The Taproom, Angel, London, 13/10/2019.
I had absolutely no idea what to expect from The Comedy Auction, a currently fortnightly event at The Taproom in Angel where a group of comedians gather to auction off various items. But even if I had tried to predict what might have happened I don’t think I’d have come close to encapsulating the chaotic yet joyful afternoon of comedy which took place as children bid against their parents, and friends against friends, for a selection of rather unusual items.
Tony Law was today’s auctioneer who managed to keep all of the absurdity running effectively, often hyping up the items in a very funny manner, while Alice Fraser and Edward Aczel were on hand as supposed experts to describe the items in depth and make them sound thrilling and exciting, which is a harder task than you might imagine given that among the various auction lots there was a Face from The A-Team action figure, a tiny weird doll, and Sabrina’s Boys on 12″ vinyl. Law, Aczel and Fraser were all on top form introducing the various items however, Aczel’s well known for being an anti-comic but he could also be a great children’s entertainer as he clearly enjoyed interacting with the young audience and being silly with them, yet at the same time often offering deadpan descriptions, while Fraser was great at delivering some very funny acerbic comments about the auction items, and her introductions were equally as strong as Aczel’s.
Part of the fun of the show comes from the way the auction is held as everyone is given a paper plate with a number on it and the ticket price includes 250 auction dollars, with more available to buy if you run out. It’s a gig which has attracted a lot of families and the kids present at today’s performance absolutely loved joining in, and it’s this aspect which often made it so hilarious due to, as Alice Fraser put it, “The small people not knowing the value of the item”, which is why there was a ferocious battle to win a 50p coin, and then an even crazier conflict over a pound coin took place. Also up for grabs today were three copies of the same Marvel comic, a pair of leather trousers that no one wanted, a slightly out of tune guitar and a selection of books and a t-shirt all of which revolved around the name Dave, which I’m sure would have gone for even more than they did if there had been a Dave in the audience.
It’s the kind of format that would work perfectly on tv, as long as the audience was a mixture of all ages like today’s gig was at least, and all of the comedians present would be perfect for the small screen too. It’s certainly something that I look forward to attending again, and bringing my Godchildren along with me too as I know they’d love the silliness of it all (despite being surly teenagers most of the time), as it really is a show for all ages and all types, and my only real complaint is that some bastard outbid me for the Face from The A-Team action figure!