Eat Sleep Shit Shag

Thu 2nd – Fri 24th August 2018

reviews

Melissa Tutesigensi

at 09:34 on 10th Aug 2018

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Abbie Murphy’s stand-up show, ‘Eat Sleep Shit Shag’ is a celebration of the minutia. It is a show that elevates the everyday experiences, as Murphy tells the story of her life from her youth, to becoming a showgirl, to becoming a comedian and all the moments in between. It is a step into her world, her musings and observations that are guaranteed to have you cracking a smile.

The brilliance of Murphy’s show is that it brings out the funny truth in the banal. Her stories that, on some surface and at one glance would have just been ordinary, are brought to life with her sharp observation. What could have been a stream of forgettable incidents were transformed. Like any good observational comedy, Murphy made the effort to dig deep for the humour. There is a certain sense of the ‘if you don’t laugh you’ll cry’ element to her punchlines that's relatable to us all. In this way, this is a show that is for everybody, as we all have anecdotes and have had moments that, told with a Murphy charm, would make a group of people cackle.

Murphy’s show is at the Laughing Horse @ City Café, just off the Mile. Enter into the City Café, pass the bar and make your descent to the basement floor and there you will arrive at the square boxed room. No frills, no trimmings, just a few benches and an intermittently working microphone. And it was the worn out technical equipment, the hand drawn sign on the door, the close proximity and closeted nature of the venue that suited the show so well. Murphy used all of it to her strength. She wasn’t delivering a show, she was talking to and with the audience allowing the natural ebbs and flows to take hold and fold into the overall performance as if it were planned and had always been a necessary ingredient. In that warm, underground, full to capacity room, her stories were all that was needed.

Where Murphy let herself down was in the nature of some of the jokes. Someone or something is often the butt of a joke in comedy but, on a couple of occasions, she relied on over-worn stereotypes and settled on basic gags that fell flat. It begs the question as to whether such a joke should really have been made when another could have done. A slight sense of carelessness punctured the otherwise carefully selected and well observed remarks. You don’t always have to offend someone to be funny.

However, comedy is in the ear of the beholder so I implore you to go and hear for yourself. It’s free – you have nothing to lose.

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India Greenland

at 09:55 on 10th Aug 2018

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Abbie Murphy’s free comedy show ‘Eat Sleep Shit Shag’ was fast paced and fun, just as the title suggests. It felt very ‘classic fringe’, being just one woman and her microphone entertaining a small, packed, overheating dark room. Topics covered in the fifty minutes of reasonably unstructured and spontaneous seeming stand-up included Murphy’s anecdotal experiences as a show girl on a cruise ship, what it was like as a professional dancer in Bollywood, and the realities of getting older in a fast moving world.

Barely five feet tall but in an outrageous, colourful and glittering feather headdress almost as tall as her, Murphy filled the room with her big personality and Essex accent. The atmosphere was good and I could tell the show was going to be enjoyable when she instructed the audience to sing Frank Sinatra’s ‘New York, New York’ to start the performance off. Other than this, there was very little audience interaction, but the small, intimate location and Murphy’s engaging performance made the atmosphere seem almost friendly. At moments, whether this is a good thing or not, it felt more like hearing stories from your very amusing friend than attending a hilarious comedy show.

Murphy delivered in her own particular style, talking about the silliest things in a deadpan and serious way, which was successful. She dealt with any microphone or technological problems with quick wit and definitely showed that she has a natural talent and flair for comedy. However, some of the digressions were not wholly successful and there were a couple of moments that simply weren’t that funny. Perhaps it’s commendable that Murphy didn’t exaggerate, but some of the stories she told (such as some stupid questions she was asked on the cruise ship) would not have leaped out at me as perfect for a stand up comedy show. However, Murphy’s excellent delivery meant the less funny moments were not disastrous.

While the performance was not jaw-achingly hilarious from start to finish, Murphy had plenty of energy and enough character and charisma to make the show an overall success. The funny stories, original observations and self-deprecating jokes were relatable and amusing. However, they were not necessarily clever and, at some points, I found it a little juvenile or basic.

Overall, it’s impressive for a free fringe comedy. While not unique or an absolute ‘must- see’, you’ll leave this show with a smile, and it's great fun.

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