It was a humid night, I made my way downstairs to the Cellar at Q Theatre to watch Fools Suffering Gladly, a show featuring Richard Lindesay and Ashton Brown, a show of contrast which displayed both comedians’ styles, Richard, deliverer of one liners and Ashton the story teller.
This contrast was made readily apparent from the start. The show began with an improvised sketch in which they discuss their approaches to performing comedy, serving as a lighthearted argument in which they critique each others styles; intense planning vs spontaneity. Richard in a suit, Ashton in a singlet and shorts, a visual display of how they differed. I enjoyed the level of improvisation, and the pay off at the end was excellent.
Richard Lindesay is someone I’ve seen a number of times around the circuit, and I am a fan. On this night he delivered a barrage of great gags, displaying a high level of wit and wordplay, splitting this up with visual puns, ending on a section entitled ‘advice’, in which he gives advice to sombre jazz music, all of which was very funny. The one liner comedian is a rarity on the New Zealand circuit, and Richard Lindesay has mastered the art.
Ashton Brown started with a dance, which I’m sure made every man in the room question their sexuality and may have impregnated the women in the front row. He then told a series of stories about aspects of his life; sex vs his Christian upbringing, a humorous interaction with a homeless person, his attempts to lose weight, and the true meaning of karma. Ashton’s performance was high energy, sincere, and wonderfully self-deprecating.
I very much enjoyed Fools Suffering Gladly. Ashton and Richard play off each other excellently when it comes time for improvisation and are both masters of their own style. They form a natural pairing, the hippie artist with the man in the suit, the odd couple of fools. I recommend you see Fools Suffering Gladly.
- The pay off at the end of Ashton's 'Karma story'
- Non-stop top level gags from Richard
- The improvised sketch at the beginning (I'm a sucker for meta-humour)
- It was a very hot venue