Cyberspace Spam Wars With Comedian James Veitch

By Ben Venables Last edited 33 months ago
Cyberspace Spam Wars With Comedian James Veitch ★★★★☆ 4

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Londonist Rating: ★★★★☆

James Veitch is a disgrace to humanity. At least, that's what his business associate thinks. But then, his business associate is an internet con-artist by the name of Solomon Odonkoh. And Solomon is just one of many spammers who Veitch has entered into a correspondence with before turning the tables on the scammer.

It all started a couple of years ago when a friend's email account was hacked and Veitch received a request to settle some London hotel bills. With the simplicity of asking "what happens if you answer the spammers?" the premise of this show was born.

Veitch leads his quarry in a merry dance of tangents and requests, often involving hummus or toasters, or wherever his freewheelin' imagination takes him. And all the while Veitch keeps them hanging on with just enough of a promise that he will eventually wire those all important funds through Western Union.

What's interesting about this show is the skill with which Veitch's exchanges reveal human beings on the other end of the connection, an unexpected twist when we think of faceless spam. True, those humans tend to be exasperated and incandescent with rage at James Veitch, but nonetheless they are capable of offering romantic advice or even saying 'I love you'. At one point, the scammers even elicit an 'Ah' from the audience, prompting a vexed Veitch to say, "Don't forget whose side you are on".

He adds in some 90s nostalgia to his presentation and there seems to be a moral about wanting to reclaim the internet for fun. It's nice, but the real inbox for this show is the one reserved for Solomon Odonkoh who seems a particular glutton for punishment as Veitch cajoles him into his net once more with a fake website. This one could run and run.

The Fundamental Interconnectedness Of Everyone With An Internet Connection runs at the Museum Of Comedy until 14 February, 9.15pm. Tickets £10 (£8). Londonist saw this show on a complimentary ticket.

Last Updated 11 February 2015

SophieMango

This has been done a million times on the internet before, usually with the scammer sending a photo with a shoe on his head. What people never realise is that when you are talking to a scammer you are talking to someone very low down in an organisation often working under the threat of violence to them and their families. You're not hurting the people running the scam, just people already under duress.