Charlotte Hadfield

First Draft – Scratch Night at the Everyman: A Review

It’s the last Wednesday of the month, you’re suddenly drowning in deadlines and you need a break that doesn’t leave you with the headache of Level Wednesday. Why not spend an evening doing something a little different and head over to First Draft – an evening hosted by Gary Lunt at the end of every month, tucked away in the depths of the Everyman’s basement under a sea of intricate lighting. A night which gives you the opportunity to see the latest work from some of the best creative talent in the city before anyone else. Performances cover anything and everything from stand-up to spoken word, music and mime and much more.

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Last Wednesday First Draft certainly lived up to its expectations, as the audience enjoyed an evening of inspiration, laughter and the borderline bizarre. The host Gary Lunt, co-host of ‘Film Book Club’ and a regular stand-up performer across the UK, didn’t fail to get the audience engaged and ready for a night of words, humour and observation.

Spencer Montague kicked off the night with an ad-lib commentary addressing everything from the pointlessness of pumpkins to a comical account of the idiotic tendencies of human nature. Spencer’s ability to make such detailed, humorous observations through improvisation made me realise how much one word or idea can provoke an insightful train of thought.

Lee Hithersay gave two entertaining performances which actively involved the audience – firstly in character as ‘Terry Arlarse’ and later as artist ‘Jean-Paul’. Out of the two, however, I found the character of Terry easier to engage with as through this intense disposition Lee performed a range of short pieces, the best one being a piece about bus journeys on the 86C.

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Our favourite of the night however definitely had to be Joe Hughes, who cleverly intertwined comedy with music, accompanied by the melody of his ukulele. One of the highlights of Joe’s performance was his rendition of George Formby’s ‘When I’m Cleaning Windows’, which discussed the disasters of ‘Plenty of Fish.com’ and strange swiping occurrences on Tinder. Joe had the audience in stitches throughout his time under the spotlight as he adopted a voice-over for an advertisement for pies; keeping his pieces short, sharp and packed with humour.

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Questions answered by the host of the evening Gary Lunt:

Gary gained a degree in Film at LJMU in 2010 and since then has written for various film websites and is also a regular host of the Discover Tuesday film event at FACT, Liverpool and a cost-host of ‘Film Book Club.’ Film Book Club started out in December 2013 with an aim to share a love of cinema in a fun, informative & contagious manner. It has since expanded to YouTube and written content, along with various live screening/discussion events.

Gary also regularly performs stand-up comedy across the UK, has had several short stories/poems published and he is currently working on his debut comedy EP. We particularly enjoyed Gary’s stand-up piece on the evening about the celebration of Bonfire Night and how strangely this should essentially be perceived in catholic terms.

First Draft used to be at Cabinet for six months before it moved to the Everyman, where Gary also works.

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