Phill Jupitus at Goring Hall – A Review


…or Phill Jpts (pronounced the Scottish way) .

Once again the nice folks at Gap Comedy brought a first tier comedian to our cosy, sold out village hall and the startled, but game Gappers were treated to an evening of funny and challenging material. The house was opened, the crowd surged in, drinks in hand, and were treated to the back of a large man wearing a red plaid shirt sitting onstage, and DJ’ing punk hits from a laptop.

Act one was poetry from Porky the Poet, Mr Jupitus’ anarchist alter ego. I loved his concept that William Blake only wrote one poem about tigers because it’s hard to rhyme anything with the word, orange. Porky was once invited to open for Madness (a prominent ska band from Camden Town big in the 70’s & 80’s), which was madness and proved that opening for a band as a poet is a chancy business.

During the interval as I wandered around eavesdropping I was interested to hear that people found Jupitus to be too aggressive. Very reasonable if you find someone who suddenly and aggressively (using naughty words!) attacks hecklers when previously they had been chatting away at more polite vocal levels. And our Gap heckles were pretty lightweight too. But Jupitus’ rules for heckling included; Be clear, Be relevant, and Be funny among other heckle concepts.

Photos of comedian phil jupituss

And if said heckler got a bigger laugh than he did, then they would be brought up on stage to present a tight 5 minutes of comedy. None of us managed funny, so that was a wash, but failing in his guidelines did bring a pile of salty invective upon the hapless heckle hopeful.

Act two was Phill Jupitus as Phill Jupitus, or Jpts as he now lives in Scotland and that’s how the Scottish pronounce his name. He does accents well. He did a very funny riff on the expectation that hotel biscuits in Scotland will always be two Walkers shortbread fingers, and the time is wasn’t. How that devolved into a Mexican accented story about puffins is still a miracle of modern comedy. His final bit was as the father of a lesbian daughter trying to figure out who pays for a lesbian wedding and calling Sandy Toksvig, or Lesbian Google, to find out.

Apparently whoever has the money…

Another excellent evening of comedy. Next up Jo Caulfield on February 8th.

Dorothy Hirsch
GGN Music & Arts Editor

Photography: Simon Kemp




Mark Steel
“Every Little Thing’s Gonna Be Alright”.

Review by Max Kibble

Mark Steel, comedian.A chilly October evening in Goring was the setting for Gap Comedy’s third event this year, with Mark Steel drawing a 200 strong crowd to the village hall for what proved to be the most raucous and lively set to date.

A 30-year veteran of the stand-up circuit, Steel’s roving and energetic set covered politics, divorce, technology and more than a few well drawn (if predictable) lamentations on the state of modern society. His affable and hapless stage persona belied a wide understanding of current affairs, historical perspectives and real affection for the country he’s been touring in an accomplished career covering radio, journalism and television alongside his stand-up.

A few amiable jibes at Didcot and neighbours Streatley drew riotous laughter and applause from the audience, while his entry/ exit music selection exhibited an optimistic theme. For all his keening on the complications of contemporary existence, Steel gave the air of a warm, kind hearted optimist enjoying his time on stage as much as the audience were.

Gap Comedy was very pleased to welcome Angela Barnes and Marlon Davis to Goring on Saturday June 9th 2018 as part of Angela’s ‘Fortitude’ tour. The duo entertained a capacity crowd and won many friends with their individual performances.

In her set Angela managed to weave in a number of themes ranging from the challenges of turning 40, to her interests in de-commissioned nuclear bunkers. She is not afraid of dealing with serious personal issues, including her desire to remain childless, but does so with skill and sensitivity that simultaneously warms an audience to her humour.

Marlon Davis was an excellent support act. Initially he gave off an amiable “cheeky chappie” vibe but very soon the audience worked out that there is more to him than that as he subtly constructed his comments on everyday life.

Goring Steeped in Sin(ha)

by Dorothy Hirsch

Paul Sinha, comedian Gap Comedy brought us another excellent night of comedy by a top comedian. This time we were treated to Paul Sinha talking gently about his life. It was a real treat to hear a gay man just talk about his life. He wasn’t trying to shock or titillate and if anything he revealed himself as a bit of a nerd. Case in point he seems most proud of his quiz team, the Gray Monks, being current champions of the Quiz League of London.

Paul Sinha is best known as Sinnerman, one of the chasers on The Chase, which is probably where many of us first heard of him. Fans got glimpses of life behind the scenes of The Chase with little humorous vignettes of his fellow chasers. For an Asian man who’s a qualified MD, he’s certainly shown courage not to quietly go along with family expectations, but instead pay his dues leaving medicine and making next to nothing on the comedy circuit. His show, called “Shout Out to My Ex” gave us some funny concepts coming from that relationship break up. He’s decided his superpower is turning people straight and suggested his best market would be selling his services to the evangelical community. And my favourite throwaway was that the best dating app out there for middle-aged Asian men was Uber.
The audience clearly warmed to him and engaged in banter throughout the show including when he got himself caught in the middle of Goring v. Streatley civic pride when he misidentified which village George Michael had lived in. He managed to turn a slightly awkward moment into a running gag throughout the rest of the show. The show ended with a lively Q&A session. An unusual way to end a comedy show, but very effective in the hands of Mr. Sinha. We look forward to Gap Comedy’s next offering.

We hosted Simon Evans in February 2017 under the Gap Festival Extra brand. It was a thoroughly enjoyable show and a good time was had by all.

Isy Suttie came to Goring and Streatley in June 2016 for the Gap Festival, touring her show from the 2015 Edinburgh Festival. She gave a great show.

Gap Comedy is proud to be sponsored by West Berkshire Brewery, home of fine award winning ales and craft beers.