Alternative Comedy Memorial Society (ACMS) 4**** - One4Review
one4review | On 21, Aug 2017
ACMS has another new home, and this one is hot, and not allowed to have loud music. So naturally, on the bill were a trumpet player, a saxophonist and a trombonist, and equally naturally, the audience (without a huge amount of encouragement from the stage) made as much harmonious uproar as possible.
Some people had come to this show not really knowing what to expect from a late-night comedy show. Those poor bewildered people did not last beyond the interval. The show is a bit of a cult, but only if you’re willing to join: no-one’s forced to stay. That’s cult in the sense of ‘trying to be a religion but doesn’t have enough people or sensible theology’, not ‘cult-hit’, though it probably is that too.
ACMS is for things that might not work elsewhere. This wasn’t the most experimental, absurd, surrealist or downright silly as it has the potential to be, but it was still an excellent mission statement for championing the alternative: two under-12s training ninjas (actual children), an inventive use for a balaclava in flyering, a lovely film noir, the aforementioned audience music, far too much mentholated heat rub, impromptu contributions from a furling AV screen, and cool James. I particularly enjoyed cool James.
It’s loosely stewarded by John-Luke Roberts and Thom Tuck, who, aside from cutting short an enthusiastic and extended performance of ‘All Night Long’, didn’t need to do too much admin, since the members of this cult seem to have become co-operatively self-managing.
Heroes at Monkey Barrell, 23:50 (not Fri; until 26th)
Reviewed by Laura