In Real Life

In their first review of term, ANNA HAMILTON and LIZZIE HUMBERSTONE enter Jamie Fraser’s virtual world of hashtags and cat videos.

anna hamilton Comedy Corpus Playroom Internet jamie fraser lizzie humberstone

Corpus Playroom, Monday 14th October, 9.30pm, £5/6


Despite what the Internet might lead us to believe, Jamie Fraser is not your standard “erotic clan lord” (Google him). The comedian we saw tonight is more knitwear and ironic glasses than kilts and flowing hair; a guy with an endearingly awkward sense of humour and an easy stage presence. PowerPoint at the ready, we were welcomed into the venue by a blockbuster-esque voiceover, introducing us to the many faces of one name: Jamie Fraser.

Fraser looked comfortable on the small stage of the Corpus Playroom. The fact that all the benches were full didn’t faze him; it seemed instead to spur him on and allow him to engage fully with us as an audience. The constant connection of Jamie with the audience emphasised the distance between the world of stand-up comedy and Twitter updates he referenced – one of the highlights of the show was his ironic take on his own failed attempts at Twitter humour compared to the inspirational tweets of Jayden Smith (heir to the throne of Bel Air) and their astonishing amounts of retweets. While he may not, of course, have Jayden Smith’s fame, Fraser deserves full credit in performing alone, with nothing and nobody to hide behind. He is judged not just on his delivery, but his intellect as well.

The show was about more than just the extreme hashtagging and ugly Snapchat faces we all know too well, both of which showed the hilarity and obscurity of life online. It also provoked serious thought on how we use social media today, yet crucially was able to get across this more serious message in a typically light-hearted fashion. The success of this was evident through the continuous laughter of the audience following each personal anecdote, all of which sounded embarrassingly (and reassuringly!) familiar to our own experience. A story about a Google Translate slip up rendering a search for “masculin problème ?” a more embarrassing request for help with “masculine problems?” certainly caused a few chuckles from the male members of the audience. Fraser’s admission that he would rather watch a 6 second vine video than read a book poignantly suggested that social media has effectively dumbed down our society, to the extent that a video of a cat spinning around a room on a hoover is considered worthwhile entertainment.

While In Real Life may be a one-off event, we would strongly recommend seeing Jamie Fraser in action later in the year. The success of his show is apparent from the fact that we found ourselves watching the cat video again whilst writing this. And it was hilarious. #lolcats #latenights