Absolutely Themeless


Laughing Horse Free Fringe Festival

Online Zoom

27th – 28th Aug, 2021


Grab your friends and loved ones for this stand up hour called the untimely ‘Absolutely Theme less’ introduced by Colin Etches, Rachel Morton and Jaleelah Galbraith as precisely that; theme less. I was online again for this one that had me in tears from the get go. These three met online during the lock down and had never met in person. This was a blessed meeting of comedic entrepreneurs who felt it had turned into a very special relationship.

In a punk rock shaky camera atmosphere a long haired Colin sent his rhapsody at us of humour that reached the very bone. His performance was self revelatory about really gut wrenchingly sad stories about his life ever since he could remember. This introduction was very clever as he could create his own scope of jokes having total control.

His long lists of sufferance had taken his humour on strange and mysterious journeys into his vivid enactment of comedy. With sensory distortions that made him unable to cope with lights and loud noises. A favourite of his was to devour the Bible, dissecting it into a kind of repetitious story telling that has happened over time. So he set the scene for an open field for his new found compatriots to take on.

Well warmed up and in the mood for laughter we were joined by the second performance of the evening the show stealing Rachel came to pass.

Now this girl was funny. She had an air of hilarity in her very expression with eyes that looked so funny as to hurt us with laughter (side split). Did anyone enjoy lock down? She stirringly asked with a touch of secret hilarity, using her methods of ask then receive as in telling us what she went through during it. As with so many chats right now the world compares its achievement during this long period only to state her non productive time of it.

In only 20 min each act was filled to the brim with subject of concern that was also very well paced as to lose none of its potency for their small but tight audience. With the height of wit in her expressions and eye movements (she often laughed with us) she procured a performance of a comedic life time (to be repeated until the end of time).

This three point show was very much a work of all of them together, which set them apart. The comradery of this show came at a time that enhanced the work into something special and worthy of a following. And for the third and final exhibition of humour came Jaleelah.

She started her screen show with a powerful joke about not being able to find her cervix. From which she cleverly sculpted all that followed. What did follow was a high octane cavalcade of personal humour and jokes, made all the more real in a one to one interaction bringing closeness and offering the opportunity for laughter.

As with the others she covered a great many things from random thoughts to sanitary towels to platonic friendship. Jaleelah was charmingly without graces when she mentioned online dating and preferences for jewellery. All said with a great smile and a cutting wit that took care of everything from the most serious to the most strange and insightful things.

The evening was the stories and past times of each actor (stand up) woven together well and came across as a tightly bonded group of acts. All were well established comedians making their 2020 introductions something of a phenomenon. They portrayed their jokes with the gusto of nothing but jokes, with no difficulty and no flaws; just an easy interaction between friends who find things incredibly funny. A group to make you laugh, sympathise and even be aware of. Lets laugh about these things and then laugh some more

Daniel Donnelly


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