The South-east Essex Two-Star Hangover Show

My dry mouth, pounding headache and ignored alarm indicated that Charles or Raph may have slipped something into those cocktails, lagers and wine last night, but I’ve always regarded hangovers as so contrary to a happy life, I ignore them. Complaining about a hangover, in my book, s a sign of moral degeneracy.

I forewent the run around Arthur’s Seat, as it is good form in exercising circles to give yourself the occasional day off, and besides, I am starting a dull ache in my lower back. Doing a shoulder stand in my set, though, has been rather good for this, so I might do all of my spots upside-down from now on until I’m better.

Edinburgh has been sunny for the last couple of days, so walking down to see Preston Nyman at Ryan’s Cellar Bar in the afternoon was a treat, trumped only by Mr Nyman himself. In a show called ‘Schtick’, he brought a bit of the borscht belt to Edinburgh. He’s frighteningly young, but completely held his own for the hour, and he’s very kindly agreed to do an interview for OnFM tomorrow. He’s fast, likeable, and if he is going to make a career out of this, woe betide the competition.

I couldn’t do my interview there and then as I had to dash to Whistle Binkies to MC the New York All-Star Line-up. Usually there are three comics plus Adam Strauss. Today there were two – and no Adam. ‘Take your time,’ I said to the others, which much to my consternation, they didn’t, and I found myself going onstage with half an hour to go, and still no sign of Adam, who was doing another gig up the road. Just a bit frightening – not that I can’t handle being onstage for half an hour, but my stuff can’t really be measured off by the yard, and I like it to have a bit of shape and structure. There’s also a trades description issue with something called the New York All-Star Line-up whose chief component is, er, me. South-east Essex Two-Star Hangover would be a better show title.

Mercifully, Adam got in at about the ten minute mark, so I gratefully gave up the platform. Afterwards, effusive and unnecessary apologies from Adam – he was stuck behind Daniel Kitson going massively over time, and that’s an experience I wouldn’t deny anybody.

The evening show went well again – a full house: we’ve consistently made more money each day. I think word of mouth might have a part to play, and I’m enjoying getting out with my flyers. Two men in the audience – one 18 the other in his 50s – played along gamely with an ancient joke I wrote about Carly Simon, and my flatmate Elise Harris, buried in the back of the room, recognised with frightening speed a lyric that I half-quote. We ended up singing the rest of the verse to each other, which was funny, touching and rather delightful, and I hope that sticks in the memory better than the atrocious memory lapse that I ended on. Anywhere else, I could’ve got away with my plausible manner (I should’ve been a doctor) but at the end…yikes. I might give Raph an idiot board in case it happens again.

As I handed over to Raph, Charles came in with a pint in each hand. This needed immediate inspection to ensure it didn’t contain whatever mysterious chemical had been responsible for this morning’s discomfort. I’m pleased to report, this one was clean, Raph resurrected an old bit that should never have gone away, and we departed into the balmy (for Edinburgh) night, with another cracking show under our belts.

We are having a couple of guests coming in over the next week. I think we invited them partly due to lack of confidence we could fill the hour. But I am really enjoying having the time to stretch my wings, and suddenly an hour feels short. Thank goodness we’re only having guests we really really like.

    Everything Is Purple
    5-25 August (not 14 or 21) at 22.10
    Venue 63 – The Dragonfly, West Port
    PBH free fringe

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