Manchester Comedy Festival: Boddingtons Dream Tent, Manchester, 1993
Live at Jongleurs: Jongleurs, Camden Town, London, 1995
Jeff Green: Royal Exchange, Manchester, 1997
Jeff Green: The Lowry, Manchester, 1998
Jeff Green Live: Lyric Theatre, London, 2003
Jeff Green: Personal: Gilded Balloon, Edinburgh, 2006
Jeff Green: Lifeache: Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh, 2008
Jeff Green: Happiness: Gilded Balloon, Edinburgh, 2015
I have always loved Jeff Green’s comedy act. I have seen him live a number of times since the 1990s and I have always thoroughly enjoyed his carefully structured, bite-size, accurate observations which feature jokes, rhymes and hilarious insights from a comedy craftsman.
I first saw Green perform on a double bill with Lee Evans at the Manchester Comedy Festival in 1993. The venue was the Boddington’s Dream Tent (a lot like an Edinburgh or Brighton Fringe venue) on the grounds of Granada Television. Evans was as ever manic and the contrast of Green’s laid back, easy going set was perfect.
I next saw Green in London in 1995 with a friend who laughed so hard at his routines he was crying. I had never seen him laugh this hard before ever and, although I was laughing too, I was amazed just how good Green was on stage. A few years later in 1998, Green was playing bigger theatres and I went with a friend to see him at the newly opened Lowry Centre in Manchester. Green was brilliant that night and deservedly had two encores. I was concerned about leaving because as I was living in Crewe I wanted to get back to my flat. My friend kindly offered me a lift back to Manchester Piccadilly after the show but I declined. Instead I decided to catch the last tram which was delayed. When I got to the train station the last train had gone and I had to sleep on Piccadilly Station until 3.30am when the first train to Crewe all of twenty minutes away, departed.
When Green played the Assembly Rooms at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2008, he had trouble with a bee on set. The insect kept interrupting him and although the buzzing was annoying, his way of dealing with the intruder was produced some classic frustrating comedy. At the end of his set, the bee decided to leave. In 2015, Green returned to the Fringe to help celebrate thirty years of the Gilded Balloon venue and despite having a very difficult, half empty audience, he was on top form giving advice to the crowd. For the last few years Cheshire born Green has been based in Australia so I really hope he plays live in the UK again soon.
One of my absolute favourites who I have grown up with, Green is one of the greats of pure, continuous laugh-out loud comedy and to spend time in this man’s company is a genuine pleasure.