This morning’s run anticlockwise around the volcano was unremarkable until from a side road, a couple of guys looking like something from an Aryan propaganda film, appeared in front of me in matching jogging outfits. Lean, relaxed, almost effortless in their progress, I expected to lose sight of them around the next bend… Then the next…
I couldn’t believe it! I was keeping up with them! Them – you know – proper fit guys who had all the right kit and did this every day and probably went in for competitions and things! I felt flushed with pride, until they suddenly did a sharp left and ran up the mountain.
I cannot tell you how much this upset me.
The morning was spent sending off bits of recordings for my OnFM radio show, and then I went down to Grassmarket to see ‘Politics Now, Politics Wow! With Sir Reginald Tweedy-Duffer.’ Completely stunned to hear afterwards that for creator Will Richards, it’s his first Edinburgh show. You wouldn’t know it: it’s a completely assured hour that works really well, and has proper laughs all the way through. The character is totally convincing, and has enough heart that the magistrate I was sitting next to confessed as we left that she was a dyed in the wool Tory and still thought it hysterical. I think Sir Reginald is a shoe-in for the next Tory party conference, and if they have any sense they will book him… They might think twice about letting the press in though.
From P-Now P-Wow to Preston Nyman who did an interview about his first Edinburgh show at the age of 14. Very odd to be talking about the ‘forty minute flop’ and suchlike: he has an old, or at least wise, head on young shoulders, and has taken negative comments with the attitude they deserve, ie. complete contempt. You can’t please everyone, and if you see five shows a day for a week, you’re not going to like them all the same. the best review was from Kate Copstick, who said she expected to hate him, but came out smiling.
A dash across town against the clock immediately after to Quiz In My Pants, an event noted chiefly for me not winning anything except the cake eating segment, in which we were all given a garlic mayonnaise flavoured cup cake. I inhaled mine in about four seconds. Host Nicola Bolsover had tried to make something disgusting, but couldn’t quite bring herself to make a cupcake that was less than airy and fluffy, and so I got away with swallowing the thing whole, like a snake with an egg.
In the evening, another packed show, despite me feeling that the flyering wasn’t going so well. All worries about having a guest were unfounded: Mark Diamond was terrific, hit exactly the note of warmth and friendliness the room requires, and did a cracking ten minutes. My stuff went off OK (no bizarre memory lapses), and Raph closed the hour which seemed to whip by.
Very odd, or perhaps not, that I’m finding it increasingly difficult to do the short form stuff that showcases and open mic bills are made of. People come out of Everything is Purple saying it’s one of the best shows they’ve seen (perhaps they don’t get out much), and comics who’ve seen me MC say it’s good to see me doing my proper set. On the flip side, when I did my five minutes this afternoon at Quiz In My Pants, I felt thoroughly mediocre. Perhaps it’s about creating my own space, or the venue layout, but equally it could just be the warp and weft of live performance.
Everything Is Purple
5-25 August (not 14 or 21) at 22.10
Venue 63 – The Dragonfly, West Port
PBH free fringe