Lewis Schaffer is Free until Famous, £5

Lewis Schaffer states that although he normally occupies rooms on one of the free fringes during August, for his 2015 run he’s charging folk a fiver. He thinks that performing for free is better as audiences have lower expectations, but he’ll aim to give us all £5 worth of entertainment anyway.

Those of us lucky enough to get a seat spend most of the show laughing hard.

He delivers on a range of familiar comic subjects, from his marriage breakdown to his disappointment at not yet becoming famous. We hear stories of failure - his unsuccessful move to London from New York, the breakup with his English wife, and so on.

Schaffer is an honest but highly flawed person who is confused about the world around him. Unable to reason as most do and being so used to abject failure, his only response to any modicum of success is to reach for the self-destruct button. So, the biggest laughs during Free Until Famous, £5 don’t come from any of any of his jokes, but rather his attempts at self-sabotage when people start laughing. He ties himself up in verbal knots and the results are hilarious.

He discusses the fact that he might be gay, for example. While it’s fair to say that Schaffer won’t be running any workshops on sexuality very soon, his chaotic high energy rants and statements, continually qualified and contradicted, had my stomach aching with laughter.

The room is at capacity with several people apparently being turned away. Those of us lucky enough to get a seat spend most of the show laughing hard. Schaffer has refined being unsuccessful in to an art form and so he’s bound to remedy this unexpected success somehow. I can’t wait to see how he fucks up next.


Broadway Baby Radio interview with Lewis Schaffer

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The Blurb

Legendary failure now charges £5. 'Truly unpredictable comedy that is grimly compelling if occasionally painfully unwatchable. Sometimes Andy Kaufman with jokes, sometimes Andy Kaufman without jokes' (Bruce Dessau, BeyondTheJoke.co.uk). '...described as a comic...Schaffer has apparently chosen to do everything in his power not to be funny, which is often funny in itself but mostly just plain awkward' (Edinburgh.FringeGuru.com). 'One year I will go to every one of Schaffer’s shows and document the journey' (Copstick, Scotsman).