A reviewer's job can sometimes be a miserable one. You have to stroll into someone else’s creative projects, over-analyse it like you know what the hell you are talking about and potentially crap all over it. However, sometimes you stumble into something special and I’m so happy to say that this was one of those times.
It’s absurd, dirty and damn fun
Goblin and Fiends is a 'work in progress' starring Simone Belshaw and the ‘Fiend’ guest comedian, Jen Ives. In short, they are both fantastic. I wish the venue was a larger room with a bigger audience so they both get the volume of laughs they deserved.
Belshaw is a great mix of sincere and interesting comedy with a sprinkling of surrealness and dark humour. She requests the audience to greet her with a chorus of boos which she welcomes like a late 90s pro wrestler. What follows are blasts of quite personal material in which she keeps you laughing along with her own blend of the weird and wonderful.
Belshaw has a strong set that oozes character and confidence. It’s absurd, dirty and damn fun, and while this sounds like a terrible thing to write about a person, for a comedy routine it is definitely a compliment.
Ives is a much more sardonic and grounded comedian. Armed with an impressive array of self-deprecating jokes about moving back to London to live with family, it would take a real miserable soul not to enjoy it. While it is a work in progress, Ives was sharp at reading the audience and knowing when to switch up the material to keep the laughs coming.
Also, in case you're wondering, this is an ‘audience-safe’ show where no-one needs to quake in their seat for fear of being picked on by the scary person with the microphone.
These were two very funny people who are building some fantastic material and both will only get better. Going to a fresh stand-up show can always seem like a gamble, but if you stake your evening on these two it will be worth it. If you get the chance, try to catch Simone Belshaw around the UK or see Jen Ives solo show OestroJen.