287 Views

Stand Up & Slam review

Sometimes the best experiences are those you initially question. Stand Up & Slam is one such idea, for it is a resounding triumph of an evening. Hosted in the downstairs Studio 1 of Brighton’s classic comedy and culture club Komedia, the room looks more like a jazz club than a comedy-poetry crossover night, with small candle-lit tables intersecting rows of chairs, intimately packed together under low light.

Despite the seemingly low-key visual aesthetic, the event itself is social, comfortable and positively rowdy from the outset. We are introduced first to the Captain of the Comedy Team, Rich Wilson, who, alongside two other comedians, will be competing against three poets for our ultimate decision on the victorious art form. Wilson is excellent throughout the evening, fielding jokes that are upbeat, silly, and that comfortably address culturally relevant issues such as the #metoo movement, or general tropes of ‘white-man-doing-bad-stuff’ in a self-deprecating, honest way – he treads the line between comedy and seriousness perfectly.

We are then introduced to Poetry Captain, Oli Forsyth, who immediately settles in to the rhythm of the room and, alongside Wilson, plays well off of the crowd early on. Once settled in, the two do seem to resort to clearly rehearsed jokes that aren’t quite so effective. The evening seems to be at its best when Forsyth and Wilson are able to engage in more natural and spontaneous banter.

For the first half of the night, the Comedians and Poets alternate between having five minute performances each, and after each head-to-head round the audience picks winner. Although the individual performances are often sound, the strongest moments are in the time between performance segments wherein the Captains reflect on the acts before – of course, the format is necessary to allow these moments of natural comedy to thrive, as the chemistry between two hosts is fine and effortless.

With the endless banter and frequent hip hop beats punching through the intervals it has an 8-mile, boxing feel to it, and can feel a little hyper masculine, but it is friendly and good-natured, and saved by presence of two standout female performers, one poet and one comedian. Maisie Adam is a standout act, with her brand of funny, shameless, and honest relatable humour. She is wonderfully frank and enjoyable throughout her combination of prepped material and instinctual crowd-mocking.

At times, it can feel like Comedy often suits the room a little better, and it is perhaps clear that more people have come for comedy more than poetry, as the atmosphere is raucous and lively throughout. The Poetry often had the ability to silence the room with something thoughtful, which sometimes made for a tricky task for the comedians to pick up the atmosphere quickly after. Captains Wilson and Forsyth did so effectively and quickly – one of their many strengths throughout the evening.

Although the Poetry Team could be a little hit and miss, Claire Whitefield was a standout poet, with her glaring and brazen delivery. She provided an effective contrast to comedy with her own spontaneous quips here and there. Her verse was energetic and somehow instantly familiar, yet she could provide something more lasting when she chose too; the closing line of her first poem that ended ‘How Trump sleeps while lady liberty weeps’ was a particularly good example.

As the evening shifts to its second segment, all performers are brought up on stage for a theme-based section, wherein a theme is read out and each person has a minute to react to it. There are clear parallels here with Mock the Week, but the poets keep it fresh, and there is yet more back-and-forth between acts and the crowd that gets funnier as we get to know them and their context. It is often the case that the best comedy is where the concept of performance is forgotten – the space no matter how grand or small becomes the late-night pub chats or dinner-table wisecracks we know and love.

In the end, Comedy takes the night, and the bragging Wilson leaves the stage victorious, leaving Poetry Captain Forsyth to denounce his art form. This is the final success of the evening, as typically melodramatic, sad music plays, and the spotlight falls on Forsyth. He plays this moment out well in a way that is satirical and a perfect parody of the victor-loser axis in all the films and sporting narratives we know.

The whole event leaves you feeling like all the acts have been your mates for years. An outstanding evening.

Featured Image: Geograph

Get the best viral stories straight into your inbox!

Don't worry, we don't spam

Leave a Reply

Join the Badger Team

Apply today!

Latest Posts

Union obliterates the debate – unwritten requirement used to shut down free speech debate
Campus News
503 views1
Campus News
503 views1

Union obliterates the debate – unwritten requirement used to shut down free speech debate

Jordan Wright - April 27, 2018

Student society Liberate the Debate’s most recent event was cancelled over a lack of compliance with the Students' Union's (USSU) requirement for a neutral chair - a…

Verve Couture – Musicality, kitsch & ignition: the beginning of a series
Arts
37 views
Arts
37 views

Verve Couture – Musicality, kitsch & ignition: the beginning of a series

Ricardo Reverón Blanco - June 17, 2018

Pictured: Zac Black At Proud Cabaret audiences were spellbound as if at night at the circus, yet this was not like Angela Carter’s magical realist novel; Verve…

Fleabag on stage at The Old Market – review
Arts
83 views
Arts
83 views

Fleabag on stage at The Old Market – review

Florence Dutton - June 11, 2018

[caption id="attachment_35513" align="alignnone" width="2400"] Fleabag at Soho Theatre[/caption] Last Monday at 8pm at Brighton’s The Old Market, I sat myself down in my theatre seat eagerly awaiting…

Fleabag preview
Arts
88 views
Arts
88 views

Fleabag preview

Florence Dutton - June 2, 2018

[caption id="attachment_35513" align="alignnone" width="2400"] Fleabag at Soho Theatre[/caption] Following the mass success of the Bafta award-winning BBC Series, DryWrite and Soho Theatre are about to hit the…

Brighton Festival: Ezra Furman at the Dome
Arts
111 views
Arts
111 views

Brighton Festival: Ezra Furman at the Dome

Georgia Grace - June 1, 2018

Having completed my final semester of university with modules on punk history and queer arts, it was fitting that I rounded off my end-of-assessment celebrations by attending…

Arts
132 views

The Tempest review

Georgia Grace - May 30, 2018

As the sun begins to set over Hove Green, tinnies of Red Stripe are cracked open, tartan blankets are strewn, and families tuck into their picnic hampers.…

A Glass Half Empty review
Arts
144 views
Arts
144 views

A Glass Half Empty review

Georgia Grace - May 27, 2018

For those of us coming to the end of another year of university study, the prospect of careers, marriages and babies may seem a long way off.…

DollyWould at The Old Market review
Arts
137 views
Arts
137 views

DollyWould at The Old Market review

Alex Hutson - May 27, 2018

Sh!t Theatre’s DollyWould is a hilarious, thoughtful and experimental performance piece. The award winning show has the Sh!t Theatre duo integrating comedy, storytelling, personal experience and music.…

UCU Launch Petition to End the ‘Hostile Environment’ at Sussex
Campus News
216 views
Campus News
216 views

UCU Launch Petition to End the ‘Hostile Environment’ at Sussex

Billie-Jean Johnson - May 26, 2018

The Sussex branch of the University and College Union (UCU) has launched a petition calling for Vice-Chancellor Adam Tickell to end the 'hostile environment' at Sussex. The…

Arts
101 views

Shakespeare in the sun – The Tempest preview

Georgia Grace - May 24, 2018

In a world of dystopian King Lears and female Hamlets, Shakespeare’s classics are constantly being reimagined for the modern day. There’s something oddly refreshing then about the…

Review: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)
Arts
203 views
Arts
203 views

Review: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)

Sophie Coppenhall - May 23, 2018

What a phenomenal contrast these two films present when watched side-by-side. In essence, together they are capable of tracing inner and outer metamorphoses of their subjects. The…

Dollywould at The Old Market preview
Arts
134 views
Arts
134 views

Dollywould at The Old Market preview

Alex Hutson - May 22, 2018

From the 22nd May - 25th May 2018 DollyWould will be showing at The Old Market. An exciting new show, presented by Sh!t Theatre, who won the…

Exhibition: Io-sono Fedilouu
Artist Focus
210 views
Artist Focus
210 views

Exhibition: Io-sono Fedilouu

Ricardo Reverón Blanco - May 16, 2018

Last week artist Fedilou made her debut exhibition in the downstairs space of Morelli Zorelli, a quaint vegan Italian restaurant in Hove, featuring a collection of intimate…

Interview with Philosophy faculty and COGS director Ron Chrisley
Interview
143 views
Interview
143 views

Interview with Philosophy faculty and COGS director Ron Chrisley

Nikolaos Manesis - May 15, 2018

Ron Chrisley is a Reader in Philosophy, on the faculty of the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science, and is the director of COGS (Centre for Cognitive Science).…

Adam review
Arts
212 views
Arts
212 views

Adam review

Ketan Jha - May 13, 2018

If you have been a stranger to the stage this spring and decide to see one contemporary show, let it be Adam. This reviewer went in entirely…

Brighton Fringe Preview: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)
Arts
233 views
Arts
233 views

Brighton Fringe Preview: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)

Sophie Coppenhall - May 13, 2018

In celebration of iconic Brighton local, legendary alt-rock musician (and episodic actor) Nick Cave, TOM’s Film Club are hosting a double-bill screening of his films at The…

Whimsical fairy-tale meets class war – Standard: Elite review
Arts
273 views
Arts
273 views

Whimsical fairy-tale meets class war – Standard: Elite review

Georgia Grace - May 11, 2018

Meta-theatricality and interactivity are becoming all the more vogue in contemporary theatre, and in a world where the arts are becoming increasingly open and democratised, I find…

A Year of Art Society: The Best Picks
Artist Focus
189 views
Artist Focus
189 views

A Year of Art Society: The Best Picks

Alex Leissle - May 9, 2018

  [gallery type="slideshow" ids="35385,35386,35387,35388,35389,35390,35391,35392,35393,35394,35395,35396,35397,35398,35399,35400,35401,35402,35403,35404,35405,35406,35407,35408,35409,35410,35411"]

More Brit(ish) than ever: A review of Afua Hirsch at Brighton Festival
Books
194 views
Books
194 views

More Brit(ish) than ever: A review of Afua Hirsch at Brighton Festival

William Singh - May 9, 2018

Afua Hirsch’s 2018 book - part memoir, part polemic - provokes mixed feelings. So too did her discussion of the topic at this year’s Brighton Festival. Don’t…

Ethnic-bioweapons: between conspiracy and reality
Science
249 views
Science
249 views

Ethnic-bioweapons: between conspiracy and reality

Luke Richards - May 8, 2018

Bioweapons exist, while ethnic-bioweapons are whispered conspiracies. Pandemics can fairly hazardous to human life, the 1918 Flu Pandemic killed 20-50 million people. A man made pandemic could…

Breaking: Spring referenda results announced
News
259 views
News
259 views

Breaking: Spring referenda results announced

Jessica Hubbard - May 4, 2018

Students have voted to support the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement, reject Prevent and adopt new Gender Equality policies. Results for the Students' Union referenda were…