It was off to the Southbank Centre last Wednesday (1 May) to catch one of the shows in the Udderbelly Festival season. Southbank Centre run the festival every year, in which a variety of performers from the worlds of comedy and circus lay on an array of entertainment ranging from the comical, to the breathtaking, to the downright bonkers!
I somehow managed to miss the entire festival last year, but was determined to check out the schedule this time round and bowl along for a night of laughter and amusement. And that's exactly what I got with Deborah Frances-White's How To Get Almost Anyone To Want To Sleep With You. And no, er, I didn't go literally for that reason ... of course not. Ahem!
In case you've never heard of Udderbelly, its name is derived from the venue itself; a large tent-like construction designed to resemble a giant purple cow, lying on its back, legs and udder pointing straight upwards! Unfortunately, photography inside was strictly forbidden, but I managed to get this shot of the gardens area outside the venue, which gives you some idea.
Inside it's actually quite basic - banks of seats laid out in theatre style, and the show is performed at floor level. Deborah came out and launched into a very funny stand-up set, which was heavily audience-involved and contained, as the title of the show would suggest, plenty of risque content. I had suspected audience participation in advance and made sure I sat a little bit further back just in case (a tack not always successful, as previous shows I've attended have confirmed!), but in all honesty I'd probably have been perfectly safe anyway, the audience members targeted being young, good looking, and all the right side of 25!
She dealt with one - well, not so much 'heckler', more 'cocky individual' - very skillfully, who didn't seem to know when his contribution to proceedings should have come to an end. A group of girls behind him were even telling him to shut up, but he plowed on until Deborah stopped him in his tracks. His girlfriend sitting next to him appeared suitably embarrassed and it would have been interesting to be a fly on the wall with those two after the show had finished!
As well as bantering with the audience, Deborah even had a number of them up on stage with her. I don't want to give too much away, but if you've ever fantasised about watching grown males battling each other whilst wearing bras ... that's all I'm saying!
It was all over in an hour and Deborah crammed in quite a bit. She's very funny and, sadly, I can't recommend you pop down there to see her, as that was her only date at the festival, but check out her website at the link above to find out where you can catch her next gig.
As for me, I think I'll be heading down for more Udderbelly fun during its run, which ends 14 July. There's lots to come yet. See you next blog!