Monday, April 30, 2012
And Tenuousness by Andrew Bird... a song I'd discovered on the soundtrack of a film on my flight home from Oz:
The show was spent discussing those magical moments when cliches come to life. I'm amazed at the number of people who've actually slipped on a banana skin... and am now convinced that swans really can break your arm. But it's the butcher running down the street after a dog with a joint of meat in its mouth that lives longest in my imagination. What would he have done if he'd caught the dog? Retrieve the meat and sell it?
There's all of that, plus Ward's Weekly Word, a man hammering a nail into his own head (video) and a Found Poem on the podcast... plus all the usual podcast extras. If you use itunes, you'll find it here and if you don't... well, we thought about you too, it's here.
Oh... talking of Pun Street - and I was, sort of - at the start of April we added Lord of the Fries to the street and as it's based in Melbourne I promised I'd take photographic evidence on my trip. I did. Here it is:
Saturday, April 28, 2012
Sadly, Martin won't be joining us tomorrow morning as he and Absolute have parted company. It's been described in oddly salacious terms in some quarters. I've certainly had tweets from people who are convinced they can smell some kind of scandal but I think that says more about the way the internet stirs things up than anything else. I'm pleased to report that there is no scandal, everyone remains friends and there aren't any heroes or villains. It's not a story of good guys and bad guys... more one of bad timing as I suspect it's the absence of shows that has allowed people to stew up odd conspiracy theories. C'est la web.
We'll be taking the opportunity to introduce some new chums to proceedings and we'll be starting with comic and magician, Pete Firman. I know Pete from the live circuit (if you get the chance to see him live, you really should, he's unstoppable) but he's probably best known for BBC1's The Magicians.
Here he is doing some conjuring with everyone's favourite magician's assistant, Arlene Phillips.
Pete's joining the show for the next three weeks... tune in and make him welcome.
Monday, April 23, 2012
I'm sorry to be leaving this place. Two weeks really isn't enough for a trip down under. But I've had a blast. I'm proud of the run. The shows sold out and I was nominated for an award I didn't think I was eligible for. That makes for a pretty fine holiday. (Congrats to Doctor Brown for winning the Barry by the way - I'm glad it went to someone doing a brand new show rather than an Edinburgh import)
I saw some great shows by others - so much overlapped with me that it was impossible to see everything I wanted but I loved Sam Simmons, Celia Pacquola and Sammy J & Randy.
I was last here in 2004. The eight year gap wasn't down to me cocking a snook at Melbourne. It's just that I wasn't doing any live shows for most of it.
I dipped my toe back in the live waters in 2009 with a show that wasn't festival friendly. There was no way of doing it without two long halves, separated by an interval. That would involve taking over a venue for pretty much the whole night... and festivals don't work like that. So really, this show is the first thing I've done that could have come to Melbourne... and I've brought it at the first opportunity.
But I don't think it'll be another eight years before I come back. I stopped doing live stuff because it had stopped being exciting to me. And I started doing it again because I started to feel that excitement again. And I still feel it.
I don't know when I'll come up with a new show - I'm touring this one til July 7 as it is - but I will - and when I do... I really, really hope that Melbourne will have me back.
Friday, April 20, 2012
Sunday, April 15, 2012
I'm having a ball in Melbourne. I performed here in 2001, 2003 and 2004 and I knew I had built up a bit of momentum at the time... but that's a relatively long time ago and I had no idea whether people would remember. But every day I meet people who do and the ticket sales - so far every show has sold out - suggest no momentum has been lost. I'm very, very flattered.
And because of the way it's going, we've added in an extra show. It's on Saturday at 5pm. Details are, of course, on the Live Dates page of my site.
To add to my excitement, I've been nominated for The Barry Award. This was especially surprising to me as I genuinely thought I wasn't eligible what with me only being here for half of the festival. Turns out I am eligible. And nominated. So that's nice.
It's an amazingly strong list, full of great shows. The other nominees are Tim Key, Paul Foot, Dr. Brown, Wil Anderson and Felicity Ward.
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
But, this really is an amazing festival and the audiences are fantastic. And my venue - The Forum - has a camp charm that I really like.
We had technical problems on the first night - the microphone, which had been fine all through our tech set-up time suddenly decided to sound as if it had been dropped in a chip fryer so the first five minutes were spent with the audience struggling to hear me. But they made that struggle and stayed with the show. I guess it knocked me out of my rhythm a bit because as well as thinking about how I've rephrased this bit and changed that slide etc etc I was also thinking I-hope-someone's-trying-to-bloody-fix-this. Not the most relaxed start to things but once it was fixed the show soon went through the gears and I had a great time.
I get kind of lost in this show. There are occasions when we're setting up and someone will ask me to do a particular bit of it so that they can see how it's going to work... and I never really know how to do it because there are no words in my head. But an audience changes things and that night, when I get to that bit, all the words are there.
One down. Plenty more to come.
Monday, April 9, 2012
My internet connection isn't great and is obviously out of sync with many of the people who are sending me tweets and stuff... but it was impossible to miss two themes in my incoming tweets.
Lots of people have been telling me that the man who stopped the boat race looked like me. I didn't know the boat race was happening let alone that it had been stopped but on reading those tweets I immediately knew what had happened. Obviously, a man with a beard and no other significant likeness to me had stopped the boat race. I was right. His boat race in no way resembles mine.
And secondly, a number of people were telling me that I was an answer in the Observer Cryptic Crossword. As a crossword fan I'm a little bit thrilled to discover this. Big thanks to @JamesFarrier for sending me this:
Thursday, April 5, 2012
it's in the dressing room at the QEH and it seems more worried than it should be.
Loving this run. There are a few individual seats still available for tonight... but none together, I believe.
But that's why we added the extra London date on June 16th.
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
It's only available at the live shows for now.
just to add... the initial picture only really shows you that it exists. I've had questions from folks wanting to know how slim it is and which poems are in it. So I thought it was probably worth adding this picture of the contents page:
Click to zoom.
Not long after taking that I saw this.
Two women taking their old deer out for lunch...
Bloomin' loved doing the show last night. The Queen Elizabeth Hall is a perfect venue for it. I'm very excited about the next three nights. We filled the first one and the others are getting there... come on down!
Monday, April 2, 2012
Because the preview gigs meant I was busy in Newbury on Thursday and Friday and in Chelmsford on Saturday I prepared my Found Poem a little earlier in the week than normal. I'd pretty much forgotten the content of it by the time I came to read it on the Sunday... which goes some way to explain my corpsing. Maybe I should try and get it done earlier in the week more often. It was nice to surprise myself with it.
The main topic of the show was inspired by the doctor's note I'd had to get that week.
I could have sworn her diagnosis was 071715 MEDIA and was certain there was some secret code at work... something that another doctor would understand. "Oh yeah... he's one of those 071715 media types..." But it's actually Otitis Media. Or an ear infection.
This - and a text message from one of Mrs Gorman's friends saying she was catching up on the killing (as opposed to, say, The Killing) led to a topic about the written word being misunderstood. And you had some doozies.
As you'll hear if you get the podcast. If you use itunes, you'll find it here and if you don't... well, you're not neglected, it's here.
Oh... and here are the two tunes I brought in from home. Top toe-tappy stuff, I hope you agree:
Without You by Ellen and The Escapades
Finding England by Athena
Of course, the Someday podcast will be out later in the week too but we won't be on air for the next three Sunday's because I'm heading to Australia on Friday for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. I'm looking forward to that. Obviously.
It doesn't feel quite as imminent as all that because between now and then I have the small matter of a London run to be dealing with. We start at the Southbank Centre tonight. I'm very, very excited to be playing there. Can't wait!
Sunday, April 1, 2012
And Hello Chelmsford!
I was in Newbury for two nights and in Chelmsford for one, warming up for the London run which starts tomorrow. Warm-ups can be odd things for performers. We've had a few months off the tour and I thought a couple of smaller gigs would be needed to get the show back into my head properly... but it turned out I didn't really need them for that as it was all still in place. Which is a good thing because it meant that the shows were more fun and less work.
Very excited for the run at the Southbank Centre now. I'll see you there, yeah? Yeah? Yeah.