Marcus Brigstocke & Friends at G Live for TigerTime (11.11.13)

“If nature has made anything more beautiful than a tiger then I do not know what it might be”
-Stephen Fry

There are only 3,200 tigers left in the wild today, a smaller number than those privately owned in the United States for pets and amusement- something must be done about this and fast otherwise the tiger could be wiped out within the next 20 years. The Caspian, Javan and Balinese tiger are all already extinct and Tigers are currently being farmed for their body parts in countries including China, Thailand, Vietnam and Laos.

And so, fresh from his critically acclaimed tour The Brig Society and the Edinburgh Fringe, Marcus Brigstocke made his debut on the G Live stage last night with guest comedy artists Joel Dommett, Zoe Lyons, Richard Herring and Simon Evans. This fundraising event was all in aid of local charity TigerTime with all proceeds from the door, collections and gift shop going to the charity. It must also be commended that the comedians themselves were also playing for free in an attempt to make the evening more profitable for TigerTime.

TigerTime is a campaign of the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation (DSWF) based in Shalford which is an adaptable and flexible, non-bureaucratic organisation which responds promptly to conservation threats. The DSWF supports trusted, reputable individuals and organisations operating in the field as well as a range of innovative, vital and far-reaching projects throughout Africa and Asia, achieving real results for wildlife survival.

The TigerTime campaign specifically funds key tiger projects in Russia, India and Thailand where there are three key threats to the tiger which are all induced by humans; loss of habitat, poaching and hunting. The charity supports vital anti-poaching patrols, undercover investigations, educational programmes and monitors activities central to the survival of the tiger in the wild, all so that this beautiful beast can sustain its numbers.

Vicky Flynn, a spokeswoman from the DSWF had this to say about the event, “It was a fabulous evening with some great acts all giving their time and enthusiasm for free. We were thrilled with the public response and the strong message about tiger conservation we were able to get out in such a light-hearted way.”

A hard hitting topic was obviously lightened by the comic element on the evening as a packed out G Live turned up to see a feast of British comedy, knowing their hard-earned pounds were going to a good cause. Marcus Brigstocke was first on stage to introduce the event, talk about why we were all there and to compere the night’s proceedings. Marcus did a wonderful job of keeping the night running smoothly, even when final act Simon Evans arrived a little later than expected and he had to produce some filler material on the spot. On top of this he treated the audience to a plethora of anecdotes and accents (some better than others), as well as running and hugging an audience member whose birthday it was and plugging the event at the right moments.

First of the support acts was young and relatively unknown comedian Joel Dommett who many of the audience would not have heard of before the show, but will certainly remember afterwards. Joel set the bar very high with a few funny stories before playing over the speakers a rap song that he had recorded in his younger years. He stopped the tape several times whilst outwardly cringing at his work with his camp mannerisms and lamenting his own lyrics and voice whilst stringing the audience along well.

Zoe Lyons completed the first half of the show with her typical energy, sarcasm and scepticism, talking through her philosophy of being much happier in her 40s not having to try and get a buzz from extreme sports, simply a slip in the bath tub will get her heart racing fast enough. The interval was followed by the classically brash and adult-themed Richard Herring who spent the majority of his slot explaining how a romantic gesture of giving his wife Ferrero Rocher for Valentine’s day was going to eventually bankrupt him. He explained that giving her twice the amount of chocolates as the previous year would enable her to complete a life-long dream of building a pyramid out of them, but had not taken into consideration the exponential power of a mathematical number sequence that doubles in value infinitely.

The final act was Simon Evans, a 48-year-old British comedian who talked about his life in Hove and how much his kids are a strain on his life- suggesting they were lovely really, but why did they have to live with him? Unfortunately Simon arrived a tad late which cut his set short and meant that he wasn’t in his usual stand up attire of a suit, but this did not detract from his humour and he still had the crowd laughing, especially at the casually racist Welsh jokes he led with. Simon finished the night off with this simple, poignant and beautiful thought which drew to an end a great night of fun and fundraising and is something that we should all consider…

“I found it difficult enough recently telling my twelve year old daughter that the tooth fairy didn’t exist, I can’t imagine what it would be like having to do the same with tigers”

If you would like to find out more about the TigerTime campaign, fundraising and donations then please go to the website HERE. Watch this space for another TigerTime event hosted by Marcus Brigstocke in 2014!

James Martin