MATT FORDE

Matt Forde: Get The Political Party Started: Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh, 2015
Matt Forde: A Show Hastily Rewritten In Light of Recent Events… Again! The Old Firestation, Carlisle, 2017
Always Be Comedy (3 shows): The Tommyfield pub, Kennington, London, 2017
Unspun with Matt Forde (TV recording): ITV Studios, Southbank, London, 2018
Always Be Comedy (2 shows): The Tommyfield pub, Kennington, London, 2018
Always Be Comedy: The Tommyfield pub, Kennington, London, 2019
Matt Forde’s Political Party Podcast: Gilded Balloon Teviot, Edinburgh, 2019
Matt Forde: Brexit Pursued by A Bear: Soho Theatre, London, 2020
Always Be Comedy Online (2 shows): Online: 2020
Always Be Comedy Online: An Evening with Matt Forde: Online: 2020
Just The Tonic Working From Home – Good Riddance 2020 New Year’s Eve Special: Online: 2020 

Unison is the largest UK trade union in the United Kingdom with almost 1.4 million members. The union was formed in 1993 when three public sector trade unions, the National and Local Government Officers Association (NALGO of which my dad was president in 1984), the National Union of Public Employees and the Confederation of Health Service Employees merged. My dad’s legacy was that he defended the cause of working people, the vulnerable and unemployed. His pledge to the trades union movement enthused a new group of campaigners which ultimately helped the formation of UNISON in 1993.,  When I was growing up and if had a question about the political system in Britain, I remember my dad would answer it plainly, simply and honestly.  This is currently also a trait with Matt Forde.

 Matt Forde is a very intelligent satirist who whenever I have seen live on stage delivers hugely inspired political comedy.  He creates bizarre comparisons to emphasise ridiculous situations with the state of the country.  With ease, he deals of awkward political figures – Donald Trump, Nigel Farage, Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn to name a few and is hilarious and unique.  His impersonations are cleverly accurate and the subjects are widely ridiculed.

My 50th birthday was celebrated at Always Be Comedy in 2017 and Forde was on the bill.  Because it was my birthday, I became part of the show and Forde delivered a blisteringly funny set that night to an encouraging crowd.  Everyone I talked to that night told me how much they had enjoyed his act.

I also saw Forde again in 2017 perform A Show Hastily Rewritten in Light of Recent Events… Again! at The Old Fire Station in my home city of Carlisle. It is fair to say that apart from myself and my friends taking up the front row, the rest of the audience that night was difficult.  Forde soldiered on with what I thought was a very funny set and laughed loudly at him but the rest of the crowd either challenged him or did not like political comedy in which case they shouldn’t have been there.  I thought he was superb that night answering sensibly yet wittily the audience’s comments.  When I saw him again at Always Be Comedy a few weeks later he thanked me so much for being so animated in the Carlisle crowd.

I attended a TV recording of Unspun with Matt Forde at the ITV Studios in London in March 2018. I had not been to the studios in a long time – I used to go every Thursday to watch many television recordings of comedy or chat shows and it was great to back. One of the stewards even remembered me! I was in good company too with amazing warm-up man, James Gill effortlessly preparing the audience for the show.   The show itself featured sketches, jokes, guests and reaction to the latest news. Forde also had a house band called MP4 which, as the name suggests, was made up of Members of Parliament.

I saw Forde again in July 2018 performing an Edinburgh preview at Always Be Comedy.  What I love about his act is that he simply tries to make sense of all the current political confusion in the world which results in mockery for all world leaders and political parties.  Thrown into the mix is accurate observational impersonations, Forde gave a tight, ridiculously funny and up to the minute view of the state of the nation.  

Forde also appeared as a special guest at the Always Be Comedy Christmas Charity show in December 2018.  He was a big hit with the audience providing pin-point political impersonations and he appeared again in July 2019 for his new Edinburgh preview show where his Brexit analysis and state of US politics was honest, extremely well researched and hilarious with extremely accurate and impersonations of amongst others, Boris Johnson and Donald Trump.  

 In August 2019, I watched Matt Forde interview Kazia Dugdale for his Political Party Podcast at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.  Dugdale, the Leader of the Scottish Labour Party from 2015 to 2017 made a great guest and was lively, entertaining and informative.

In January 2020, I went to the Soho Theatre in London to watch Forde in his show Brexit Pursued by A Bear.  Every side of the political range was as ever lampooned and featured superb impressions of UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and US President Donald Trump and well as a basic who’s who of leading governmental figures.  Forde was consistent entertaining and very funny ridiculing the confused state of present-day British politics.

In April 2020, Always Be Comedy Online was launched.  The show was forced to go on-line because of the global threat of Coronavirus, and everybody had to stay isolated.  Nottingham Forest fan Forde was due to appear in the first show and he phoned MC James Gill live online to say he wasn’t going to do the show! Luckily Gill had got ‘actual’ Donald Trump to step in. It was clearly the ‘real’ Trump as he had all the Nottingham Forest stuff on the Whitehall Oval Office wall!  Three weeks later at another Online show, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressed the nation (looking remarkably like Forde) with a hysterical inspired speech.

In October 2020, an evening was dedicated to the comedian, impressionist, and political satirist to feature his new book Politically Homeless. The audience were treated to a broad range of celebrity packed impressions together with wonderful stories from Forde’s political career as a Labour party worker.  The impressive thing for me was how easily relatable Forde was at easily explaining the cracked world of politics using humour.  The online show overran and the two-hour interview with James Gill was pure joy and exceptionally funny.

Forde also appeared as Boris Johnson and Donald Trump for the Just Tonic Working From Home – Good Riddance 2020 New Year’s Eve Special that I watched in December 2020.

Forde is a wonderful satirist and an exceptionally talented comic performer.

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