On Saturday evening, I went to Josie Long's Splendid Evening, a night of comedy at the Southbank Centre. It was quite entertaining. Long I can take or leave; for all her fuzzy-jumpered indiekid enthusiasm (one gets the impressions that she spends her time between gigs knitting in libraries with Camera Obscura and MJ Hibbett on her iPod), she tends to labour jokes for a bit too long before letting them go.
The other comedians were mostly quite good; Arnab Chanda, the American-accented son of British expatriates, was quite entertaining (at one point, he recounted taking part in a school play of "The Sound Of Music" at the international school in Saudi Arabia, with the Von Trapp children being played by a multiethnic, international cast: "'Why do the Nazis want to kill us?' Have you looked in the mirror?") Luke Roberts spent most of his set going through the first two rows of the crowd, insulting people from a set of index cards (memorable insults included "People like you the way students like the Wombles. (pause) Ironically.", "If you were a book, the reviews on your back would be suspiciously short and full of ellipses", and "You're slightly nicer than Jeremy Clarkson."). The highlight was probably Irish comic David O'Doherty, whose routine deftly weaved through a wealth of material, all of it funny. (At one point, he talked about the things people do which, a few decades later, are revealed to be killers, and speculated what this generation's hidden killer could be; one candidate was Sudoku.)