I saw the show Set List at the Fringe on the 27th August. And here’s what I thought…
We discovered that to enter and exit the room there were two options, crawling through a fireplace that had been knocked through, or wedging ourselves down a narrow passageway of stone steps. Either way it was dark, dirty and there was an abandoned claw foot bathtub in the middle of the bar. After we finally gained entry we all sat at the very front and I leant out to place my hands on the wall, giving a squeak of shock as the wall came off in my hands and water ran down over the hole. Pools of standing water sat where electrical cables for mics and speakers lay and there were only three lights at the very back of the room which resembled police searchlights blasting onto the stage, making everything else invisible.
It was awesome.
And so the comedians one by one trotted up and did their thing. For those of you who haven’t seen Set List it is the most intimate show known to man. It’s like sitting on the comic’s shoulder and watching the cogs of their brain turn as they try and grapple with the ridiculous titles given to them. All 5 comincs that night shone, nobody bailed out or lost. Some struggled at first but found their direction pretty quickly. Each cominc also approached his set differently; Rick Overton linked every title together, Russell Kane went too fast and danced across the stage, Craig Campbell picked each as he went and linked the final one to the first, Scott Capurro took each as they came and started a new set, and Greg Proops, who was last, and did a Set List doubler. owned it. He used a mix of scenes and stand up, jumping from one topic to the other seamlessly as if he had been preparing all week for this. He didn’t even take his 15 seconds to prepare and look at the list, something all the other comedians did regardless of what they did with the material. The show is revolutionary and unique, it gives real insight into the comedians as well as huge laughs. The audience want the comic to win, to succeed, and even if they don’t it’s hysterical. Greg Proops is clearly the master of this game, he took it as easy as could be, even taking time out in the middle to make fun of Paul Provenza and have a make up hug onstage, and then another time out to insult the venue with his scathing tongue, which we all loved.
I still haven’t got the ominous gunk from the floor of the Caves off my coat yet.