Live and Laughing

5 Apr

On Thursday I went to a comedy gig to see the Irish comedian Tommy Tiernan. I have seen him on TV before on programmes like Live at the Apollo so I thought why not?

I was a bit nervous about going because I couldn’t find anyone to come with me. In truth I hadn’t really tried all that hard to find someone. My fears soon subsided when a lady who was also on her own sat down next to me.

The venue was interesting. It was a Volkhaus in the centre of Zurich. Normally when I have been to comedy gigs it has been in a large venue like the MEN arena in Manchester but this place was more like a village hall. There was a little stage and someone had set out the rows of chairs.

The seats were unnumbered (again never seen this at a comedy gig before) so I managed to get a seat at the front. It turns out that I didn’t have to be worried about being picked on because he wasn’t that sort of comedian.

There was a big Irish contingent who came to see your man Tommy. In truth I have never seen so many Irish people in one place before. Well, apart from in Ireland of course.

He mainly talked about James Joyce, the Irish writer who lived and died in Zurich. He pointed out the oxymoron of the chaos rolling around in Joyce’s head compared with the calmness of the city itself. He actually described it as being like an open air psychiatric ward where everyone is sedated because that’s how calm it was.

I have always wanted to read all of Joyce’s books but as Tommy pointed out if you gave a condemned man who was about to start a 99 year sentence a copy of Ulysees he would probably turn to you and say “Oh come on I won’t get through that!” This is definitely on the Bucket List. And if it is anything like his less lengthy books that I read for A-Level, it will be worth it.

He mentioned that he had been to see Joyce’s grave while in Zurich and this is on my list of many things to do while I am still in Switzerland. It does see to be a bit morbid to go and visit someone’s grave. However, when I was in Oxford, I did go to visit the grave of Kenneth Grahame which was in a cementry not far from where I was living at the time. In fact there were quite a few famous people buried there: 19th century theologians and the like. I wondered now if I am a grave spotter.

So all in all it was a great night and I would happily go to a comedy gig on my own again. It relieved a lot of stress from the working week, especially if it someone who is as funny as Mr Tiernan. Laughter must be the best medicine!

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