CHLOE COLEMAN finds an hour of comedy with no plot line or common thread refreshingly simple, yet reliably funny
Corpus Playroom, 9.30pm, Mon 2nd – Tues 3rd December, £6/5
The premise behind Gagamemnon is refreshingly simple – four guys telling jokes for an hour in an unusually full Corpus Playroom, with no gimmicky overarching theme to hold it together. In fact, the only aspect unifying the comedians last night was a penchant for colourful trousers, but as Charlie Palmer pointed out, he is from Trinity. The point of the night was evidently to allow each act to explore their own comedic style, and it worked.
Charlie Palmer was our compere for the evening, warming the audience up with anecdotes about his run ins with tourists and the outrage of being described as ‘#oxford’. Palmer’s energy lends itself perfectly to audience participation, which was carried out with just the right amount of awkward – I’d hate to ruin the surprise, but it seems only fair to warn you that the word ‘Twister’ is involved. He pulled off the impressive feat of offering us something new with every appearance, a personal fave being his suggestions for better names for Kanye West’s daughter – Go, Nat and Deathtothe West being among the options.
The first act was Henry Anderson-Elliott, whose affected awkwardness did not fool anyone – it takes a lot of confidence to assert that your set will, by the end, ‘disprove the existence of God’. He soon had us convinced that our deity is, in fact, the mantis shrimp; I won’t give away his reasoning, but I for one welcome our new crustacean overlords.
A musical interlude was provided by the brilliant Archie Henderson-Cleland, armed with a dodgy wig and one of those guitar-keyboard hybrids (a keytar, apparently – I looked it up). His Bo Burnham-esque song Being Severus Snape went down very well with the Harry Potter fans in the audience, so much so that any instances of forgotten lines were forgiven instantly. It was nice to have something a little different in amongst the stand-up, and I’m sure we’ll be seeing a lot more of him on the Cambridge stage.
The task of closing the show was given to Milo Edwards, steering Gagamemnon back to observational stand-up. This is certainly not a criticism, as Edwards is effortlessly funny – the transitions between his anecdotes were seamless without seeming overly rehearsed, instead giving the impression that we are listening to a comedian who really knows what he is doing. Edwards showcased his talent for accents in his exploration of the weird world of TV before pondering that age-old question: ‘which would you rather fight in a bathtub, a toaster or a shark?’ Surreal, yes, but we certainly left with a lot to think about.
Each comedian in Gagamemnon has a real talent for finding comedy in the ordinary, and laughter was consistent, although perhaps not uproarious, throughout the night. That said, for a night of pure, reliably funny stand-up that is well worth your fiver, look no further than Gagamemnon.