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The New Wave 2013 Tour. Bloomsbury Theatre.

| Comedy | 22/10/2013

The New Wave Tour

Surfing upon this New Wave of comedy is a collection of the freshest and most innovative acts around.  After selling out a residency in the capital earlier this year, prior to a critically-acclaimed run at the Edinburgh Fringe in August, The Wave is finally going out on tour.  Last week, it was the turn of London’s Bloomsbury Theatre.  And so, like an autonomous pebble, I rocked up at this popular venue and braced myself for an almighty splash.  Would I sink or swim in this self-proclaimed future of comedy? More importantly than this, had The Invisible Dot produced another first rate show?

Ushering in the latecomers like a newly qualified teacher, Tom Basden is superb right from the off.  Filling the gaps between performers with delightful songs and spoken word segments, he brings a lovely laissez-faire quality to proceedings.  His ‘Baby Diary’ is particularly good, worthy of the ticket price alone.

Daran Johnson serves up a brilliant, mostly silent, one-man musical show. Perfectly mimicking the melodrama of West End theatre, he utilizes our imaginations to create something greater than the sum of its parts.  Throwing himself into the physicality of it all, his set is an unbridled joy from start to finish.

Oyster Eyes are a boisterous sketch quartet that has the audience in stitches with their ‘German Entertainers’. Speaking of Oyster Eyes, credit must go to the audience member pulled on stage to “make sexy dance”.  Not the sexiest dance ever, but certainly worthy of our admiration.

Character comic Jamie Demetriou delivers a baffling choirboy piece, that’s strangely compelling.  Ellie White performs a unique set that’s part motivational speaker, part Miss Harringay.   Oscar Jenkyn-Jones (aka Thomas Pockets) skips out to Peter and the Wolf, makes a mess of the stage, before exiting to the sound of confused laughter.  None of the three mentioned here can be accused of retreading old comedic paths.

Twice nominated for the Canadian Comedy Award, Mae Martin delivers a highly enjoyable set that intelligently explores her own sexuality.  From having her heart broken by a boy called ‘Peaches’, to an intense fascination with her school’s geography teacher, this is a guided tour through Mae’s romantic back catalogue.  All in all, it’s a confidently delivered performance that’s sprinkled with laugh out loud moments.

Fresh from her run at the Soho Theatre, Claudia O’ Doherty offers up a strangely unsettling set on behalf of the National Chair Association.  Claudia is like nothing else out there, hyperactively dragging her audience along whether they like it or not.  At one point, she turns the lights off and loudly orders the audience to empty their pockets of chair-based pre-conceptions. She’s perfect for those who like their comedy surprising, original and vaguely uncomfortable.

Looking like a bearded extra from Game of Thrones, the lyrical Liam Williams delves into the human consciousness with a hypnotising melancholy.  His eloquent vocabulary dances mournfully from his mouth, a negative energy with the power to induce positive reactions.  Like an undertaker moonlighting as a holiday rep, Williams brings to mind the deadpan essence of Jack Dee.  This is soulful comedy, layered with a genuine sense of depth.

The New Wave Tour showcases the rhythms of comedy’s next chapter.  It’s an eye-opening, frequently hilarious, insight into what’s just around the corner. With so much on offer, there’s a fair chance you’ll leave the venue with some up-to-the-minute favourites nestled warmly inside your heart.   This is the cutting edge of alternative jesting, a lightsaber slicing through old clichés.  Yet again, we find ourselves saluting The Invisible Dot.

People of Cardiff, Manchester and Cambridge; The New Wave is coming.


By Jack Clayton (@BilboTalk)

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