It can often be found that the success of a stand up comic originates from an ability to manipulate language in order to convey incredibly specific meaning. This skill is particularly evident in the sketches of this month’s Comedian of the Month, Joseph Morpurgo. Morpurgo is articulate and expressive in his storytelling in such a way that characters are given a great sense of depth. Pair that with a knack for physical dramatism and extravagance and you get what could be deemed a multi-layered, new style of slapstick comedy.
While researching this intriguing performer, it was a delight to discover an improvisational comedy group named Austentatious, of which Morpurgo is a co-creator and member. This discovery led me to become more excited about a comedy group than I ever have before; if you search for their trailer online you will see why. In fact, a lot of Joseph Morpurgo’s professional credits come with an element of improvisation, with him working with other comedy groups as well as teaching improv all over the country.
Is it any surprise that Joseph Morpurgo leads this year’s group of Chortle nominees? Probably not. With nominations for Breakthrough Act, Best Show (for his 2015 Edinburgh show Soothing Sounds For Baby) and the Award For Innovation (also for Soothing Sounds For Baby), this name will soon be a very recognisable one. If my point needed proving at all, simply note the fact Morpurgo is nominated for an award for innovation in comedy. I think that speaks volumes, as it implies a great respect and genuine passion for the craft to an extent that new and exciting things are being created, and that is what keeps comedy alive.
Voting has now closed for this year’s Chortle awards with the award ceremony taking place on March 22nd and Austentatious are currently touring their Improvised Jane Austen Novel around the UK.