REVIEW: Absolutely Themeless | Sounds Proper Comedy | Ft. Rachel Morton Young, Jaleelah Galbraith and Colin Etches

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Comedy, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Reviews

Aug 6/7, 13/14, 20/21, 27/28 | 9pm | Online Scheduled | Get Tickets


Looking for some weekend entertainment but don’t wanna leave the house? Look no further than Absolutely Themeless.

With the help of Sounds Proper Comedy, three comedians with absolutely nothing in common and who have never met in real life come together to provide you with a rip-roaring evening of hilarious entertainment.

It opens up with Rachel Morton Young (coming in live all the way from Holland) discussing all the problems and anecdotes we seem to share that have come about from corona. She does this in a manner that is relatable to everyone who has struggled through this pandemic, like how now one can fit in their jeans anymore.

Second, we see Jaleelah Galbraith who reminisces about the nineties. Particular highlights include Dream Phone, Encanta 95 and Living and Kicking. This is cleverly intertwined with some in your face feminism. Maybe slap bands are the reason millennials like BDSM? It’s weird, it’s wonderful, and it just works!

Wrapping up the evening we find Colin Etches who openly jokes about his neurodiversity but, in his own words, this is not a TED Talk. Listen as he bluntly queries conspiracy theories he heard down the pub on covid, politics and religion. After the mental year we’ve all had it suddenly seems feasible that the royal family are lizards.

Spend your evening laughing yourself silly with this diverse group of comics!


The Arts Business Top Tips:

  • Comedy can be a remarkably isolated industry to work in. Remember most time spent as a comedian is sitting in your house, often on your own, writing material which you hope is funny. Sounds Proper Comedy are helping comedians come together, learn from each other, and know they’re not alone. How can you reach out and create links with your clients and community?
  • Absolutely Themeless used green screen so comedians perform on the same stage graphic created out of the show’s branding. It is a great way both to unify the showcase and give the audience a real feeling that they’re on a night out. Widely accessible and easy to use technology can be used so effectively to amplify your show and brand.
  • It’s the first show I’ve attended on zoom which encourages audience members to keep their mics on. Hearing the crowds laughter definitely invigorated the comedians and encouraged the audience to laugh more (both at the jokes and other peoples hilarious laugh styles). If you’re a comic or your act encourages audience interaction don’t be afraid to give this a try.

Comedy is Art

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Comedy, Funding, Marketing

The ability to make people laugh is a special talent.  Yet, Comedy is often not categorised as an artform.


Comics must stand on their own two feet figuring out this industry for themselves with limited funding and money.  Comedians are on their own acting as every single department in their business, which can often be lonely and isolating.   Generally, comics are not eligible for Arts Council Funding or any other kind of funding for that matter.


Comedy has always been an integral component of the arts, so much so it has grown into a genre entirely of its own.  It dominates the Edinburgh Fringe Festival where theatre shows, cabarets and musicians would rather categorise themselves under comedy as it is often deemed more accessible for wider audiences, but it is still struggling to be recognised as its own creative industry.  But why? It  has after all been ever present in throughout the history of entertainment:

  • The word comedy was invented in Ancient Greece where playwrights like Aristophanes and Euripides used comedy to make political statements to the masse in the Satyr or Satire Plays.
  • The Divine Comedy has long been considered a prominent piece of Italian literature in which comic allegory was is used to poetically discuss the Journey to God
  • Stock characters, responsible for Punch and Judy shows in the UK and still recognisable today derive from the medieval Italian performance art: Commedia dell’arte.
  • William Shakespeare was incredibly famous for this comedy writing as well as his tragedies, many of which are still performed and adapted today all over the world.
  • Music Hall and variety performances often had comics as acts, in fact, these events evolved into today’s Christmas pantomimes!
  • The famous Royal Opera House in Covent Garden was funded by John Gay and the success of ‘The Beggar’s Opera’, a satirical play on the musical genre.
  • Popular Victorian holiday destination Blackpool is famous for the leading comics it has attracted over the past 200 years from Morecambe and Wise to Tommy Cooper.  The crowds didn’t only attend for the beach, they went for the entertainment.
  • Samuel Beckett, still widely performed today, stems from Theatre of the Absurd, which is appreciated as its own comedic genre
  • Nowadays you can’t turn on the telly without watching a rerun of some classic sitcom, watching a weekly panel show or seeing some new stand ups at the Apollo.


When it is so heavily influential to the work we create today and so widely accessible to anyone and everyone in this country (and beyond) how can we make these public funding bodies appreciate the art form and see it as an equal to that of theatre and art.


If you want to start a revolution, then it is about taking small steps.


Think about specialist wording and phrasing that targets your show towards a theatrical, musical or entertainment genre as well as being a comedy.  I met a comedian recently (who I won’t name as it somewhat ruins the surprise of his show) who has received Arts Council Funding for his most recent stand up tour by branching out into character comedy and making it an experimentation in acting and a way to encouraging casting directors to see his show.


So, think outside the box! Is it a new writing work? Tell them! Is it musical comedy? Play up the musical side! Is it pushing the boundaries of comedy?  Explain how it is experimental event which is outside of the box.


I’m not saying lie, you can still call it comedy, just comedy which explores other art forms!  If we can slowly infiltrate the system we can change it!


Viva la revolución!



Let me know if you have ever earned funding for what is inherently a comedy show in the comments below!