To monetize podcasts many content producers have opted to tour what are essentially live recordings of their ‘casts. This is, in part, because they do not have the flexibility or particular set of talents required to perform live and there is a great temptation to be paid for merely recording a live chat whilst hundreds are in attendance. Despite the temptation to invite the fans into a live space to experience their personas up close, Sam Delaney and Andy Dawson have been touring a well-written and at times exceedingly humorous series of podcast memes and new ideas.
The already colourful and detailed sketches and caricatures are made more ridiculous and enjoyable as Sam and Andy deploy rudimentary costumes and prop work like students on the Free Fringe. The impersonations evoke the lunacy of Vic & Bob and their depiction of Roy Keane seems to come straight from Big Night Out. For those paying attention the political satire of Chris Morris is evident and Delaney is no stranger to stunts and political trolling having knighted Nigel Farage on his ill-fated Russia Today talk show.
Whilst neither would claim to be live performers they are veteran contributors of various projects, and Dawson in particular has weaponized Twitter for years with satirical barbs and trolling of the great and the good. Over the past year they have developed a comfortable stage persona and are a convincing double act which is most evident during their fantasy interviews and phone calls. The unerring showbiz guise Delaney adopts emphasises the proximity he has to these sorts of personas for years as a freelance journo and brief sojourn as Heat editor.
Dawson’s stage presence has obviously benefited from his proximity to Bob Mortimer and the subsequent tour the pair undertook for his other podcast Athletico Mince, but tonight he more than matches the natural exuberance and strangely amusing bravado of Delaney as they open the gig with a bizarrely committed rendition of Walk the Dinosaur. Next on the agenda are Roy Keane (too weird to explain), Mike Ashley (a pseudo-ultra capitalist pig in a balaclava suggesting increasingly ludicrous business ideas), George Lucas (a cockney film-maker who made ‘Space Film?’ to fund his wive’s move to Lloret del Mar), and Geoff Capes (a pastiche of the by-gone era when being strong and lifting things was noteworthy and a skill to envy.
This performance was preceded by an ill-fated appearance by Delaney on This Morning where he unwisely baited the ‘pretend doctors’ of the pharmaceutical industry. This was a Twitter meltdown which could have been avoided if Delaney’s comic work was more widely known and on the basis of this show both he and Dawson have the ability to make it so.