James Veitch: Game Face

We’ve all been irritated by unfair traffic fines and generic email newsletters. Most of us have been annoyed to the point we’ve considered doing something about it. Perhaps we’ve even typed out a snarky response detailing exactly what we think of the organisation, f-words and all. But that peters out, doesn’t it, after a rational conversation with our partner, or just a calming cup of tea. We’ll delete the sarcasm or abuse, quit out of the email, and forget about it. Until next time, that is.

This has got to be some of the most satisfying stuff of the summer.

James Veitch, cursed by his friends and family for taking jokes too far, wants to make sure there isn’t a next time, not ever. Take Sainsbury’s, for instance. They email James letting him know that they’re opening a store nearby. Pretty innocuous subject matter, you’d think. Not the third time they email with a countdown and an ever-increasing amount of exclamation points. ‘I’ll show them,’ he absolves, and creates an algorithm that involves the automated customer services system in an infinite response cycle. And that’s just the start of his techno-antics.

We move with him through presentation-like defenses: ratio pie charts proving why his haircut should’ve statistically been of better standard than Nige’s, and how he really couldn’t have seen the box junction, even if he’d tried. These hilarious back and forths (text messages and emails) between him and random members of the public reach their dramatic height in the retelling of when Veitch put an advert for a time machine up on Gumtree. His transitions from gag-to-gag could’ve been smoother – nervous chatter about the mic. or reflections on our flat response lurch us out of the larger narrative – but geeky charm manages to carry him through.

Veitch’s comedy lies in showing up of those Brits that just take life too seriously; he spends his stage-time exposing the contradictions that lie in the nitty gritty, so we don’t have to. As he himself tells us: we’ve got better things to do. This has got to be some of the most satisfying stuff of the summer.

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The Blurb

Responsible for the fastest ever TED Talk to reach over two million views in the history of TED, James returns with more geeky comedy about life, love and enabling Bluetooth. A glorious hour of esoteric, anarchic and unashamedly Powerpoint-fuelled comedy from the Independent’s ‘One to watch’. A brave, misguided embrace of a comic persona that many have described as ‘his own’. **** (Sunday Herald). **** (Scotsman). ‘Ingenious… One to watch’ (Independent). ‘Tears-down-the-face funny’ (Sunday Herald). ‘I laughed my ass off’ (New York Times).

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