An afternoon gig in a residential care home for the elderly you say?
“Well, why not!”
I find that life is a lot more interesting if you just say ‘yes’ when you get odd requests or opportunities. You never know what will happen, who you will meet, and what it might lead to. Thus I found myself on the bill this afternoon at Gracewell Care home with a lovely bunch of local(ish) comedians.
Alex Farrow brought a whole bunch of much needed energy (and a silver jacket) to what was, in many ways, a challenging room. He judged what was needed brilliantly, not even missing a beat when some crowd work was slightly thwarted by the recipient turning out to be deaf.
Conor McReyolds, Sam Michael, Ed Pownell, Toni Kent and I all had a crack at generating some laughter and fun. Warm and funny work from everyone.
Spoken word type gags were light on reaction, so after finding even ‘bankers’ were not flying I did some laughter work with the crowd. I taught them a smile response chant, then set up a visual continuum from giggle to guffaw, and got them to join in with the type of laughter as I enacted it. Some great smiles, and some lovely laughs.
Hilariously though when I said, “Well, that’s it from me!” there was a fantastic heckle from an old boy on the back row who shouted, “You haven’t done anything yet!” Brilliant.
With a twinkle in my eye I was able to point out that my job was to make them laugh, that they had laughed …. and I had therefore done my job!
Definitely brilliant to bring play, laughter and fun to a Care home. I’m unsure whether in this instance ‘comedy’ was the best way to bill what was brought, or to deliver what was needed. Hard to evaluate though so I could be entirely wrong. All the comedians experimented creatively and found ways to engender participation, be it; Song, ‘call n response’, poetry, magic or in my case laughter yoga.
(Toni Kent also blogged her musings on the gig here)