The Argus: "A journey into the bizarre"
Suited and booted and ready for action, Big Day Out announced their presence by stomping onto the stage with a wild enthusiasm which was reciprocated by the audience. The small auditorium was buzzing as the three men took us on a journey into the bizarre which involved blind gangsters, an overbearing dentist and his neurotic assistant, and a bird puppet who was unhappy - not because he was suffering from bird flu but because his manipulator's hand was permanently stuck up his bottom. There were cultural references to classic TV shows, including Knight Rider, Grange Hill and The Simpsons theme tunes and the Gay Team, who made an emergency wedding cake from toilet roll and sticky tape, announcing they loved it when a flan came together. A melancholy Michael Stipe lived in a world where organic face packs brought him out in hives and the only post he received was from Moby. Other gems included the funeral of Kevin the custard factory worker, who loved everything yellow after he was born with jaundice and met his grisly death falling into a lemon juicer, the gossiping lollipop ladies and the Austins, whose conversations got more bizarre the more drunk they became. The talented trio breathed life into the sketches with their acting and facial expressions, which had the crowd roaring with laughter for the whole hour. Matt Chorley, Lewis Georgeson and Will Kenning also managed to invoke sadness and sympathy with their ridiculously clever performance. Rumour has it the trio will return in October and I will be the first in line for a front row seat. The Argus, Brighton 16/5/07
The Scotsman: A Gem Of A Sketch Show ****
Three bickering telephone terrorists, two unsettling encounters in doctors' surgeries and one exorbitant restaurant bill add up to one gem of a sketch show, tucked away in the Pleasance Hut, which, for your own reference, is located round the back of beyond.
This tight, imaginatively-scripted hour is deftly delivered by the golden comedy compound of a short guy, a tall bloke and a ginger in the middle - which is probably the standard entry requirement for some burlesque acts.
Matt Chorley, William Kenning and Lewis Georgeson, to give them less reductive identities, make an appealing trio. They seem to intuitively respond to one another's cues - or maybe they are just gifted comic actors with a keen attention for detail and spot-on timing, which never wavers, even at the most hectic spots in their set. At one point they use a post-work drinks session as an excuse to cram in a bunch of one-liners and floating punchlines which might otherwise still be looking for a home.
The humour is located slightly left of centre, but is broadly accessible. Silly a cappella versions of the Knight Rider, Grange Hill and Simpsons theme tunes might sound like a lazy way to get a laugh, but, y'know, they were just funny.
Similarly, we've seen the likes of rubbish Welsh life coach Darren Mint portrayed before, but we never tire of laughing at the ineptitude of outright idiots.
Their radio play, with a harassed author, a method actor and an overzealous props man, is riotous. Their sketch about minorities in the workplace is riotous and clever. The extracts from Michael Stipe's diary, portraying him as the ultimate pass-the-beanbake wet lettuce hippy liberal waif, could run and run. The audience would not have objected if they had let it. Big Day Out is the kind of quality sketch show that could flourish on word of mouth alone, but it doesn't hurt to give them a quote for next year's poster. And, after such an impressive debut, there surely will be a next year's poster.
Three Weeks: Wit And Eccentricity ****
It would be difficult for anyone not to warm to the ‘Big Day Out’ trio. The beginning sequence, involving flying shaving foam, a bit of a dance and a man playing jazz on a kettle immediately engages the audience. The sketches are tightly written and all three performers skilfully deliver their characters and ideas with clarity, wit and appropriate eccentricity. There is a radio show with a method actor pirate, a man addicted to dog milk, and a wonderful song about the British institution that is Tim Henman. Special mention to the barbershop versions of Knight Rider and Grange Hill. Not all the material is successful, but the charm of the trio and their incessant playfulness ensures a faithful following.
Three Weeks 17/8/05
Metro: Strong Comic Timing ***
Performing in the Pleasance’s Hut space can be a graveyard for talent in much the same way as the notorious Court Two at Wimbledon.
With audiences crammed into cramped seating in a nasty temporary structure, it requires vibrant, assured performances to lighten the fabricated gloom.
Big Day Out passes the test with flying colours; while some of their material is patchy, this trio of comics have created a sketch show that should win them plenty of admirers. By dint of being very tall and studiously officious, William Kenning should immediately be sworn in as this year’s Fringe player who most resembles John Cleese while Lewis Georgeson deadpans well and Matt Chorley bravely suffers through the indignities of low-budget comedy.
Whether wearing a swimming cap to impersonate Michael Stipe, a blonde wig and a dress as a female diner with a passing resemblance to Harpo Marx or simply being hit in the face with an open tub of butter, Chorley mugs likeably without overplaying.
Some of the sketches lack punchlines, and the climactic skit about a pirate radio play is too manic to hit home.
But the best routines, such as barbershop renditions of the themes for Knight Rider, Dr Who and Grange Hill come over freshly and with strong comic timing.
If they can polish up the sketches, Big Day Out will be offering a trip worth taking.
Eddie Harrison. Metro 8/8/05
Great Start Chaps 30 Aug 2005
reviewer: Dave Fussell, UK
Do you like Butter & the "Tim Henman Song" were quick but masterpieces. Very funny start to my 4 days. When im back next year I'll look u up. 4/5
Do you like butter? 29 Aug 2005
reviewer: Adrian Bannister, United Kingdom
My first ever Fringe Show and what a start! These 3 guys will not stay unknown for long. Some fantastic material (my fave being the buttercup test) which was brilliantly performed. Hope the (inevitable) transfer to a bigger arena next year has no negative effect. Can I hand out your flyers please?! Next step? Has to be a UK tour. 5/5
Excellent 29 Aug 2005
reviewer: Christopher Windmill, Wales
First show I watched and got my tour off to a good start. The three lads work well together and compliment each others style perfectly. 5/5
Watch Out For These Guys 27 Aug 2005
reviewer: Nick Case, UK
Very very slick boys. This was fast, well rehersed, never dragged and was punchy all the way to the end with no low points. Awesome 4/5
You will piss yourself 19 Aug 2005
reviewer: Alex Shepherd, uk
Laughed so much we were sore.Its an absolute must see.No weaknesses at all-pure genius from start to finish. Go to the toilet before the show starts or you will piss yourself. 5/5
Excellent find 19 Aug 2005
reviewer: Julie Gilbert, UK
Saw these guys in the preview week - what a good choice. They cheered our day up and I've recommended them to everyone since ! From Michael Stipe's diary to ethnic minority office politics via an excellent song about the habitual loser that is Tim Henman. These guys are FUNNY, can't wait till next year to see what they come up with. 4/5
Clever and Funny 14 Aug 2005
reviewer: Pelle, Scotland
Three guys in a series of linked sketches. Free rock. Well worth seeing. 4/5
bbc.co.uk: "Set to be a huge smash"
If you're wondering where to visit this summer and fancy the idea of a day trip of unexpected discovery (oo-er!), then why not check out sketch comedy trio Big Day Out.
If their previous work is anything to go by, Big Day Out will be a huge smash!
Western Daily Press: "An excursion into the ridiculous"
At times satirically sublime and at others simply ridiculous but, if the London shows are anything to go by, always hitting the mark
A rapid-fire mix of satire, surrealism and slapstick, the Big Day Out boys obviously have Pythonesque leanings and their latest skit, a well-timed piece of Tim Henman-baiting to music, has received hundreds of hits on their website.
All in all, they promise an excursion into the ridiculous.
Fringe Report: "Extremely funny"
Individual recognition is a sure marker on the road to a boy-band's success, and the lads in Big Day Out may have studied this with care, because they're very easy to tell apart.
Matt Chorley's the short and cute one, with a smile that combines a certain innocence with a hint of worrying mania. William Kenning is very tall, and tonight has a black, saturnine beard. Lewis Georgeson is exactly their average height, with bright red hair.
There's an analogy - in the kind of material, and the way it is performed - to The Trap (FRA 04 - Best Comedy Group). But the individual skills and personal charisma of each of the performers create an own-brand to their comedy.
Most of the sketches work; some are extremely funny.
(c) Fringe Report 2004
Taunton Times: "From the surreal to the sublime"
Ranging from the surreal to the sublime, it has to be said that these guys have wide appeal.
Their act is slick enough to stand tall alongside some of the many "names" that will tread the boards at the Edinburgh Festival next month.
Their Tim Henman song is well performed, well written and most of all funny. They should take pride in constantly selling out whenever they perform in London and go for it in Edinburgh.
He's Having A Laugh
A FORMER Wellington schoolboy is hoping to follow in the footsteps of Monty Python and Little Britain by venturing into the realm of sketch comedy.
Lewis Georgeson, an ex-Court Fields pupil, is heading to the world-famous Edinburgh Festival later this summer with hotly tipped new comic trio Big Day Out.
Along with Matt Chorley, who until last year was news editor at the WWN’s sister paper, the Taunton Times, and actor William Kenning, Lewis will tread the boards at the Edinburgh venue where Graham Norton, the League of Gentlemen and Harry Hill cut their comedy teeth.
The group is now based in London and it seems to have paid off. A reviewer in the capital described the trio’s debut show as “extremely funny” and they have enjoyed a run of sellout shows at the respected Canal Cafe Theatre.
Lewis, aged 26, has been writing storylines for Dream Team, a Sky One soccer soap about the lives and loves of Harchester United.
But in Edinburgh he will be concentrating on the comedy show in which ‘three men of varying sizes guide you on a day trip of unexpected discovery - as much fun as you can pack into an hour’.
Lewis told us: “It’s very silly and we don’t take ourselves too seriously. We just lark about on stage in a show that is light and as fast-paced as possible.” Matt added: “It’s a mix of sketches, songs and comic characters. Think the Two Ronnies, but up-to-date with a bit more swearing and no-one wearing glasses.”
Lewis met Matt when he was working at the now-defunct Taunton TV and the pair hit it off. A joint summer holiday led the two friends to discuss writing comedy, and Lewis knew just the right person to complete the line-up - his university friend William Kenning. The group will perform at Aura in Church Square, Taunton on July 3.
Lewis got his break in media when he joined Taunton TV after completing a broadcasting degree at Leeds University.
He moved to London to work as a runner for a production company, and his talents were soon noticed. While on a writing course at the Soho Theatre, he was head-hunted by Sky to write for Dream Team.
“It’s great fun,” Lewis told the WWN. “I work with five young writers who are all on their first jobs and I get to make up stories for footballers every day.”
The next few months will be practice, practice, practice for Lewis, Matt and Will, as they have not been able to rehearse together for the past month because Will has been on tour with a drama company.
“Sky have been brilliant because they have given me a week off to do our tour,” said Lewis.
“I really hope people come to see us in Taunton. It will be good fun and something a bit different.
“As for Edinburgh, I can’t wait. I’m not nervous yet, probably because I haven’t thought about it too much, but ask me in July and I will probably be terrified.”
And does a full-time career in comedy beckon?
“I certainly wouldn’t say no if an agent approached us, but I’m not going to Edinburgh thinking that because I will only be disappointed,” said Lewis.
Written By Ruth Kelly.
Published: Wellington Weekly News, May 4, 2005
Ex-reporter Plans A Big Day Out At Edinburgh Festival
FORMER Taunton Times news editor Matt Chorley, who left the county town for the bright lights of London last October, will be appearing at the Edinburgh Festival in August.
The 22-year-old is currently working for PA in the city, but also left to concentrate on his comedy sketch group, Big Day Out.
Matt, a former student at Richard Huish College, along with another local lad, Lewis Georgeson have been taking their first steps towards fame and fortune as part of the comedy trio.
The pair met when Lewis was working at the now defunct Taunton TV and the pair hit it off. A joint summer holiday led the two friends to discuss writing comedy, and Lewis knew just the right person to complete the line-up Ð his university mate William Kenning.
Since then the group has enjoyed sold out shows in London, been described as ‘extremely funny’ by a reviewer in the capital and secured an Edinburgh slot at the high profile Pleasance Courtyard Ð a venue where Graham Norton, the League of Gentleman and Harry Hill cut their comedy teeth.
“It’s crazy. We have only been together for 18 months and to suddenly find ourselves performing at Edinburgh is a massive step,” Matt said.
“But it’s been a lot of hard work, a lot of late nights and a few strong arguments over which hat is funniest or who gets to wear a dress.”
Their new show invites ‘three men of varying sizes to guide you on a day trip of as much fun as you can pack into an hour’.
“It’s a mix of sketches, songs and comic characters,” Matt said. “Think the Two Ronnies but up-to-date with a bit more swearing, and no-one wearing glasses.
“The first time Lewis and I did a sketch at a comedy night in London I was terrified - I hadn’t acted since playing third shepherd at primary school. It has got easier, but as soon as a joke doesn’t get a laugh I get that pang of anxiety again - which keeps me on my toes.”
And they better enjoy it - the trio will perform every night at the festival throughout August.
“One bonus is there is only one hour of the day that you can’t get a drink in Edinburgh - so once we’ve done our show for an hour, we’ll be free to chill out, have a few pints and check out the opposition.”
Each year one million tickets are sold at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival Ð and Big Day Out are hoping their show will prove a hit with audiences.
“We work well together as a trio,” said Lewis, who calls Wellington his home. “We are all on the same wavelength but will also say if we think something isn’t funny. You’ve got to be to make the best of the material.”
But before they head over the border, they head west for two special preview shows in Taunton.
“It would be good if as many people who know us as possible had a chance to see what we have been up to,” Lewis said.
So to see two local boys, and their tall mate, try to give Matt Lucas, Paul Whitehouse and Monty Python a run for their money, make a date for July 3 at Aura, Church Square Taunton.
Written by Alyson Stoodley.
Published: Taunton Times, May 5, 2005
Reporter-turned-comedian gets ready for Big Day Out at Edinburgh Festival
Former Taunton Times news editor Matt Chorley, who left the paper for the bright lights of London last October, will be appearing at the Edinburgh Festival in August.
The 22-year-old is now working for the Press Association, but also left Somerset to concentrate on his comedy sketch group, Big Day Out.