AN ENGLISHMAN, AN AMERICAN & AN INDIAN WALK INTO A BAR | London, Roundhouse

‘Well, I don’t think we need to explain the title,’ quipped Sanjeev Bhaskar as he took his seat at the makeshift bar on stage at the Camden Roundhouse, followed by the evening’s stars Terry Gilliam and Michael Palin. Indeed the words ‘exactly – what – said – on – tin’ spring to mind when summing up this wonderful event.

Two members of the world’s most successful and influential sketch comedy troupe (do I need to actually tell you which one? Let’s just say it rhymes with Bonty Bython) are interviewed about their life and work in a one-off fundraising event in support of the Roundhouse’s youth development projects.

The evening was the fundraising equivalent of a warm hot chocolate and feet by the fire as these two legends of the big and small screen charmed their way through three hours of anecdotes, jokes and industry insights. Palin lived up to his rep as ‘nice’ Python, oozing charisma, garnering applause breaks through the curl of a lip and sending winks and smirks into the crowd like the naughty uncle we thought only existed in nineties kids’ films. Gilliam was more acerbic, as we’ve come to expect from the inimitable director, but held his own and threw out some corking one liners; when asked about his parents he replied ‘Well my father was a carpenter and my mother was a virgin. Ultimately my life didn’t live up to expectations’.

Bhaskar was the perfect host, if not the hero of the evening, showing the genuine reverence and respect for these comedy greats whilst reminding us why Goodness Gracious Me is one of the funniest shows we’ve had on British TV. We were an easy audience to win over, but it’d be hard to leave the evening without feeling like you’d got your money’s worth. And with such a good cause – developing the skills and confidence of 11-25 year olds through creativity in music, media and performance – there was little not to love in a time when bleakness is getting a tad relentless.

All proceeds from the event will go towards the Roundhouse’s work with young people.

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