I don’t get out much, what with being penniless AND a parent of two energy-sapping sprogs, so it’s somewhat of a miracle that I’ve managed to see TWO live comedy gigs in Strasbourg within the space of a just a few weeks.

The first was for the opening night of the 2010/11 season at Strasbourg’s ‘Kafteur’ comedy club – featuring the irrepressible Jean-Luc Falbriard in the guise of intergalactic-space-traveller-come-Alsatian-sex-symbol : Captain Sprütz. “Sprützy” has been treading the boards to popular local acclaim since the early 1990s with a one man show that deftly combines music and stand-up with left-field character comedy.  The Captain, who compares himself to George and Brad (Clooney & Pitt we assume), takes the audience on a journey of self-discovery with the aid of objects he’s unearthed on his intergalactic travels. For example – the ‘Happiness Detector’ – which looks remarkably like a kitchen spatula.

Falbriard’s performance is a delight, seamlessly mixing consumable Alsatian and French humour with live music throughout an engaging 90 minute show.  Although I must admit I didn’t get all of the jokes (for want of not getting all of the words) I thoroughly enjoyed the show, and if it were still running – I’d persuade you to go and see it!

The second event was part of the 8th Strasbourg International Comedy Festival curiously subtitled “Drôles de Zèbres” – I have no idea why though, a French pun probably? The night at the Palais des Fêtes began with the intense, and intensely funny, stand-up comic Florent Peyre who at times spoke so fast during his ‘Isle of temptation’ routine that I had to just trust my fellow audience members that he was indeed being funny, very funny. Although there is a strong possibility he was just being downright filthy rude judging by the father sitting in front of us – who was blushing heavily in the presence of his tweeny son – not laughing at his side.  His sommelier (see the video below) and Mario Brothers routines were however absolute classics – even as far as my limited understanding of French goes!

Florent PEYRE, Le sommelier – wideo

The main event of the evening however was ‘Olé‘ – an act that would perhaps have been better suited to a Festival of Cabaret than one of comedy.  The set beginning with three coy Spanish guitarists who gradually transform themselves into side-show clowns to support a sequence of juggling routines involving leotards, eggs, ping-pong balls, flaming torches and cringing audience participation. In short – it was entertainment worthy of the Paul Daniels magic show. While many of the audience were still lapping it up after 90 minutes – we couldn’t take any more and felt compelled to make a sharp exit after Olé came out to do their 55th encore.

So there we are – miracles do happen, and now you know what the French do for a laugh in Strasbourg.