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Campus Comedy Night

Junction Bar, Waterford RTC, October 18 2000

Campus Comedy: it was a promising lineup that should have meant a top-class night out. Unfortunately though, the show was spoiled by the crowd, the majority of whom had absolutely no interest in listening to the comedians. It appeared that most of them were there not for the comedy, but for the alcohol. Perhaps it was the free pint of Murphy's which was advertised on the flyer which enticed them to the show. They didn't stop at one pint though, that is for sure.

The 'fun' started when compere c took to the stage. Henderson proved to be something of a gentle giant when I saw him on previous occasions in Dublin. Tonight though, he is far from gentle and within minutes of the shows beginning he has stormed off stage in response to a couple of lager heads who thought it would be amusing to shout meaningless abuse at him. Only when the offending louts had been shown the door did Henderson return to the stage in order to introduce the first act, Ian Coppinger.

Coppinger somehow succeeds in keeping his show more or less intact, despite his having to talk over the chattering audience and continually telling them to shush. The few who bother listening are treated to some gems, included with plenty of musings over his height - Coppinger is 5 foot 2 and doesn't like this fact one bit.

Next on stage is Noel Fielding and it is clear from the moment he steps on stage that he is not going to have an easy job performing in front of this audience. All floppy hair, flares and chiseled cheekbones, Fielding is immediately perceived by much of the audience as a weirdo. Add to that the fact that he is English, an issue which certain members of the audience have a problem with. Small minds and big mouths prevail throughout this set and Fielding deals with the audience in the best way possible, by ignoring them. He decided to forget about the comedy altogether, climbed on to the highest table in the Junction and proceeded to recite a babble of half prose/ half poetry about all manner of subjects - rams legs and minions being two recurring ones. This goes on for somewhere approaching thirty minutes, with barely a soul paying any heed to his ramblings. Eventually he leaves his tabletop and returns to the stage, where he proceeds to apologize to anyone who was listening and admits that this is the worst show he has ever done in his life. Believe me it wasn't his fault. With that he ends his non-show and exits stage right, leaving the audience to continue drinking and shouting oblivious.

An unfortunate end to what could have been a great night of comedy, but one that turned into a totally disheartening one.

Niamh Grimes

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