Uncurated – Outsider Comedy at the Edinburgh Fringe 2013 – Jimmy Savile the Punch and Judy Show

Before I start I have to admit that I have been salivating at the thought of watching this show since I first heard about it.  The reviews have been absolutely stinking.  But stinking in the way that Doktor Cocacolamcdonalds got one year and made me think, “I bet I’d enjoy that”.

Yes, they’ve had some stinkers and I’m going to review the best “stinker” comments

It’s an insult to every comic who’s poured their heart and soul into their Edinburgh show that this atrocity shares space in the same programme.
An absolute wasted opportunity and to be frank a bit preachy and holier than thou, which is a shame because Bennett is more than capable of being brilliant in this field.  The Naomi Hefter review is a piece of beauty and deserves 5 stars, but not this.
Steve Bennett Chortle 3/5

It had become clear that the show was a steaming pile of horse shit.
It was a toss-up between this and the “shit mouse” quote.  No holds barred and a very funny read throughout.  If I’m going to get a bad review, I want this guy to write it.
Paul Fleckney London is Funny 5/5

Considering the fun you could have destroying a show, one website published a review so bad it was worse than the show it was trying to run down.  Even for a laugh you couldn’t take a bad quote off it.  A pointless exercise and I’m surprised it got past the editors.  Here is a scathing “Paul Fleckney” type quote to show you how it’s done.
You should try sticking your crayons up your arse because that way you’d write a better review you absolute arse wipe.
Andrea Valentino – Broadway Baby 0/5

Oh and I also give this bell end a massive slap and another 0/5 review for the piss poor ramblings on A Young Man Dressed As a Gorilla Dressed As an Old Man Sits Rocking in a Rocking Chair for Fifty-Six Minutes and Then Leaves… 5, for missing the point of the show and for writing about themselves for far too long.  You are not Hunter S Thompson, you are a moron with a pen.  The fact that you mention in your own review you got told off for negatively talking out loud during the show means you need to have all the brain cells of a prawn that’s been hit on the head too hard.  Prick!

So how was the show?  Basically Bob’s Bookshop is what it sounds like.  An old book shop that has no books in it because it’s been closed down and Bob has rented it for the month.  Actually I tell a lie, they sell one book.  Phil Kay’s autobiography.  The room holds about 25 people and there were about ten of us in the room.  I went with Dave and his wife Lucy who look upon me as a messiah of the truly god awful or plain weird at the festival.  They also brought a few friends so thanks to me I half-filled the room.  One poor bastard took “advantage” of the pre-paid £5 secure yourself a seat tickets.

The show started with one of the members lying on the floor behind a box covered in cheap gold glitter cloth.  The other did weird banter with audience behind a tatty curtain that hung from the exit.  He pointed a fake cigar round the curtain and pointed it at certain members of the audience as he spoke to them.  Then one of the duo dressed as Jimmy came out from behind the curtain and basically chatted.  To be honest I really have trouble describing this show.  What followed was nothing like I’d ever seen.  They chatted with the audience, chatted to each other, things went wrong, they mentioned the guy who bought a ticket many times and coins fell out of the “puppeteer’s” pockets.  Occasionally they did the show, but kept interrupting the narrative to talk about things going wrong and to the audience about how the props got lost and how they to replace them and how some bits are broken etc etc etc.

But once you got through all the mental flim flam there was a message there.  The message was about how Savile was allowed to get away with everything for years and years.  There was nothing nasty and nothing to cause offense.  There was a really bad gag about having a tube of “Jimmy Savlon” but he held up a lipstick.  It was this kind of poor execution that made me realise they were just taking the piss.  Gareth Ellis who played Jimmy Savile had a look in his eyes like he was actually getting off on fucking with the audience.  At the end he commented that the audience were nice and had morals.  Then pointed to me and said, “apart from you, you’re dubious (or words to that effect)”.  I felt like I’d been busted.  He knew I was also in on the joke.  I cracked the code.

There is no show.  There is no offense.  This show is Andy Warhol spending his life as the most successful commercial artist in America and works out he can be worldwide famous by painting coke bottles.  This show is John Cage realising he can be famous for having silence rather than scoring music.  This show is Jackson Pollock dripping paint rather than applying it into images we can recognise.  They sold the world a concept, but the concept needs a product, it almost doesn’t matter what the product is, you just need one.

So why are these guys any different?  They’re not.

They got more press for the title of the show and the bad reviews that no amount of pointless bottom feeding greedy PRs could ever muster.

The genius of telling all reviewers to not mention their names, waiting for one to take the bait to name and shame, fabricate being punched in the eye, blame the reviewer, get column inches in the press about the attack, then to announce it was a hoax and prove it by showing the punch on YouTube is what this show is about.  The screaming and wailing from people who feel aggrieved but without actually having seen the show is priceless.  They’ve got a whole backs story about someone from The Stage who wrote the play, which I hope is someone just in on the prank and there is no script.

Before we get onto the subject of the victims, I would never suggestion to anyone that has been a victim of any kind of abuse that would feel horribly uncomfortable watching something like this to watch it.  Especially if you were a victim of Savile because no amount of satire and looking philosophically at this “play” would get you past the fact that this is a form of entertainment.  What Savile did was horrible and evil and I simply put this play in the same category as the famous Brass Eye about paedophiles, which was more of an attack on knee jerk reactions and the so called caring press who shamelessly exploit stories like these to sell papers.  It’s hypocritical as it is the very same press that knew about Savile for years and sat on stories that would have implicated him for his crimes.

After the show Dave, his wife Lucy and I talked and talked and talked about it for hours.  For me Ellis and Rose sold the Edinburgh fringe a concept rather than a show and I am of the impression we have seen a new style of comedy that is years ahead of its time.  Imagine someone did a documentary about Chris Morris and they mentioned that when he was 22 he went to the Edinburgh festival and pulled this stunt, you would say, “The man was clearly a genius even back then.”  At the moment I’m probably one of a handful that spotted it straight away.

The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist. And like that, poofHe’s gone.

Jimmy Savile the Punch and Judy Show – Bob’s Bookshop 19:00

About Mike Belgrave

I am Mike Belgrave, stand up comedian. animator, outsider music musicologist, shambolic ukulele player and music video director extraordinaire.
This entry was posted in Edinburgh Festival, Edinburgh Fringe, Edinburgh Fringe 2013, Free festival, Free Fringe, Fringe Blog, mike belgrave, Mike Belgrave's Edinburgh blog. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Uncurated – Outsider Comedy at the Edinburgh Fringe 2013 – Jimmy Savile the Punch and Judy Show

  1. Pingback: Jimmy Savile comedy duo banned from Norwich pub. Now they plan a musical based on a murder maniac rampage… | SO IT GOES - John Fleming's blog

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