Greenwich Comedy Festival

I love stand up comedy. The way I get excited for comedy is quite similar to how most people get excited over live music. For me though, it will always be comedy over music.

This year so far I’ve managed to see Dara O’Brien (fabulous) and went to Standard Issue’s Stand Up For Comic Relief with the likes of Jo Brand, Sarah Millican, Zoe Lyons, Sara Pascoe and Susan Calman performing; a fantastic night for a fantastic cause.

The next lot of comedy for me was Magner’s Greenwich Comedy Festival taking place in the grounds of Greenwich’s Maritime Museum. The festival started on Wednesday with Stephen K Amos headlining but for me, it was all about the headliner for this afternoon’s performances, my favourite and also one half of an often mentioned-on-here duo, Adam Buxton.

Entrance to the Greenwich Comedy Festival
Entrance to the festival

Today’s performers alongside Adam was Sara Pascoe and Richard Herring with John Robins compering.

The afternoon’s line up

Anyway, the festival itself is really cute. There’s lots of little tents, good food (I had a delicious venison burger with caramelised onions) and little games which seems to involve throwing apples through things. Oh and a hefty amount of cider everywhere, unsurprisingly considering the organisers. Everything the apple/cider connoisseur could ask for with a side helping of laughs too.

The show we went to was held in the Big Tent (the other show at the time held in the Apple Tent with Nick Helm, Roisin Conaty and Nish Kumar- a group I wish I could have seen but will have to wait for another day). Turns out they were not lying about the Big Tent, it was big. 1200 people big. Top tip; spend the extra £4 for a premium ticket because those with standard seating were a long way back. Thankfully, my friend who got the tickets (now known as my ticket ninja for always coming up trumps for good seats no matter what), had paid the extra and we were only four rows away from the front.

Inside the Big Tent
Look how close to the stage!

So the actual comedy….

It was the first time I’ve seen John Robins and he did well as the compere, being generally chirpy and getting the audience warmed up. I have heard him presenting his show on Saturdays with fellow comedian, Elis James on Xfm and found him quite amusing. His material about his girlfriend leaving for a month to go to Australia was a particular highlight for providing the delights of his shopping at the Polish shop. Definitely recommend a try if he’s about.

Next up was Richard Herring. I was surprised he was only second on the bill as I thought he was quite a well known and established comedian but he came out and pretty much hit the audience with jokes. There were a lot of dick jokes and Herring’s style seems to be quite shouty which was at odds with a large group of people gathered in the middle of lovely Greenwich in the mid-afternoon. The best part of his set was definitely about his wife’s ambition to build a pyramid of Ferreo Rocher just like in the adverts and how he romantically tried to enable this without thinking ahead. Beyond bonkers but hilarious.

A little interval, leading to the flaps covering the entrances to the tent being left up to give some air in what was starting to become a really dark and stuffy sauna. John came back after and greeted us to returning to the new and improved, circumcised tent and how all of them been in hysterics when they got told that the tent was now flapless.

As mentioned earlier, I had seen Sara Pascoe a few months ago and so some of the material was already familiar to me, however this does not detract from how good a comedian she is. She is absolutely on point when comparing those who ask about when she plans to have children to her responding about have they tried appearing on QI and got a well deserved round of applause. The second half of her performance was newer material and was pretty good bar the odd bit about God talking in Sainsbury’s which seemed to confuse the rest of the crowd as much as me, however was rescued through her idea of empathy popups in pornography which got everyone roaring with laughter.

Another quick interval, people needed to get their Magners after all and it was the headliner.

Dr Buckles!
Dr Buckles himself

Now if anyone is not familiar with his stand up work, he uses his Mac to show us the best of the Internet. He is well known for his dissection of YouTube comments on videos, which we were treated to today, as well silly little videos he has created himself and his infamous insane rants. It is fair to say, he was definitely the best act of the afternoon, not just for me but by judging by the noise of the laughter he elicited. The rant about being “middle premium” class and buying those little GU desserts that come in the glass dishes and how he cannot just throw them away but would do whatever any other middle premium person would do, and use them for tea lights. If he is performing anywhere near you, please do yourself and go along because for that bit alone, it is worth it.

Overall, for just less than £25, was a fantastic way to spend a Saturday afternoon and I was ecstatic to finally see Dr Buckles live at long last after years and years of listening and watching his material.

Personally though, the highlight for me? Well only going and meeting him after the show! The thing about never meeting your heroes? Well I am lucky enough to say that I did and it did not apply as he was so lovely and sweet despite me getting all nervous and shaky talking to him. To have a little chat, a photo and for him to sign my ticket with a sweet little message, well it’s fair to say that for the entirety of my tube and train journeys home, I was smiling ecstatically much to the confusion of other passengers.

Best moment of my life!
I think this may be my favourite photo ever

Definitely recommend the event in the future, for the quality of comedians taking part and for the price as well, it’s really worth it, especially if you get lucky and the weather is as nice as it was this afternoon.

For me though, today’s comedy will always be that little be extra special compared to any other shows I go to in the future.


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