Amusical is the newest comedy/music show that you absolutely have to go and see. The brainchild of comedians Jayde Adams and Kiri Pritchard Mclean, and producer, musician and performer Dave Cribb, it’s a raucous night out where comedians poo their pants and you’ll wet yours.
What’s this night all about then you lot?
Dave: It’s basically comedians fulfilling their lifelong dreams of performing on a West End stage, just without the West End stage…for now. We get a handful of great comedians in a room full of fans of comedy and musicals, then watch as they absolutely brick themselves for an hour or two beforehand because they’re so massively out of their comfort zone. Then they each sing a song of their choice to compete for the audience’s love (nothing new for them there) and the winner gets to perform their ultimate encore song. Plus, we give them £200 to donate to a charity of their choice.
Kiri: I think for me it’s about trying. I think there’s a joy in not always being amazing at everything- I imagine, I’m pretty badass at most things- but trying your best. That’s all we ask from the people performing and the audience. They just try their hardest to make this a fun night, and it is.
Jayde: I found out I could sing like I can (I normally sing the opening number) when I was 26 and ironing to Time To Say Goodbye and my friend Clayton said “that sounds good”. I didn’t want to get another job at a call centre so started singing more and more. Thus bringing me to the idea and belief that anyone can sing. I like it that we take some of the country’s most confident people and we make them totally insecure. It gives the show a frisson I’ve not seen in other formats like this. Also the show is about me and my many niche costume changes.
What was the highlight of the last one?
Dave: For me it was Joel Dommet and his mate Steve rapping Guns and Ships from Hamilton. I’m obsessed with Hamilton, as is Kiri – in fact I’m pretty sure the day we discovered we were both uber Hamilton nerds was the same day we came up with the idea for this show. The band spent loads of time rehearsing that one just because we enjoyed it so much. I spent about an hour finding one very specific sound effect that lasted about half a second, but I was thrilled.
Kiri: It’s a toss up (no pun intended) between Joel Dommet of I’m A Celebrity, and w*nking fame, singing Hamilton with his best mate Steve Dunn. They had put so much into it and the crowd loved them for it. But I was also a big fan of the whole room singing Les Mis with their eyes closed whilst marching. It’s a show that makes you forget you have work the next day.
Jayde: Uh guys… I dressed up as Ursula the Sea Witch last time. I painted myself purple and tied bin bags to myself… Joel f**cking Dommett and his mate? My ass.
Where did you all meet?
Dave: Oddly I met Kiri because I was producing her radio show – worth a plug here? Gein’s Family Giftshop on BBC Radio Wales – series three is coming this autumn, good to get that in. We’ve worked on loads of radio stuff together over the last few years. I met Jayde for the first time on the night of the first Amusical. Could have been a disaster. Luckily wasn’t.
Kiri: I met Jayde at a fanny gig (all female) and I loved her straight away, as soon as I got over being threatened by how funny she was. As Dave just mentioned, he produced the radio shows we’ve made for the BBC, and he also threatened to spend a £100 on Chinese food just for himself when we went to dinner, so I’ve been a big fan since then.
Jayde: It was never going to be a disaster. Where the hell is my Chinese food?
Do you steal each others jokes?
Dave: I’m more about notes than jokes in this context. I have been known to steal the odd notes from our guitar player, mind. He hogs all the C sharps.
Kiri: Never. Jayde and I are funny in different ways so it’s super fun being on stage, no trampling goes on. And Dave is more a music guy but he’s not beyond slamming me on stage when I forget to reintroduce the band back on stage, which I do, every time.
Jayde: Kiri seems to just know instinctively how an audience will laugh and is in cahoots with me about making that happen. She doesn’t get jealous if it’s me who has the punchline and I don’t with her. I’m the dickhead of the group. The George Dawes of the show, if you will. Dave on the other hand, well… I wouldn’t trust him with a barge pole. (I would, he’s brilliant I’m trying to be funny here.) We all have our roles and are very comfortable in them.
How do you attract such big names and then only charge a fiver?
Dave: I reckon the biggest secret here is that we barely have to try when it comes to booking acts. Pretty much everyone we’ve spoken to has jumped on the idea with such enthusiasm that they’re disappointed when they learn they can only do one song. I reckon most of them would happily do a whole show on their own, doing all the different songs.
Kiri: The circuit is full of lovely people who just want to do something low pressure and fun in front of nice people, and this is exactly what we’re giving them. Also, who the hell is going to turn down getting sing their favourite musical theatre song with a live band?
Jayde: Boobs. The comedians mainly come for the boobs. Boobs and the live band we have behind us. You can’t have a successful show without boobs and a band. Fact.
Are you off around the country with it?
Dave: If you’re paying.
Kiri: Well, I hope so. It’s an expensive old show though so let’s see. I have an expensive sequin habit to keep up.
Jayde: Don’t you mean the world? But before all that we are doing our next show on July 17th at Backyard Comedy Club in East London and then at The Pleasance Grand (750 seater!) in Edinburgh on August 23rd. We’re all well excited.