The Alternative Comedy Memorial Society (ACMS) 5***** - One4Review
one4review | On 15, Aug 2023
The success of The Alternative Comedy Memorial Society, hosted by Thom tuck and a roster of co-hosts (Alexander Bennett at my showing; fitted right in and did an excellent job) is due in no small part to the following they have carefully cultivated for over a decade, and the atmosphere they’ve meticulously curated. A packed audience of new converts and seasoned connoisseurs were primed to vocally appreciate whatever the twelve-act bill brought to the stage.
Heckling is permitted, but only from the approved list; deviation from this will result in a stern ‘not permitted!’ from a host. It turns into a weird version of Granny’s Underpants, with the audience trying to find the most (in)appropriate thing to say from that limited list. An enthused audience can become a not-insignificant part of the show, setting things up for comedians to riff on and play with, but also making us invested. We’re predisposed to both enjoy and encourage success for whatever happens because we’re part of the show too.
As a forum for trying things that are new, maybe a bit experimental, and which might not work elsewhere, we were provided with a range: from raw material still in development through to extracts from current shows, traditional stand-up to parody, subversion and a bit of surrealism. This extremely strong bill were received with enthusiasm, and acclaimed as a noble failure. An excellent and ethical (they pay their acts!) way to find your next favourite comedian.
Reviewed by Laura
Monkey Barrel 1
Sundays to Wednesdays