Bookshop Midnight Mayhem

It’s a rare occasion when the audience is funnier than the performer. Bob’s Bookshop is a space hired by the ‘performer’ not to actually do a show or entertain his audience like you would imagine, but instead is a place for his friends to go at the end of their shows and get drunk or tell crude stories. It was possibly the least funny and least entertaining hour of my life. Perhaps the few other comedian friends of Bob Slayer’s had a good evening, but they could have gone literally anywhere for that hour and it would have the exact same experience. As for the rest of us, it was a horrific and diabolical hour of bad humour, crudity and - I quote one woman upon leaving - a ‘horribly disappointing end to any day’.

I’m unsure what Slayer thinks running a comedy show should be, because that was certainly not one. Lazily slouched in a chair all night, sometimes with his trousers buttoned and sometimes not, he encouraged his audience to pass round the microphone and share their thoughts and stories. Unluckily, not everyone in the room was a comedian and neither were many of them particularly interesting. The highlight of the hour was another comedian making a plastic bag look like a jellyfish, accompanied by a hilarious jellyfish voice (which merited the one-star review, well done jellyfish man).

Perhaps I’m being unfair. Bob Slayer did bless his audience with one of his own jokes, and I’m going to ruin that right here. He tapes a penis to the microphone.

Bob warned his audience-friends at the beginning of the show that he was banned from most Fringe venues, and the only way he could perform this year was to hire his own place. He also mentioned the cost of hiring the venue as well as how expensive his doorman is. He explained these things in the panicked moment he realised half his audience were about to walk out. The frantic scrambling for his donations bucket was a little less than professional and begging isn’t exactly an attractive quality.

Do not waste your valuable Fringe time on such an appalling, crude and lazy show. Unless you’re an acquaintance of Bob himself, it’s absolutely not worth the breath.

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
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Performances

The Blurb

The late night Fringe experience! Weird and wonderful acts jamming, telling stories, drinking, creating hilarious unique happenings in intimate surroundings. Late bar. Hosts Phil Kay, Miss Behave, Bob Slayer present the real Fringe afterparty. ***** (Metro.co.uk). www.pay-what-you-want.info

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