The Cambridge Geek

Where on Earth is Anglesey?

Tudur Owen is quite annoyed by geography. He was born and raised on Anglesey (the small island attached to north Wales), and he's miffed at just how often Anglesey is left off maps. In order to try and get a bit more recognition for his home island, and perhaps have a sneaky excuse for his stand-up, he's come up with this two-parter about the place.

As a filthy Englisher, I suspect I'm missing a couple of the more local jokes in this, and there's definitely a fair amount of bilingual bonus for those who speak Cymraeg. (I do not. Mae'n flin gen i!) Though apparently as someone from Greater Manchester, I'm one of the demographics most likely to move to (or at least visit) the island and its disappointingly short pier.

This first episode covers primarily the history of Anglesey, which, like a lot of Britain, mostly involves all the people who have invaded it. There's the original celts, who journeyed from Eastern Europe to get away from the lovely weather and excellent cuisine, to find their spiritual home in the soggy marshes of Wales. And the vikings, who were why mums go to Iceland. And probably shouldn't forget the Romans, who did an impressive amount of slaughtering, but did leave a nice fortlet to make up for it.

There's also sidesteps into the recent(ish) royal visit, and the problem of them and other English popping in and getting a bit paranoid about the use of Welsh around them. We're obviously interesting enough that whenever we pop in, we're the only source of conversation. There are a few enjoyable pops at us.

He's got a few old chestnuts in the form of the standard jokes about the backwards/isolationist nature of different communities, which feel a bit inevitable in something like this (see Mark Steel for other examples). But there's a nice insight into Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrn-drobwllllantysiliogogogoch, the famously long name of a particular village, which provides a nice reason for a bit of audience participation. And an unexpected Nazi joke that I wasn't expecting.

Pleasing to have something a bit informative in the stand-up as well, with it not being quite as autobiographical as some of the more recent shows. Give it a go even if you're one of the hated English. Owen's sarcastic cheerfulness is very infectious, and there's an amusing range of voices for the occasional short sketches that are sneaked in, including about the Wreckers of Crigyll.

Score 4

Tagged: Radio Comedy Monologue Stand-up Geography/History