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Blog: An Afternoon Of ARTS

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We do like a bit of CULTURE in our house but with today's giddy go-ahead lifestyle it's sometimes difficult to find the TIME and/or energy to go and experience all that is on offer, even when you live in That London where there is a TONNE of it, there for the taking. THUS this year The Galleries In My Museum suggested that we try and get out roughly every couple of weeks and LOOK AT/ENJOY some of the many and various activities what are available here in our capital city.

And so it was that on Sunday afternoon we found ourselves in The British Museum, looking at an exhibition of French Drawings through the ages. It was a) the last day of the exhibition was on b) just the right size for comfortable viewing (i.e. one big room, so about 45 minutes of Looking) and c) DEAD GOOD. We agreed that it's always amazing to see pictures up close as it's The Actual Paper that was TOUCHED by The Actual Artist, and it was especially so with pencil and chalk drawings like these, which could so very very easily have faded or just been lost. My favourite was a set of 16th century drawings of The French Court, as they looked like real people who had fallen somehow into a Dressing Up Box. There were also some ACE sketches (which seemed to look just like a quick sketch would NOW, as opposed to Formal Pictures which always look dead old fashioned) including some GRATE ones by Toulouse Lautrec, whose work I am otherwise only familiar with from framed posters in downstairs toilets of the 1980s.

With that done we went to have a quick look at The Jericho Skull a 10,000 year old SKULL with plaster on it, which was A Bit Creepy, before heading round to The Museum Of Comedy for some culture of a different kind. Mr J Dredge and Mr A Harland were competing in the first round of "Sketch-Off", a sketch comedy competition. The idea was that there would be seven different acts all doing five minutes of sketches each, and then at the end we'd vote for our favourites. Cunningly they had a voting scheme very similar to the one used when I went to The Sitcom Challenge - everyone got TWO votes, so you could vote for the act you'd come along to see AND then also for the ones you actually like best. This is a GOOD system!

The show itself was surprisingly good - this was the first HEAT so I expected it to be like a Battle Of The Bands i.e. mostly awful. If it had all been STAND-UP I think it probably would have been, but the thing with SKETCHES is that there's always at least TWO people involved, so there's always SOMEBODY beforehand to say "No, that's rubbish, don't do that." Even when THAT failsafe doesn't work then it's only really people MUCKING ABOUT TOGETHER and having fun, which is a very pleasant thing to spend time watching. Not all the acts were my cup of tea, but I LARFED OUT LOUD at least once at nearly all of them. The only bit that didn't really work was at the very start when the compere did that thing where they ask people in the audience what they do for a living, and then completely fail to say ANYTHING FUNNY AT ALL. Stand-up comedians! That bit is ALWAYS TERRIBLE! Stop doing it! Write five minutes more jokes instead and it will be MUCH MUCH BETTER!

John and Andy were GRATE but ALAS did not win. They seemed to be happy with the outcome - if you ignored the whole "competition" aspect then it was basically a VERY enjoyable late afternoon of Sketch Comedy in a slightly odd smelling venue (NB it was in the undercroft of a CHURCH, which made it smell of EDINBURGH!), and who could ask for more than THAT of a cultural event? NOT US, and we strolled back home safe in the knowledge that we had absorbed ART and THEATRE in one highly efficient sweep! Roll on next time!

posted 31/1/2017 by MJ Hibbett

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