Back to the Fringe

The trouble with an evening show is that the day on following a day off feels very much like another day off.

No run today, but N and I did walk round the back of Arthur’s Seat to do the short steep climb rather than the long slow climb we’ve done previously. Amazing views from the top, of course, and the unusually warm weather and clear skies gave us a great view out over the city and the Firth of Forth.

Down to cafĂ© Truval for lunch, then up the Mile to see the castle. Some discussion of which venues I’d like to do a one man show in next year. I’ve got my eye on a couple, location is important, but as I’ve learned from the Dragonfly, it’s way better for me to have a small audience in the right mindset than a big audience who are there for something else. This assumes I have a choice of venue! It also assumes I have an hour of stuff – which isn’t really such a big assumption. I keep finding old stuff in corners of my brain that haven’t been aired for months.

Corporate news: thanks to the magic of Twitter, I’ve been asked to do some warm up jokes at a party for top specs purveyors Kirk Originals, and they are paying me in glasses. They made Gary Oldman’s bins for the Batman films, and though I’ve never thought of him as a style icon, I loved my last pair of Kirks, and can’t wait to get behind some new ones.

In the afternoon, we went to see my flatmate Hayden Cohen in Age of the Geek. Also in was a reviewer who, on reading back the review, missed the point: it’s music and spoken word, and the review took him to task for including too much er, music and not enough jokes. Frankly I thought it was a relief to have an hour that didn’t expect you to laugh all the way through. I think Hayden suffers from not having a clear through-line for the reviewer to follow – but as I said to him after, this can literally be fixed with about three sentences. Still, there are two good quotes to be mined from the review, even if the two stars are a disappointment. Reminds me of the reviewer that laughed through my show in 2001 – and gave the show three stars: the coward’s judgement!

By the time it came to flyering post-pizza, I realised I hadn’t had the sleep I usually have and it felt like a bit of a struggle. My approach is always polite and friendly (markedly different from the pros on the Mile) yet some people – usually English middle-class women – can be breathtakingly ungracious in turning down a flyer. ‘Hello ladies, looking for some comedy tonight?’ I asked with the sort of money-making smile I greeted elderly female relations with in the days running up to a birthday or Christmas when I was little. ‘Absolutely not,’ snapped the response, with a nose-wrinkling that I should so much as suggest the notion. ‘Excellent, we don’t allow rude people in anyway,’ I retorted with a skip in my step towards the next likely pedestrian.

N got the overnight coach (arriving 7.30am!) and I went to my gig. Got through it despite tiredness, with encouragement (imaginary) from Dr Theatre and support (tangible) from Dane Baptiste, who is through to the Amused Moose finals and on the strength of his performance well deserving of his place. Ended with the moral question – I called Peg and put her on speaker so she could pronounce judgement, and was pleasantly surprised by the contents of the bucket at the end. I did thirty minutes – too long. As I said to Raph (and indeed to every MC I work with) when you want me off, be really clear about it. I’d rather do three minutes that leave people laughing than ten that ruins the crowd for the next act.

I turned down the friends dragging me towards Brooke’s Bar. It felt like the plug had been pulled: I rolled into bed with a Richard Herring podcast on softly in the background and was asleep before Brendan Burns was introduced. BB can be quite shouty; I must’ve been close to a coma because he didn’t wake me up.

    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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