Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Podcast Recording

In January & February I'll be doing this...
The Skinny called the last show: "One of the most thrilling comedy experiences available in Scotland"
One4Review said it was a "must see monthly event"...
...and The Scotsman said "it's a brave and interesting Petri dish of comedy, out of which comes some intriguing creations and ideas"

... Ooh, get us! We're Arty.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Findhorn Review - December 2011

Cruelty...of a kind (Northern Scot review)

There was no mercy for those sitting in the front row at Jo Caulfield's comedy gig in the Universal Hall, Findhorn, last Saturday. The comedienne makes short work of probing her audience as a source for some hilarious banter.

Born in Wales to Irish parents, and raised in the Midlands, Jo cut her teeth as a comedienne while waitressing in London in her early twenties. After winning an open-mic comedy competition, she set up her own comedy club in a pub in Hampstead, north London, and spent five years learning to work a live audience. During this time she developed the hallmark fluency that she uses to ad lib through much of her set, blending her own material with anecdotal asides drawn from the room.
Since then, Jo has toured nationally and internationally, doing gigs in the US, across Europe and Asia, as well as several UK tours, including appearances at the Edinburgh Fringe and London's biggest comedy clubs.

She has worked for the BBC as a warm-up act for programmes such as 'Have I Got News For You', and as a comedy writer on many shows. She has received considerable critical acclaim, including being likened to her own inspiration, Joan Rivers.
Known for her acerbic humour, Jo Caulfield is democratic with her comedy, shining the light on her nearest and dearest as well as working the audience. In this show, 'Cruel to be Kind', she covered things that anger or annoy her, from irritating girlfriends to self-scan checkouts. She also collects pet peeves from her audience during the show to add more grist to the comedy mill.
With her wicked grin and a twinkle in the eye, Jo Caulfield makes an entertaining tour-guide around the absurd frustrations of modern society. After seeing this show, you may never view your world in quite the same way again.

Published 09/12/2011

Original review HERE

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

The Skinny review of The Comedy Collective...

What the Hell is going on at...Jo Caulfield's Comedy Collective?


Comedians and comedy audiences can sometimes grow weary of each other. If you're a regular comedy-goer, you'll find your patience wearing thin with hearing acts that are fundamentally the same, over and over again. So thanks be to Jo Caulfield for riding to the rescue and providing something a bit different with monthly night the Comedy Collective.

Caulfield provides ballast to the proceedings, bringing a bit of that's-her-off-the-telly glamour and warming the crowd up nicely with her considerable MCing skills. She also carefully reminds everyone that tonight is about the audience taking a risk as much as the comedians. Some bits might be shit, but we should keep faith with the spirit of the show. She's really good at this, making the audience feel less like customers and more like conspirators, sitting in a dingy basment and plotting a comedy revolution.

The acts are a nicely chosen selection of reliable pros and enthusiastic up-and-comers. The normal pecking order is abandoned and in tonight's performance we get to see two collaborations between comedians at different levels of experience: Vladimir McTavish and Gareth Waugh line up as Edinburgh's worst improv duo, while JoJo Sutherland appears in a sketch as Eleanor Morton's mum. Further permutations include Keara Murphy doing a lecture-style piece co-written by Spencer Adair, while established duo Jay Lafferty and Dee Custance get to collaborate with some penguin costumes (available in Asda, according to Caulifeld).

The highlight of these experiments is a new panel show called The Good, The Bad & The Ugly, with Keir McAllister, Graeme Thomas and Richard Melvin. The format owes a little to Dave's Argumentalseries, but like all panel shows it's really the chemistry of the performers that matters, and these three really click. This section is set to take on a life of its own with a series of six podcast recordings scheduled for the start of next year.

There's a unique atmosphere at this gig. Some bits, understandably, don't work very well, but the audience get behind every act, and the comedians seem to thrive on the positivity. Tonight, we're rewarded for our good spirits with an appearance by improv masters Stu & Garry who do a Newsnight-style review of the preceding acts. If Caulfield is the foundation of the Comedy Collective, Stu & Garry are the dollop of cream on top. They're agonisingly funny and the perfect ending to one of the most thrilling comedy experiences available in Scotland.

Original review HERE