Live At The BBC

We had a lovely time at Broadcasting House on Wednesday night. Thom insisted that I should photographise him, so I did!

scotsman review: "exceptional talent"

A lovely four-star review in today's Scotsman crowns the Dreadful's return to Scotland:
Bursting with derring-do, gothic villainy and aristocratic camp, Victorian pulp fiction is ripe for comic pastiche. And sketch troupe The Penny Dreadfuls embrace the genre with enthusiasm. They send up their inspirations with such panache that their spoofing might well sustain an entire career's worth of material.

Imagine Conan Doyle, Dickens and H G Well's prose brought to life as Michael Palin and Terry Jones's Ripping Yarns, because Aeneas Faversham's is a world narrated with arched eyebrow, a candlelit realm of orphans, adventurers, freaks, diabolical laughter and Machiavellian plots. Fresh-faced yet mutton-chopped, macassared and puff-chested in their waistcoats, the youthful ensemble of Jamie Anderson, Humphrey Ker, David Reed, and Thom Tuck have contrived an almost entirely new show since their well-received Fringe run.

Tuck and Reed in particular are blessed with considerable facial tics and scheming expressions, and the cast interact effortlessly, whether as a bellicose Abe Lincoln, irrepressible childhood apparition Don Diego, impeccably mannered English spies or Gilbert and Sullivan's eavesdropping rivals.

The Dreadfuls occasionally appear a little too pleased with their production, but the characterisation is spot-on and it takes exceptional talent to overact with this degree of comic timing and capacity for braying bluster.

Gonna Take A Sentimental Journey

Emotionally, if not exactly factually, it's been one year since Humph drove us all through to the Dreadfuls' first Glasgow Comedy Festival: it was one year ago that I first got my hands on Aeneas Faversham (I remember asking how to pronounce it for the first voiceover intro to the Secret Society sketch.) Sherlock Holmes & the Case of the Improvised Plot and Lost In Time may not have made it out of the Britania Panopticon with all limbs intact, but Faversham's been the trooper that's kept on troopin'.

It's been a strange year, full of the highs and lows of a micro-budgeted sketch comedy show with [technical] ideas above its station. We've played some amazing venues cram-packed with atmosphere and performability, and some with slightly, er, less. A very useful year, seeing what we can get out of the show. Fun times.

This time around Jamie's driving us to Glasgow. Hopefully he'll let me put Les Mis on and we can all have a sing-along like in the good ol' days.

I'm a sentimental old git. They'll be plenty more good ol' days to come, Faver-fans! See you on the road.

You'll Take the High Road, I'll Take the Wide Load

Well, it's all go at Dreadfuls HQ. Work continues apace on our new material. The shows this weekend in Edinburgh and Glasgow will be entirely composed of brand-spanking-new sketches. How exciting is that? Eight!

On Sunday, we make our triumphant (I hope that doesn't jinx it) return to our home crowd what we love so much. It may very well be our last show at Bedlam - so pull your finger out and come on down. If you miss out, then fear not! We are performing at Brel in Glasgow on Monday and Tuesday. I wager that Tuesday will be the bestest show.

Who's coming then?

The Durham Trip, Or To The Frozen North: An Aeneas Faversham Book For Boys (and Robust Girls)

Well, what a super-whizzo weekend. Team Dreadful, minus Idil, went along to the DUCK student comedy fest at the invitation of local humouristes and friends of the show The Durham Revue, to join them on a top bill featuring other noted comedy-types and future stars of stage and screen the Cambridge Footlights as well as triple-threat mega-combo House of Windsor. The whole night was topped off to perfection by the MC skills of Nick Mohamed.
In short an ace-i-o time was had by all, with all parties giving a good account of themselves. We did a mixture of old and new, reviving the "golden oldie" Train Station, and remembering why we found it so funny all those many moons ago. After the show, Jamie, Thom, and Admiral Cheekyboots(Neil) caught the last train back to Edinburgh, missing out on a night of wild excess, the like of which hasn't been seen since the autumn years of the Roman Empire. David and I joined the Durham Revue in hitting the nightspots of Durham like a heavy-calibre artillery shell and left a veritable sea of broken hearts and minds behind us, 'cause we're like that.
Next up, Edinburgh and Glasgow, get set you mothers!

A Second Chance

Thanks to the naturally piratical nature of the internet, or sketch is now on YouTube. Those of you who missed it first time around take note - next time you may not be so lucky!