Author Topic: 24hrs in Brighton - Boardgame comedy show  (Read 1609 times)

Offline Decar

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24hrs in Brighton - Boardgame comedy show
« on: May 30, 2016, 11:26:41 AM »
It is a Bank Holiday in the UK today; which means a long weekend!  It was also my birthday; so with the weather being nice we needed an excuse to go somewhere....

Well it just so happens, we did find an excuse to go somewhere....Brighton - if you hadn't guessed from the title of this post.  It turns out, our forum's very own Jame Cook (aka: jazbang [aka: the UK's Current Carcassonne Champion]), is a standup comedian and was featuring at the Brighton Fringe Festival.  His show, titled 'Always Be Rolling', is all about boardgames. We like boardgames and comedy, so that was the excuse we needed to book a hotel, drive to the coast and make the most of the holiday.  Did I mention, his show was free too!

We arrived in Brighton on Sunday around 12pm and James Cook's performance wasn't until 4.45pm - so we had some time to wander 'The Lanes' and take in the sights...mainly over priced boutiques.   I regretfully double-took Alasdair Beckett-King (a literal 'Legendary' Comedian because not much is written about him), in the street and didn't say hello.  I'll come to regret this as I backed his recently completed Kickstarter and he had sketched my wife to appear in the game.

We had time to walk about 2 miles to the only games shop I could ascertain 'might exist' according the boardgamegeek.  "Dice & Saloon" is situated on the 1st floor of a tower-block and boasts a 300sq-foot area.  In Brighton that's probably a lot of space.  The game selection was broad and to be expected; retail prices were good.  The place was busy and there were plenty of people there playing Magic in 6-8 seater booths or bigger wargames on long tables.  This is obviously where most of their market came from.  The staff said 'hello', but we weren't really looking for anything in particular.  They appeared to have a small game library that could be used.  It was definitely worth a quick visit, but there wasn't anything particularly unique for me there.  They had a good selection of GMT games though.

Another place to see is: 'Dave's Comics' - apparently Dave passed away a few years ago, but his shop is still open.  From what I could tell the games market had closed, so it was mainly comics/manga and Pop! Head figures now.

So onto the main attraction - The Comedy Show!  My wife and I had front row seats and everyone was given a 'I think you'll find' card which we could use once during the show to 'interrupt and correct' James's inaccuracies.  The venue was small, but pretty full - I snapped a sneaky photo:

My wife and I are not comedy experts, so I'm not going to analyse the jokes or spoil the show's content for anyone; in case you get the opportunity to see it.  James has spent a very long time carefully crafting his show.  About 2/3rds of the audience were considered boardgamers, but his show is carefully geared to educate the masses, in the short-comings of games, we know from our childhood like 'Snakes & Ladders' and everyone's favourite: 'Monopoly'.  He does a good job at recommending alternative games too.

James is very comfortable dealing with audience members too; including the poor guy who called James out: "Monopoly doesn't mean One Parrot"; the cleverly crafted pun, for the enjoyment of the audience  :(y).  I also got to take part in a Hungry Hippo contest too, using nothing but my mouth to transport marshmallows from a plate to a cup.  Unfortunately, my one-at-a-time approach let me down.....I never did like Hungry Hippos as a child...

Now, I know what you're thinking: Does he mention Carcassonne?  Yes, He even recommends it.  Again I'd hate to spoil the show by telling you under what context.  James is very modest too, he only quickly mentioned that he won last year's UK Expo Carcassonne Tournament and got to go to Essen and lose a few games.  He didn't even draw attention to the fact he beat China - that's like beating 1.4billion people!?

What you really want to know is:  Was it funny?  Yes, My wife and I both laughed throughout and enjoyed the show.  The tempo of the performance was very good, light and good natured.  Given the show was free, my wife and I went in with moderately low expectations of this niche market of comedy, but we were both extremely impressed.  We're looking forward to James's next show & hopefully next time more than donations at the exit.

We stayed for another performance, which didn't strike a chord with us at all; so it's safe to say we caught the good act.

By then, it was early evening and opportunity to walk the famous seafront in Brighton and eat food from a cart.  I'm not sure what the appeal is to be honest - the view is ocean.  It's long, flat and blue and there's not much else to look at, other than the burnt down pavillion.

My final recommendation for Brighton: the 'Ghost Chilli Sausage Roll' from 'Croque' shop.   >:D >:D >:D


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