Comedy Blossoms at the Shrewsbury Fields Festival.

So, this weekend I hauled ass up to the Shrewsbury Fields festival-more specifically the Sunday Jestival.

Before I talk about the wonderfully funny acts I had the pleasure of seeing, let me first set the scene...it was pretty bizarre! I'm not sure whether it was the time of day (we rolled up around 3pm) and to be honest, I don't really know what I was expecting but I was first hit by how quiet it was. The camp site was desolate, the floor was littered more with rubbish than with people, while the main stage was being packed up in the distance...all this in front of a bleak, grey-sky backdrop. As miserable as I'm making this sound, there was something quite beautiful about it. Poetic almost, like we were officially saying goodbye to the last of our Shrewsbury summer, and what a wonderful way to do so.

After grabbing a lovely haloumi wrap from one of the many food stands on offer, my friend and I made our way to the main tent to grab some seats.

The comedy itself was fab. It was wonderfully opened up by The Dead Poets. If you're not familiar with this duo-then you should be! MC Mixy and Mark Grist cleverly combine poetry with hip-hop testing the boundaries and experimenting with lyrics so bring something completely original and just lovely. I found this act amazingly refreshing and so different to anything else I've ever heard before and I look forward to (hopefully!) seeing more of them.
I urge you to check them out at www.deadpoetry.co.uk.

After a great performance by Lucy Porter, one of my favourite acts of the night graced the stage. Andrew Maxwell. Now, I've never seen this guy before, so I obviously have no point of reference, but I am pretty sure that his performance may not have been quite so brilliant had it not been for a certain heckler. This heckler was relentless! Stood next to the stage and responding to every word Andrew said, it would be easy to get annoyed with them. That was until we, as an audience started to see him warm to her, ever so slightly...which was understandable, she was, after all, a 9 year old girl. These two made for hilarious sparing partners. I only wish I could relay some of his beautiful one-liners. I will refrain for fear of doing the man a disservice. At the end, Andrew graciously handed over the applause to the girl. My applause though, was for him alone.

The final act was head-liner Mark Watson.
What a sweet man! The thing I love about this guy, is that he seems really lovely, and his humour seems to be more built around the subtle nuances of everyday life and his inadequacy's within it. I think though, the biggest laughs came from his attempts at being 'rock 'n' roll'.  From his 'stage-dive' to a ledge on the side of the stage to his attempt to climb over the fence (in order to stand in the audience) the getting stuck. A kindly gentleman from the audience came to his aid and helped him out with a piggy back! Even more hilarious was his attempts at getting back. Now to be honest, I do remember laughing, a lot, but at what? My memory is far overshadowed by my thinking of what a sweet man. I don't think I'll ever tire of watching someone who seems generally lovely and laughing because they're funny-not just looking for cheap laughs.

At the end, I got the feeling that we ought to leave fairly quick. I know it was advertised to finish at 8, but the fact that the festival was well under-way with packing up, I kind of felt a bit unwelcome by the end and that it could have happened after all acts had finished for the night.
I don't know...that'd be my only gripe and even that's being picky. In truth, the day was slightly surreal, but really, really cool.

Mark Watson will be gracing Shrewsbury with his presence once again this November at the Theatre Severn. 
 

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Kerri Jones Kerri Jones
Freelance writer, fashion student and Oxjam Shrewsbury Takeover manager...and a general lover of our fair town of Shrewsbury :)

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