Eddie Izzard, nudity and mime-offs – welcome to Pull the Other One
It's the sort of night that makes other comedy clubs look staid. Pull the Other One is something of a south-east London institution since launching in 2008, putting on monthly comedy cabaret nights with a spirit of the adventure and variety. They're colourful, fun, and get some pretty big names in as well ...
Martin Soan and wife Vivienne launched Pull the Other One in 2008 in Nunhead's Ivy House before moving to nearby Tenant's Hall. It now resides at the Half Moon pub in Herne Hill, on the second Friday of each month. Martin is best known for being part of The Greatest Show On Legs with dearly departed alternative comedy talisman Malcolm Hardee
Last month, PTOO pulled of its biggest coup to date by having Eddie Izzard perform
Izzard was on stage as one of the Stephen Frost (right) Impro Allstars
Martin and Eddie gigged together in the late 80s and early 90s, particularly at the Screaming Blue Murder in west London. Both won Time Out comedy awards in 1991 and the next year appeared in Face magazine alongside Jack Dee in an article on "Britain's new comedy"
Of Eddie's surprise appearance, Martin says: "When Eddie's schedule allows I'm sure he will come back if I can squeeze him in. All these famous people I know will have to wait their turn though as I have rather a lot of very funny emerging talent to promote (and I do mean that seriously)."
On to some of PTOO's more semi-regular guests – here's Geordie mentalist Holly Burn
Simon Munnery lets rip
Martin back onstage
Here's old-school Jewish character Sol Bernstein
Confrontational clown and LiF favourite Dr Brown. Martin adds: "The spirit [of the old days] does still exist outside my gig – have a look at the work of Oram and Meeten, Simon Munnery, Andrew Bailey, The Short Man With Long Socks, Holly Burn, Ant Smith, The Mitten Skippers, Matthew Robbins, Ivan steward, George Keeler etc.
"A lot of stand-up comedy fulfills the expectations of TV-orientated audiences rather than firing their imaginations with the outlandish peculiar and the downright odd, as well as brilliant jokes. All this you can experience at a typical PTOO gig."
A dragged-up Martin backstage at the Tenant's Hall with "Edwardian animal impersonator" Vincent Figgins
PTOO co-founder Vivienne Soan as Pierrette Socobaz, with Dr Brown behind just minding his own business
Another PTOO regular, Charmian Hughes
Pre-bout psyching out before an England v France mime-off
Martin backstage with Stewart Lee at a one-off PTOO gig in Hastings
Says Martin: "I have been around for a long time and still have the spirit that inspired us all. When celebrities come down to our club it's because it's like 'the old days' – exciting, experimental and not very well paid!"
Backstage at PTOO's Herne Hill show, with the lowest of low-key stand-ups Normal Lovett, formerly of Red Dwarf
And here's the not unterrifying Miss Behave
Another guest headliner on the PTOO CV, Jo Brand