the year lived up to it's reputation as an evening for intoxicated students to laugh at bad jokes performed by amateurs on a platform. Witty but unoriginal, the show was a poorly executed agglomeration of student comedy, a.k.a. ‘what-happens-when-stressed-people-are-told-to-be-funny’.  Maybe the footlights just needed another vaguely comical headliner like the Icelandic volcano to save the day with topical inspiration?  I guess Cumbrian maniacs just don’t cut it. 

Yet the show did have a saviour, two in fact, that even managed to crack a smile on the faces of the most stone cold sober of audience members (I think there were four of us). They came in the form of Katy Bulmer and Emma Sidi. Ms. Sidi’s sketch concerning a crack whore teacher’s bargaining with the parents of the schools young dealer demonstrated a superb mastery of comic language, admirably well executed. Joining her in professionalism, Ms. Bulmer’s poem ‘How to Get What You Want’ actually made me cry a little bit. With laughter, that is. Her work definitely needs to be published and, as this was Katy’s last Smoker, I truly hope she continues performing comedy in the world beyond Cambridge, despite not having a penis (an in joke, you needed to be there).  

In light of two performances fit for TV (in the twenty first century it’s a sign that you’ve ‘made it’, or that you’ve died in an unfortunate manner) it seems even a real shame that the two sketches going on tour were, without doubt, the evening’s worst. Even the drunken audience didn’t laugh. The ‘Good For You’ sketches were so bad, watching required an extra G&T all of its own. There wasn’t even funny standing, or funny footballers- mum’s-voices. They just weren’t funny. Unbelievably unfunny. Their only saving grace was that the female one reminded me a bit of Daisy from ‘Spaced’ and ‘Spaced’ is funny, so funny it actually makes the invention of TV redeemable. Maybe they could play on that? Either way, I hope it improves for Edinburgh and wish them the best of luck, because they’ll need it.