As part of their diversification of events in recent time St James has featured visits from some top comedians and, added to that, they recently branched out into live podcast recordings with Drunk Women Solving Crime and they’ve not followed that up with a visit from Fingers On Buzzers, hosted by comedian Lucy Porter and The Chase’s Jenny Ryan along with special guest Anneka Rice.
Rice started the night with what was billed as some stand up comedy and, in a sense, was, but really was just her telling us some stories initially based around her TV career on Treasure Hunt and Challenge Anneka and then her life in general.
While it felt like she barely stopped for breath while telling these stories, her instantly likeable presence had the audience hooked and the tales, which included her visit to Guernsey back in 1984 for an episode of Treasure Hunt, headed into the frankly surreal, despite seemingly being all true, as she clearly embraced her own endearing eccentricities while very much backing up her own assertion that she has had a rather weird life.
While not quite having the same delivery style as a traditional stand up comedian she was no less entertaining for it and warmed the crowd up nicely for the podcast in the second half.
To start the second half Lucy Porter and Jenny Ryan introduced the idea of the show, along with the idea of a podcast, before getting things warmed up once more with a look at the Guernsey Press, which was genuinely hilarious, followed by a rather surreal replay of the episode of Treasure Hunt based in Guernsey including an audience member wearing a helicopter swimming cap and running around the hall identifying location based clues.
After that they were joined in stage by Anneka Rice for further conversation about her career that, I think, went in ways no one was expecting thanks to a few choice reminiscences before playing a few quiz type games themselves, but all with a good dose of audience interaction – including one about identifying past winners of ‘Rear Of The Year’ which led to one audience member getting the nickname ‘Bum Man’ for his uncanny ability at identifying people by the posterior (and I’m fascinated on how this will work in the audio only format).
While I wonder if a lot of the content would have made sense to anyone with less knowledge of Anneka Rice’s work, for most it seemed like a great time was had and the audience interaction aspect adding something different from the other comedy shows we’ve seen here in the past and again I hope this string of podcast recording based shows becomes a regular fixture.