Room for a Laugh: Dangers of a film-going!

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The world of Tom Taylor of Harrogate’s Sitting Room comedy club and finalist in Nando’s New Comedian Of The Year 2014 at Edinburgh Fringe

I have recently become a fan of the cinema, so much so that last month I bought myself a loyalty card. Unfortunately, the following day I was gifted a new wallet with significantly less card holding space than my previous model which, I grant you, was ugly but immensely practical. As such, the loyalty card lives in the ugly wallet on my desk on the understanding that it will be transferred into my dress wallet prior to any trip to the cinema.

Along with my cinema card, the ugly wallet houses a motley bunch including my university halls of residence keycard, an Argos voucher card, a Blockbusters membership card and a Tastecard that my bank sent me as a thank you freebie. As a thank you freebie I obviously assumed it was tat, like the time they sent me a carriage clock which had stopped working in transit. Of course, even a broken clock is right twice a day and these are the times I try and sell my broken clock.

These cards are joined by other inconsequential supporting artists and none of them make an appearance even if they are still relevant, sorry Blockbusters. That said, I recently ate in a restaurant and observed the table next to me utilise their Tastecard and good goodness the thing’s a marvel. It now lives in my coat pocket, primed and ready for action, but I have just been gifted a new coat so I’m concerned the whole rigmarole may start over. Really I should just return to my old wallet.

Anyway, cinema! Whilst at senior school and university my list of films watched at the cinema read: Garfield The Movie, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and The Cabin in the Woods. Aged 12 I was unaware that Bill Murray often accepted thoroughly dreadful films so he could hitch them up onto his back and carry them for 90 minutes. Unaware of this piece of movie trivia, I didn’t enjoy it.

Benjamin Button was undoubtedly an impressive feat of adaptation. I’m currently trying to finish writing a radio sitcom on the understanding that one page of A4 translates into a minute of dialogue. The Buttoners managed to spin out three hours from a short story that lasts a page and a half.

Cabin in the Woods. I was tricked. My ‘friend’ ensured me it was an action adventure film with a couple of intense moments during which I could close my eyes. I watched the first eight minutes then closed my eyes until the house lights came up.

That’s not to say I didn’t get anything from the film. Far from it. My dreams for the rest of that week were all performed against the horrific soundtrack of screams and squelches my ears were subjected to. As much as I would have liked to, I wasn’t bold enough to close my eyes and put my hands over my ears. Furthermore, towards the end of the film, my eye twitched and I accidentally saw a unicorn spear a man through the stomach with his horn.

My editor may or may not include a spoiler warning at the top of this column but, genuinely, if you haven’t seen it I think it’s better you know what you’ll be subjected to.

In fact, for many years, I thought the person in the ticket queue who gives away the ending of the film was the most annoying thing I’d experience at the cinema. Wrong! I am quite tolerant when it comes to noisy popcorn eaters but, as I experienced last week, when the man in front of you starts eating chicken chow mein … with his fingers you start to consider renewing your Netflix subscription.

Sitting Room Comedy Club returns to the St George Hotel, Harrogate on Wednesday, December 10 with a triple headline Christmas special.

This month’s line-up sees TV and Radio 4 regular Jo Caulfield perform alongside the award-winning Stuart Goldsmith, one of America’s most popular comedians Brad Tassell and Sitting Room favourite Phil Ellis. Tickets and more information are available at www.sittingroomcomedy.com.

Tom Taylor tweets at @tomtails.