Sunday, 17 October 2010

Joe Pasquale ESP Extra Sensory Pasquale Review Tunbridge Wells

Joe Pasquale and Raynard Extra Sensory Pasquale Tour

Joe Pasquale
ESP (Extra Sensory Pasquale)Tunbridge Wells, Assembly Hall Theatre
Sunday 17th October 2010

It's been a good few years since we last saw Joe. Not out of choice, but because we usually saw him at the Congress Theatre in Eastbourne.

For those who have enquired why we haven't seen Joe in Eastbourne for quite a while Joe let me know the answer quite jovially and honestly, "Because they haven't booked me!"

He did mention it may be because audiences tend to be older in Eastbourne. Personally I don't think that has too much relevance as Joe used to be one of the few artists who could usually achieve an extremely good size Congress Theatre audience of all ages. Whatever the reason it does seem a shame that anybody who does enjoy Joe's shows has to travel outside a town that does, after all, have 4 theatres of varying size.

Now on to the ESP tour.

For once I'm stuck for words here.... how the heck do you review an act that is as utterly bizarre as Joe Pasquale's is?

There really is nothing to equal the type of humour Joe Pasquale displays on stage. Corny jokes, slapstick, inuendo, a bit of magic, audience mickey taking, making the most uninteresting everyday objects funny, even some painting...... it's all in the show with more besides.

I have to say the size of the Tunbridge Wells audience was somewhat disappointing. Probably between 300 & 400. Those that were attending appeared to be those that had pre-booked. There were very few "walk ins" buying tickets on the evening.

Looking at the average age of those attending even Joe knew why audience levels weren't that great on this Sunday night. He was quick to thank those who had resisted the urge to watch the X-Factor double elimination to go to the theatre to see him instead.

No support act, Joe performs the 1 hour 40 minutes (plus 20 min interval) himself with the help of his mad "twin brother" Raynard on occasions.

Enjoyment wise I thought the second half was hilarious. I won't go into great detail as that will spoil it for those who are still to see this production. However "Raynard" plays a huge part in this part of the show and is extremely funny in performing it. Joe also has some great solo sequences providing classic Pasquale humour and his amazing storytelling/painting sketch.

The first half? Well it was fine but my wife and I agreed that something was missing from this initial part of the show. It just did not have the overwhelming hilarity of the final part. In this section I did however enjoy Joe's unorthadox method of choosing a random audience member and there were many other funny moments.

There was a long drawn-out "magic card trick" that I don't think came across as quite as well as it should have. I also noticed that Joe didn't do as much of his "making everyday objects funny routine" as he used to. Whilst Joe  is one of the best at story-telling with an unforseen ending I think 'fast and furious' humour suits him better. Young and old alike used to love the flitting about from object to object and I think that may be what was missing from this initial part of the show.

However the worst thing by far about this Sunday night show was not under the control of Joe Pasquale and it was not part of his act.

It seemed that Joe, 'Raynard' and the rest of the Tunbridge Wells crowd were all getting more than a bit angry at the constant intervention throughout the show as somebody I can only describe as Some Gobby Cow In Row B.

Joe's act invites audience participation, you expect the odd yell out. But when one irritating woman is allowed to get away with turning mild inuendo into something cruder, to drown out the on-stage dialogue and to generally ruin the show for everybody else something needs to be done.

For the life of me I do not know why the theatre staff said nothing to her. She got louder and louder and interrupted more and more as the show went on.  We were a couple of rows back and I honestly felt like risking getting chucked out myself by saying "Oi you inconsiderate bitch for f... sake shut up some of us are trying to watch this show!"

This was not an acceptable level of heckling and it should have been stopped. Whether that is by common sense prevailing amongst theatre staff or a signal from the performer that it is getting out of hand this should not happen.

Should I have been sitting next to or directly in front or behind this individual I hope the extenuating circumstances would have been taken into account in my defence?

Inconsiderate cow aside this was still a great show from Joe and whilst I still think there was a little something missing from the first half this is still a very funny night out with plently to laugh at.

The final irony is only something you will understand if you have seen this show. We thought it really funny getting back into the car and turning the radio on only to be greeted immediately by Amy Winehouse singing. She will never seem the same again!

Incidentally if you, like us, love Joe Pasquale please consider doing what I have just done and sponsor our squeaky friend for the Virgin London Marathon next year. Raynard (Ray Tizzard also Joe's tour manager) has already run the 26 miles and 2011 will represent Joe's debut. He will be supporting diabetes UK.

For those who have met Joe you will know he never leaves a stage door until everyone has got their autographs and pics - what better way to say thankyou than to sponsor him however big or small the amount?

Sponsor Joe here

 Joe Pasquale ESP 4/5
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