Latitude: some closing thoughts
Andrew Mickel19 July 2012
The highlights and lowlights from this year's festival...
Latitude was an absolute ruddy treat as usual this weekend, piling up comedians with music, poetry and 'book folk' in a sunny (not sunny) corner of Suffolk. We've rounded up the highs, middlings and lows of the comedy side of things.
- By a country mile, Pappy's late night ruckus with Russell Kane in the Literature tent. Russell gave an hour-long Q&A and reading from his book; the boys then did their annual 1am drunken showcase afterwards. Pappy's show was excellent, but a good quarter of it was given over to comprehensively taking the mick out of Kane for banging on about getting a degree despite his humble roots; for Live at the Electric; for that sideways/one leg pose thing he does a lot; for giving a not-always-fascinating Q&A that evening; for much much more. Russell's response? He walked up to the stage, picked up their two four-packs of Tuborg and walked out the tent.
- The Twitter fallout: Russell retweeted a fan who said that Pappy's 'were shit', while Pappy's retweeted someone who said they were the c-word(s).
- Musical comedy has a strong home at Latitude: Tim Minchin and Frisky and Mannish both managed to work audiences effectively. It may be the festival effect, but there's something about putting comedy to song that just makes sense when you're sat on grass.
- Other things that work in a festival context: Doctor Brown in the Cabaret tent, haring about between a bemused and hungover audience with pay-attention clowning.
- Actually Cabaret was a consistent draw, with Max and Ivan and Late Night Gimp Fight also proving a great fit (as they have done in the past). Sunday afternoon too, piling up a whole array of sketch acts, was a marvellous hangover remedy.
- Infinite Monkey Cage, which we've gone through with a fine toothcomb over here.
- The sheer size of the Comedy tent means it remains a tricky arena for acts to work, but a lot of acts seemed to get the hang of it this year: straightforward stand-up in particular does well, as with Reginald D Hunter. But audience interaction is a bit of a no-no in such a large arena, as Chris Cox found to his cost.
- And on the Comedy tent point, any acts performing next year: try your best not to be the 36th comedian of the weekend to make jokes that it's weird to perform in front of kids.
- Poor Marcus Brigstocke, who was announced as a last-minute replacement for an absent Greg Davies (presumably someone just went to a box back stage marked 'giant comedians'), only to be confronted with an awful lot of Greg Davies fans making their way to the exit. He made a good fist of it, in fairness, and we're hardly fans.
- The pity we felt for every poor so-and-so who had to compère in the Literature tent. That is one thankless gig.
- Elbow. Which weren't comedy, obviously. But good grief, those guys can put a downer on anything...
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