Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre
Simon B Cotter
Snorri Hergill Kristjansson
Special guest who cannot be named
Stephen K Amos
Steve N Allen
Stephen Grant live @ The Theatre Royal, 2006
Short segment from his 2006 DVD
More Stephen Grant videos
|Stephen Grant live @ The Theatre Royal, 2006|
|Stephen Grant @ Comedy Store Apr 2007 Beginning 1/3|
|Stephen Grant @ Comedy Store Apr 2007 Beginning 2/3|
|Stephen Grant @ Comedy Store Apr 2007 Beginning 3/3|
|Stephen Grant @ The Comedy Store, Sep 2006|
|Stephen Grant @ The Comedy Store, Sep 2007|
Brighton-based comic named best compere in the 2008 and 2011 Chortle awards, and nominated in 2009 and 2010.
Stephen Grant: Facepalm at the Brighton Comedy Festival
So this is The Show They Tried To Ban! Only now, after a two-year legal battle defending his human rights can Stephen Grant speak the truth about his nasty divorce and his evil ex-wife.
Or, to use the sort of forensic pedantry that Grant employs in his stand-up, the more accurate story is that in one of the scores of letters exchanged during their undeniably bitter divorce battle, his ex-wife’s solicitors – stupidly – demanded he not mention her on stage. His team rightly shot back with ‘We’ll promise no such thing.’ And the matter closed.
In the name of disclosure, I have to mention that I’m a friend of Grant’s ex-wife. It’s a strange position be in, to have someone you know so viciously trashed on stage. Someone like Les Dawson’s iconic mother-in-law was an obvious fiction – imagined as some Donald McGill postcard grotesque – but because modern stand-up is rooted in real experiences, Grant’s necessarily one-side tirade makes a vile nemesis from a genuine person, who he has already named in the world’s media.
Although the much-publicised and heavily vitriolic divorce story is what a lot of the audience came for, it’s a relatively short section of the show. The gags, as already published in the press, are quite old-fashioned: ‘When I finally got the house back, the only thing she left was a broomstick, which was odd, because I thought she might have needed it for transport’ – but the acrimony is genuine. As for the veracity of his version of events, who knows?
Although spite, anger and revenge can clearly be great artistic driving forces, this section is out of tune with Grant’s normal, affably upbeat, stage demeanour and the overall thrust of Facepalm are his own awkward moments and social embarrassments, such as his difficulties chatting up women. The title itself is a neologism to describe the act of putting your hand across your face from shame.
Social misdemeanours are common ground for comedians, of course, although he acknowledges he’s not completely inept at human interaction, so the scale of his behavioural pratfalls often aren’t huge. Anecdotes from his time as the house compere at Komedia, just down the road, and as the audience warm-up guy for shows such as Dale Winton’s In It To Win It, in which it’s the public who are the idiots, go down better.
He also tackles a few other well-covered topics, such as aging (he’s 37), Facebook and scrambled hotel porn, in which he errs on the side of the over-familiar, and are met with mixed results. However the latter topic does give rise to a nifty long-range callback that ties the two ends of the show together.
His core strength, though, is not in him trying this universal everyman material, but his unashamed geekiness. This former computer programmer has a great joke about binary, some tricksy audience banter about laws of physics, and some smartly constructed puns. Anything that needs analytic brainpower to come up with an obtuse approach, basically.
His long list of nationality adjectives that can be used as nouns (such as ‘going for a Chinese’) is an object lesson in how he can employ an intellectual exercise to get laughs. Though in a similar vein, his list of chess analogies is much limper.
This unevenness in quality, from gags to more muted observations, creates a sense that, although playing to maybe 500 people, Facepalm is still a work in progress, an idea reinforced by the notes he occasionally glances at. Within the bloated 90 minutes there’s a leaner, more effective show wanting to get out. Maybe the good jokes should seek a divorce from the rest of them…
|Date of live review: Monday 18th Oct, '10|
Review by Steve Bennett
Saturday 16th Oct, '10- Brighton Dome
Show - Edinburgh Fringe 2008 -
Show - Misc live shows -
Show - Edinburgh Fringe 2007 -
Show - Edinburgh Fringe 2006 - Monday 0th Aug, '06-
Friday 1st Jul, '05-
Show - Edinburgh Fringe 2004 -
Show - Misc live shows -
Show - Edinburgh Fringe 2003 -
Surprised at the lack of recent comments! Stephen Grant stormed it at XS Malarkey in 2008, a highlight being when a youth at the front who'd already admitted to stringing along a couple of girlfriends received a call on his mobile from one of them during the act. Stephen grabbed the phone and began a little chat with the chav with both sides audible to the audience by the power of the microphone! As one brought up close to SG's Brighton, this connection and the tremendous gig were sufficient to entice me to shell out for the DVDs; with extra ones to dish out to friends and relatives. I hope he comes up our way again in 2009!
I saw Stephen at a charity night at the Comedy Store recently. He was one of several comedians who were all good but Stephen was the best so far as I was concerned. Stephen gets the balance right by not getting too "blue"
He was warm-up chap for the filming of QI that we saw a few months back. Was very, very good at it; roused the audience in a perfect crescendo of pre-show expectation!
Stephen always has me in stiches of laughter and is easy to warm to. Whether live on stage or on his superb DVD, he never fails to impress. A true professional who enjoys the night just as much as the the audience. Highly recommended.
Quick witted, intelligent and very very funny. I saw Stephen perform his show in Edinburgh and he manages to hold your attention for the entire hour. He has a great rapport with his audience, and he talks about subjects you can easily relate to in a funny and original way.
I've seen Stephen Grant on a number of occasions at the Komedia as compere, as well as at one of the Little Britain recordings - and one thing you can definitely say about the guy is that he is consistently funny. As mentioned, he talks 232 to the dozen - but the wit of the man shows that his mind is working even faster to enable his great ability at impromptu gags and put-downs.
Very good, fast paced, punchy, intelligent comedy.
An warm, adept and thoroughly likeable compere - gracious to both the acts and the audience, lightning fast with hecklers and great material. Now I see why Brighton treats him like an old friend.
|Everybody loves Chris...
Comic Stephen Grant gives his take on the Chris Rock tour
10/01/2008 Permanent link
Lower Ground Floor
79 Noel Road
contact by email
Office: 020 7704 6555
Mobile: 07545 092410
Stephen Grant: Route 1
Edinburgh Fringe 2004
Edinburgh Fringe 2006
Stephen Grant: Life's Too Short
Edinburgh Fringe 2007
Stephen Grant: Taken For Granted
Edinburgh Fringe 2008
Stephen Grant: Second
Edinburgh Fringe 2009
Stephen Grant: One Week Only
Misc live shows
Stephen Grant: Up Front, Theatre Royal Brighton