Tonight I was back in Derby at the Bean Caffe (their spelling, not mine) for another NCF show at the Derby Comedy Festival. This time it was Alfie Moore’s new show, entitled: Getting away with murder. I had been eagerly anticipating this show for a couple of reasons. One, my boss, who has a big interest in crime was coming with me (many thanks to Helen and Elliott for keeping a space for him) and two, I like what Moore does. I’ve seen him a couple of times and I’ve listened to his shows on the wireless and he’s always entertaining – his previous routine about the head is a real stand out. Despite having been in the same venue last night at the same time, it still seemed odd to be watching comedy during daylight. When I was a kid, my dad had always made a big point about watching horror films late at night, even if they were on video, as he maintained that horror didn’t work during the day. I don’t think comedy exactly obeys the same rules, but daylight and comedy still doesn’t feel like a natural match.
With the stage decked out like a crime scene, Moore began with some statistics. There is a one in a thousand chance of being murdered in Blighty. These odds seem fairly reassuring; however, Moore quickly punctured any sense that we may live to make investing in a lengthy box set worthwhile by pointing out the odds of Leicester winning the premiership. A very timely reference, indeed. This was followed by a quick search to see if there were any other officers of the law present. This resulted in three coming forwards. An ex policeman, a transport cop and a chap who outed himself as being in Special Branch, which gave Moore plenty of scope to raise laughs. Following this, the format of the night was explained. A murder would be committed by a member of the audience and there was a prize on offer in the shape of a rosette. This entailed a need for volunteers to play a murderer, their victim and a detective. It’s nice when a show is interactive like this, it helps the audience buy into the concept and seems to provide a lively atmosphere.
This framework gave Moore ample scope to include lots of anecdotes and facts that were related to murder. Some of my personal favourites were his account of how he resolved a murder mystery night, a great piece about Henry VIII and his wives, a brilliant true story of his encounter with a less than thoughtful chap who was carrying a huge plasma telly and the difference between American cops and HM Constabulary, when it came to surrendering ownership of an unexplained stiff. All of these were individually great pieces of material and the cumulative effect was very impressive. The laughs were consistent and flowed easily. Moore did refer to his notes a couple of times during his performance, but as this is a new show, this is very much to be expected. Again, as with most new shows, there was a technical hitch with a bit of IT. This occurred during the top 5 murder towns countdown, with the music (At the sign of the swinging cymbal) cutting out at the worst moment. However, the laugh that Moore received to his reaction to this technological treachery was very loud and did make me momentarily wonder if he had stumbled across this by accident and decided to keep it in his set. After the performance had finished, Moore stood by the door, shaking hands and thanking people for coming. This was a very pleasant and human touch and was much appreciated by the audience. This was a lovely show that is something nicely different and I’m rather hoping that he takes it up to Edinburgh.