I Don’t Really Understand Surrealist Comedy: Swansea Fringe Giant Seagull Comedy Hour

By Rory James

My relationship with comedy has always been a bit strange to say the least. That’s not to say that I don’t like it. Far from it in fact: being the mad lad I am, I used to listen to the Radio 4 ‘Comedy Club’ every night as a child, which has left me with a reasonable understanding of the inner machinations of the comedic process as well as a distinct lack of friends. However, the variety of comedy provided by the Giant Seagull Comedy Hour left me a bit bemused, and slightly frightened to boot.

That doesn’t mean that it was bad; in fact, many a laugh was had in the dimly lit restaurant of the Swansea Grand hotel, and the acts were all fantastic in their own way. The first act was a gentleman by the name of Alex Perkes, whose appearance and act was very reminiscent of a younger Milton Jones. The slow, methodical delivery, coupled with the mix of jokes and anti-jokes was quite amusing. Next up came Ali Hancock, whose act was far less joke-centred, and more about a journey through ‘the fictional world’. That’s not to say that there weren’t any jokes; indeed, the fish-based puns were really quite funny, and I could totally ‘sea’ where she was coming from (am I funny yet?). Next up was Sean Knox, the introverted barman whose act was far more traditional and familiar to me in terms of his delivery and comedy, and I enjoyed the way that everything came together. Then came Lorna Prichard, whose anecdotes about family group chats, cat-children and competitive masturbation raised many questions, and left me both chuckling and scratching my head. And finally, John Collins, who walked onto the stage with some difficulty, due to the beanie on his face, and his act seemed to proceed in the same, strange vein, discussing sex, drugs and office work, whilst being very communicative with the audience in the process.

Sean Knox

So, what did I think overall? While I don’t think that it was a bad night out, and I did find a good amount of it very funny and enjoyable, I did leave feeling slightly disappointed. I think this is almost entirely my fault however, as I am simply not familiar with the surrealist comedic genre, and so I personally felt that a lot of the jokes went on a bit longer and more in-depth than they really needed to. However, the rest of the audience loved it, and they laughed and applauded raucously, which confirms to me that my disappointment is simply just down to my own dumb ass. Comedy is subjective, and despite my tendency to be a miserable git, this should absolutely not discourage you from checking out all of the comedic talent detailed here. All that remains is to say thank you to the Swansea Fringe team for making this night possible, and for the awesome weekend of entertainment!

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