Fit for Inspection: The Government Inspector

So, lovely followers and readers, I have a request of you: Come and see this show.

Flyer Government Inspector

Flyer Government Inspector

Towards the end of the Camden Fringe a new theatre company is putting on a few performances of The Government Inspector by Nikolai Gogol. This brave new company is called Yet Another Theatre Company.  Let me tell you a bit about them.

These highly talented and very loud (that isn’t a joke, they are loud) actors and artists have just graduated from London Metropolitan University’s Performing Arts programme. They are in fact the final graduates of what has been a very successful and highly respected course. Their final piece whilst studying was The Government Inspector which received great reviews, one of which you can read here by Everything Theatre.

So they’ve decided to form their own company in the harsh world of performance art to keep their talents where they should be, on stage and not in a call centre. Of course with the cuts that ravaged the fomer University course and the current economic climate, they are entirely funded by themselves and by crowd funding. So if you want to feel a little better about yourself and support some of the most talented people I know, you can give them a little monetary support here.

Rehearsals One

Rehearsals One

 

The show is a hilarious slapstick romp about a sleepy backwater Russian town during the reign of the Tsar. The corrupt and frankly gullible townsfolk get wind that an inspector is on his way to pass judgement on the town and the people who run it. Except, they get the wrong guy. Hi-jinks ensue and this comedy of errors will leave you laughing merrily away after watching.

Now, I’ve been very privileged in being able to help support this group throughout their university course wherever I can because (as a performer and former student myself) I believe that in our time of recession and austerity, the best things that we can all live by, love and enjoy, come from the arts and these guys and girls are frankly great. We need to support new theatre wherever we can and however we can. I am honored that I’ve been asked to help the production in a technical capacity and I’m happily donating my time to do it, although the person in charge of the budget insists on giving me money which I won’t take, as I honestly believe it’s better spent on the show rather than getting me a sandwich.

Which is where YOU come in. COME AND SEE THE SHOW! It honestly is fantastic. I’ve seen it three times, the friends who saw it a few months ago also enjoyed it and now it’s going to be out there for everyone to see. You have no excuse for missing a very funny, exciting, camp, loud and enjoyable show.

Rehearsing

Rehearsing

You can see The Government Inspector by Yet Another Theatre Company at the Hen & Chickens Theatre in Highbury from the 20th-24th August. It’s right outside the Highbury and Islington tube station on the Victoria Line. You can buy tickets from TicketWeb here.

Follow Yet Another Theatre Company on twitter: @YetAnotherTco

Comedy Voice: Version One

It is really important as a new comedian to find your voice. Of course, if you were writing my twitter profile, that would be burgeoning comedian, not new. Let me just point out the description of that word, as provided by google.

Verb
1. Begin to grow or increase rapidly; flourish: “manufacturers are keen to cash in on the burgeoning demand”.
2. Put forth young shoots; bud.

To start with, I’m not sure I’m particularly happy with being referred to as a potential performance career choice as a flower. Not only that but more of a Stuart Hall style flower in the case of number 2. (Those of you who got that joke probably just sucked your teeth like you’re a mechanic giving the bad news on a 16 year old cars’ MOT.)

I do tell bad jokes, and occasionally, controversial jokes. It’s my thing, it’s what I’ve been brought up and practiced in. But very rarely do I do it on stage. Probably because I’m a tad scared. However, point number 1 says that I need to grow rapidly in order to refer to myself this way.

So, next time I’m on stage, I’ll introduce myself thusly:
‘Hi, I’m Sean Cleaver and I’m classed as a burgeoning comedian. Which means I will begin to grow or increase rapidly. So don’t panic, if that happens then it is just a fear erection. However if I move on to the second meaning, “Put Forth Young Shoots” then this is a fair warning to anyone in the front row. If you heckle me, it’s bukkake time.’

Which, if that joke goes out before our PM David Cameron bans all pornography online, most of you will understand. Which brings me on to porn.

This week David Cameron expressed a wish to violate some probable human rights by denying us, the people, access to the more seedier and disturbing parts of the internet. Without first putting in an awkward telephone call to our internet provider saying that it’s for research purposes only.

Of course what Cameron doesn’t realise is that his “hug a hoodie” mantra is going to be like Captain Kirk fighting a Gorn lizard monster once he denies the hoodies option to masturbate into a calm frenzy, working off the several cans of taurine laced beverages he’d consumed that morning between McDonalds breakfasts.

Of course the one upshot of this is that maybe, just maybe, facebook might be forced to ban or block the several thousand inappropriate images that mothers keep putting up on their timelines of children, and therefore mine. Not only ridding me of a personal annoyance, but also the acknowledgement of the personal burgeoning’s of the aforementioned hoodie.

So my voice, I tend to feel after a few gigs and writing cast offs, is one of social commentary, satire and occasional penis jokes. Which, in the least phallic way possible, I’m happy to be rising to the occasion for.

More soon… That’s the writing I’m talking about, not anything else.

Asking for the “sexy” vote. Chortle Student Comedy Award

Last week, I competed in the Chortle Student Comedy Award. Thank you to everyone who came, it was great fun. Unfortunately I didn’t win but that’s not where the story ends…
This week, I get the opportunity to progress through to the semi-final with a little help from you. Please visit the link below and vote for me (Sean Cleaver) in the second London Heat. Here’s a little clip so you know what you’re voting for!

Vote for SEAN CLEAVER in the Chortle Student Comedy Award People’s Vote!

 

You’re all sexy. Please spread the word, because you know how this internet begging thing works by now.

 

Sean

The Pope’s Pink Slip

*Telephone rings*

Pope: Hello. Pope speaking?

God: Hey Pope, it’s God. Sorry to call, I would have emailed but the snow’s knocked out our internet.

Pope: Oh hey, God! What’s up?

God: Listen, I don’t know how to say this but we’re letting you go.

Pope: Oh. Really? Ok. Why?

God: Well, the economy sucks and we’ve suffered. All the cutbacks and savings we need to keep this red wine stuff flowing. And, honestly, this has been a big  PR disaster with you in charge. Sorry man but we’ve got to let you go.

Pope: Fine, but you can’t fire me. I quit!

*Hangs up phone*

Satan: Damn… So close.

The Five Point Guide For Being My Facebook Friend

I felt a bit reticent over creating a post about facebook. I thought it might seem, although I’ve been at it for a while now, that I’m joining the “facebook is dead” and “anti facebook” bandwagons. So I’ve changed my tack a bit on broaching this subject. For some background, I left this particular social network, by choice, for a month. I came back after I lost my phone and the need for any kind of social discourse forced me to reactivate it. It’s amazing in this time of email and ease of communication that you might as well be a hermit in a cave if you don’t have facebook, a mobile phone or both. I personally am a complete twitter convert. So the first thing I did was to attach my twitter account to my timeline, limiting the amount of time I’d need to be on it. But alas, I got drawn in and had to comment on things and like some stuff and I felt as dirty as Hugh Grant must have after getting caught.

But my hatred is still there and the constant feeding my hatred gets is on facebook every day, in fact, every few hours. The thing is even though we all discuss it in private and hate it; everyone still does the same thing. Which made me wonder if my generation skipped this annoying trait of social networking indulgence and just learnt what to do, as every other generation seems born with the ability to generally annoy me more than Jo Whiley does – which is a lot. So I thought it might be best, instead of ranting and just generally venting, to create a small five-point guide for beginners on facebook, especially those befriending me. Consider it if you will as an informal pamphlet on facebook etiquette.

1) Don’t like your own statuses.

This may sound incredibly silly. But, simply put, if you like your own status then you are either really stupid or a completely egocentric garish amoeba. You don’t talk to your friends and say “I’d like some pizza” followed by “Yeah I’m awesome, I like this.” So don’t say it on facebook.

2) Be careful what you get tagged in.

One of the most annoying things is when you get automatically tagged in a picture that shows how many people have visited your profile or what love heart you are. Or more recently what Game of Thrones House you belong to. If you have that much time to waste on these pathetic additions to the timeline then you really need to recheck your life, go to a library and get a book, or simply get out of bed and go for a walk. They aren’t entertaining and they certainly aren’t entertaining me.

3) If you have a problem with someone, keep it to yourself.

Ok so this is probably the hardest one out of all of them. I’m certainly guilty of it. But if something’s wrong with your relationship with friends, family, ex’s, whatever, then keep it to yourself. Firstly, I honestly don’t give a toss if you’re getting annoyed, unless it directly affects our friendship or me. Secondly, don’t follow it up with “I can’t say” or “text/call me” as then you are as big of a twat as the person who was annoying you. Don’t bring your shit into the public domain if you haven’t got the balls to actually mention it. If you’re trying to send a “message” to the dickhead that’s annoying you then try calling him/her and tell them yourself.

4) Speling and gramma

It may shock you to know that 100% of the people on facebook in the UK have either been in education or are in education. If you really have trouble spelling words correctly or using correct punctuation without a character limit, then you should really spend the time you are on facebook over at the BBC’s GCSE Bitesize website to give you a reminder. Unless that is you are intentionally mocking or trying to be funny. In which case stay on facebook and don’t come back into the real world. We did those jokes years ago and they aren’t funny anymore. Slang I will allow as long as it fits the character of the person saying it. For example, I can’t see my status being updated in a language only Snoop Dogg could create or understand. Speaking of which, don’t quote TV people’s catch phrases. People used to do that in public in pubs before and they really were the worst type of fool.

5) Pictures of you. Not your family album

I’ll be honest, when I get married or a have long term partner, I fully expect my parents to pull out the “long lost” baby pictures album to show me at my worst/most naked. I do not expect my parents to jump onto the nearest computer and log in to facebook to show them my baby pictures. The fact that baby pictures exist on facebook in abundance is already well mocked. But consider for a moment the effect this will have on your child. In a completely made up survey conducted by a completely made up agency, because you’ve put your baby and child’s pictures on facebook and haven’t checked your privacy settings, over 1 million completely made up paedophiles have found your child’s picture on a google search and bashed out some completely made up semen. What if your child grew up knowing these completely made up facts?

Ok so that’s a bit extreme and sometimes it’s fine for a family picture or to show that you’ve just had a child, or if they’ve done something really funny (like the youtube videos have). Otherwise, please don’t. I am willing to bet that you have somewhere a physical photograph of a family member (parent or grandparent). Imagine if your child doesn’t have this, doesn’t have the physical connection to that person with an actual photo that they can frame, show off, hold in times of need, talk to and look for inspiration or guidance. Imagine instead that you log on to facebook and can only mouse click backwards and forwards away from it. To me, I think that’s rather sad.

There are probably a lot more things that will eventually annoy me and that I will scorn facebooks’ millions of users for. But until I work them out or they become blatantly obvious, just stick to these points and we can be friends… Virtually, of course.