Global Pillage is a panel show podcast that pillages the globe for the best idiom, culture, customs and norms – and then turns it into comedy. In the wrong hands, such a concept could become very offensive, very quickly. Global Pillage avoids this simply: the guests have also been sourced from around the globe, and are introduced with a tongue-in-cheek “what makes you diverse?”.
In this case of the live show I saw at the London Podcast Festival, the panel consisted of Sarah Bennetto and Njambi McGrath (Empire Strikes Back) vs Abigoliah Schamaun and Sharlin Jahan (The Right Side). The third team playing was the Hive Mind of the Audience.
I wasn’t expecting a show that has a theme tune with the words “We’re short, we’re round, we’re brown or we’re queer…” to keep very much off the table when it comes to comedy fodder, and host Deborah Francis-White came hot out of the gate to acknowledge the “change of staff at Buckingham Palace.” Luckily, the audience were receptive to the quip, because there were several that followed, culminating in the recognition of the show taking place in King’s Place.
Seeing the recording of this panel show was a peak behind the curtain and, as someone who has attempted to control a panel conversation, it was reassuringly chaotic. It’s also great to see the amount of teamwork that goes into the episode you can hear – Deborah is the host, but questions are set by Ned Sedgwick. The panel brought their stories and jokes (some more loudly than others) and the little musical ditty was played live by Mark Hodge. Even the Producer (a job that often needs coaxing out into public) Tom Salinsky was present to rile up the audience at the start and wind down the comedians towards the end of time.
There were points that highlight we are all somewhat out of practice with live shows: several segues had to be read more than once, a few jokes didn’t quite land a laugh (although listening back to the episode, they seem funnier because of that). And as an audience we needed a lot of encouragement to get involved. The Global Pillage team were perhaps sorry they encouraged us because the first answer that was given appears to have been too rude for the podcast version!
But it was fun to feel the energy in the room, and be involved in the show.
Oh, and I completely forgot that I gave an answer for the Hive Mind at around 16mins. I do like a good pun…