Don’t forget to watch the Comedy Prom on BBC2 tonight (9pm) with Tim Minchin, Sue Perkins, Kit and the Widow, The Boy with tape on his face, Beardyman and others…. and watch out for Monica just after the interval, we think she’ll be behind Tim Minchin, on the left of the screen (if they have sense, I should be a little out of frame).
Having been in London overnight, we finished off by seeing the Comedy Prom on Saturday. We were very excited to see Tim Minchin live, and were amazed that we could get tickets (we think this is as the end box is usually used by the BBC, but it was released). This was a very last minute affair for us, we only got our tickets on Thursday.
Susan Bullock puts in a good comedy turn for a soprano, and I was impressed by the musicality of the bit by Danny Driver and Andrew Litton. Sue Perkins conducts at several points, as well as sings. The high spot for me was ‘Beardyman’ – my jaw was hitting the floor when he got into his act. His act is a human beatbox with the aid of recording loops to multitrack himself ‘on the fly’ – it was incredible. Kit and the Widow were excellently snobby and Doc Brown getting the BBC Concert Orchestra to play a rap accompaniment…. ‘Mongrels’ were nice to see, though there were some issues with lip syncing there – I can forgive them that. Mongrels’ style on stage was reminiscent of ‘Stuffed and Unstrung‘, which really should transfer to London by the way. I do hope mongrels gets a second series – it is certainly worthy of one.
The Boy with Tape on his face was an inspired choice for radio, I wonder what the radio listeners made of it. I’m not complaining at all, it worked well in the room (baffled radio listeners should watch on BBC4 to find out why the audience were laughing). At one point, Tim Minchin and the Boy with tape on his face helped with the drumming, of course, the latter was miming the drums.
The piano piece with Sue Perkins, Danny Driver, Kit or the Widow (not sure which) and Tim Minchin at the end was a highlight.
We were amazed to come back after the interval to find Tim Minchin in the next box, we didn’t have a lot of time before the show restarted – so no ‘Hi, Tim!’ or photo I’m afraid. The man was perusing his script and one doesn’t like to be rude, so we left him to it. We did get a few blurry back of head photos, though. We think at least one of us will be on TV when the show is broadcast on BBC4 TV on the 27th August.
The BBC has put a few clips from this prom up on youtube to whet appetites, there’s Tim Minchin singing ‘F-Sharp’
… and the cast of ‘Mongrels’ (a fantastic show) singing ‘Middle Class is Magical‘….
Musician, actor, comedian and rock ‘n’ roll superstar Tim Minchin hosts a Proms first – the Comedy Prom. Tim is joined by Sue Perkins, Susan Bullock (soprano), Danny Driver (piano), Kit and the Widow, Beardyman, The Boy with Tape on his Face, Doc Brown, the Mongrels, the BBC Concert Orchestra, Andrew Litton (Guest conductor) and Jules Buckley (Music Director).
The audio is available on BBC iplayer for the next week or so, but I recommend waiting to see it on TV on the 27th August (and then on iplayer)
xkcd is such a classic webcomic series, I assume that everyone knows of it (and it’s not the first time I’ve referred to it). After all, it has been the answer to a question on ‘University Challenge’. A little thought tells me that this can’t be so – hence this post.
It’s a superbly simple strip that bills itself a ‘webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math and language’. Add in ‘science’ and ‘computing’ and you’ve a superb description (though it doesn’t flow as well). The strip is never going to be to everybody’s taste, and you need quite the range of geeky background knowledge to get all of the strips (if I tell you how many I get, it won’t reflect well on me, either I’ll look ignorant or boastful).
The strip is simply drawn, but it’s the idea of the strip that matters.
Sometimes the strip will just have a social truth:
Sometimes it will make a point about science:
… or just proffer a handy tip.
Each strip is different and unexpected, each is clever, each unabashedly geeky. It’s necessary reading.
The basic premise is that each day, a strip is presented from a different universe, and each week people vote on their favourites. The winner would get a repeat the following week. After a certain number of wins, that universe would get a weekly run over a long period.
The strip about Sciencemaster Adler was voted week after week, beating some (for me) better competiton along the way. Perhaps it was something to do with Adler being presented on voting day, perhaps it was as people wanted to lock him in for the long term, and perhaps people simply preferred him – either way I was sad not to see more of the Redundancy Zones, the Donkeydrome or the Heisenphron orbital.
It seems that the author felt that the rules were distorting things too much, so the rules have now been changed to try and prevent the rules unduly affecting the voting. Now a strip voted week after week will get a continuous week of strips before being retired.
It’s an interesting concept with some suitably geeky humour.
On BBC 4 tonight (TV not radio), at 10:30, Flight of the Conchords season 2 gets underway.
If you’ve never seen the show, give it a go. It’s about two musicians from New Zealand trying to make their way in New York – along with their incompetant manager, Murray. They’re regularly stalked by their fan, Mel.
Of course, I’ve not yet seen season 2 (though it has gone out in the States) – but having seen Season 1, I’m looking forward to it.