Lucky seven, so they say. Well, this is most definitely the case for my Thursday of the Edinburgh Fringe. It was a marvellous day, from start to finish. I was in the audience for 4 incredible comedians, with some of my favourite comedians also in these audiences. Also, it was a strangely warm day for Edinburgh. It didn’t rain AT ALL, I wore a summery, floral dress and I had a sweat on. Sorry for that grim imagery. But honestly, it was bizarrely warm. One of my pals was telling me that during his time at the Fringe last year, it snowed (and he wasn’t even on a film set for Nanny McPhee!) and rained so heavily that he was wrapped up in many layers. This year was very different, I went out in dresses, dungarees and a kimono and felt like I was dressed perfectly. I’ve digressed, sorry. Anyway, I persevered onto the next show and boy, what a show it was. I had a lazy Thursday morning, got onto the Mile and had another look at what shows people were flyering. I was very tempted to go to one of these shows, then I had a little look on Twitter to see what shows some of my favourite comedians were going to, and then I decided straight away. I went to see Geoff Norcott’s perform his stand up comedy at the Tron, a little pub just off the Royal Mile. A quaint venue, which taught me that you can really perform anywhere at the Fringe.
Geoff Norcott hails from South London but he can be found everywhere, a testament to how well received his sets are. On the live circuit, Geoff continues to regularly headline the top clubs, including The Comedy Store and Glee Clubs across the country. Geoff also performs across Asia and Africa. But, his amazing work does not stop there. He has landed jobs on ‘A League of their Own’ and ‘Live at the Apollo’, two of my favourite TV programmes on TV at the moment, celebrating new and popular talent alike. He’s also had a sitcom commissioned for Radio 4, so I’ll definitely be looking out for that. However, most impressively, he’s not just a comedian. He is extremely fortunate to have received an operational services medal for his five tours of forward positions in Afghanistan. Clearly, a well rounded individual, which plenty of life experiences to use in his stand-up routines. He definitely used this, and Geoff Norcott was one of my punts of the Fringe that I’m definitely glad I went to see.
I also went to see Geoff Norcott’s show purely because of the title name. With thousands and thousands of shows, it can be so hard to pick what show to go and see. However, the play on words of one of my favourite musicals ‘The Book of Mormon’ drew me in straight away. Even down to the poster for the show, it alluded that Geoff Norcott was going to use plenty of political satire in his piece, and even though I’d never seen Geoff’s comedy, I knew I was really going to enjoy myself. I definitely did.
So, the time had come for me to take my seat in the venue. I was blown away by just how small the venue was, but it was just right. As Geoff isn’t well known through TV unlike other comedians I went to see, it is considerably harder for lesser-known comedians to sell out big venues in Gilded Balloon and Pleasance. There are movements such as #letssellthisgigout which is working, but there are only so many comedians that can be promoted through this tactic. The venue must have been for 40 people maximum, and there were about 30 people in there. However, the audience were all very welcoming, warm and receptive. A perfect type of audience who I presume have never seen Geoff Norcott live before. One of the audience members was one of my favourite comedians Luisa Omielan. It was a wonderful moment during the Fringe, as I had free tickets to see her through the BBC but could not attend. So, seeing her in the audience rounded off my Fringe in a strange way. Hopefully, I’ll see her set soon!
Geoff Norcott then walked onto stage and treated us to a delightful 50 minute set, full of discussing the recent election, actually announcing that he voted Conservative. This was received with plenty of oohs and aahs. We need to remember here that I watched his show in Scotland, where many are wanting to become an independent nation and holds a traditionally strong Labour view. He tells us that he voted Conservative in the last two elections, and isn’t ashamed to state this fact. But, his likening of this to a James Blunt album was spectacular. “You know millions of other people must have done it, but you never meet anyone who admits it”. Personally, I haven’t, but I know the famous hits of his, we all do, don’t we? Geoff also discusses a tiny bit to do with Russian politics, and how place names are going to include political leaders. Leamington will become ‘Lenington Spa’, and I definitely will be calling my new home town this in the future.
Geoff’s jokes have now not just been limited to the small audiences which he has been playing, but has been recognised by plenty of professional reviewers for his witty, acerbic one-liners that rival Milton Jones and Tim Vine. He’s definitely ‘Mock the Week’ worthy, and someone who I’d love to see on the programme. He’d definitely compliment the regulars that are on there. His political talk is on point, and he discusses the Labour candidate, Jeremy Corbyn frequently. He “wants to take us back to the Seventies”, but then discusses Operation Yewtree. “Of all the decades to go back to, why couldn’t he take us back to one where we trust the entertainers?”. This has been listed on the Guardian as one of the top 20 jokes, and according to Geoff was only said at one of his shows. He definitely said this when I was there, so that’s all very exciting. I was in that room, listening to some fresh comedy.
He also discusses the NHS and the welfare state in some detail, discussing the differences of being a pensioner from previous decades to now. He states that previously, being a pensioner used to mean you were poor and vulnerable, relying on state benefits to get by in the winter. However, being a pensioner now means that you can be in a comfortable position. Being a pensioner means you’re tanned and rich, living it up in your new villa in sunny Spain! This doesn’t justify just how much Geoff talked about people, but it was wonderful and I don’t want to spoil it for you should you go and see Geoff perform in the future.
What I really enjoyed about Geoff’s gig on the whole was his hospitality. The time that we spent listening to his material flew by, which shows just how polished he is. He fitted plenty of material into his time slot, drinking plenty of Coke Life along the way and whacking out his Hunter wellington boot so if we wanted to pay more for our ticket, as some people were at the gig using the Edinburgh Free Festival initiative. Even though I’d paid for my ticket, I gave some more money and I think everyone did. What a lovely thing to see. He definitely deserved it, even if I am slightly envious that he got better A Level results than me. On the whole, Geoff just spoke plenty of common-sense which was extremely refreshing to hear, bearing in mind the amount of trash TV that is thrown to us as a viewing public. For this, I’m giving Geoff the emoji of a ‘thumbs up’ which feels really sarcastic, but it’s simply a kudos pal, you absolutely smashed that gig and I know you’ll be going on to huge things. I would definitely go and see Geoff again, and I urge you to all do the same!
Go and see Geoff at the Fringe: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/geoff-norcott-the-look-of-moron
For a song, I’ll be using a song from the Book of Mormon as a reference to Geoff’s show title. We have Cameron for another few years, HASA DIGA EEBOWAI. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLb7_UrV3-A
Why don’t you check out my last review, where I saw Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and my next review of Tania Edwards?