The end is nigh

The true grind of three weeks is starting to kick in. Generally a successful week with high points including an Avalon party with a free bar (Champagne that normally costs £7 a glass; I’ll have three please!).

Countdown continued to be a pleasure and finished in a tightly fought final between Stephen Grant and Alex Horne. Alex won out (maybe because he’s been on actual real Countdown on the telly and everything) and Stephen was a worthy and fitting second. Fitting because the show he brought to Edinburgh this year is called ‘Second’ and is about how he always comes second.

Yesterday I made the ill-advised decision to do the Leeds festival. Woke at 9am after four hours sleep, gruelling train, gig to 2000 people then tense journey back by the skin of my teeth.  Then last night the gig was horrid. I’d so nearly made it through the festival unscathed and then all the bastards turned up at once. No goodwill, no spirit. This was replaced by anger and a hen-do. I think it might have been playable had I not been on my last legs. I fell asleep with my trousers on, face down in my bed, knees on the floor. A broken man.

After a sleep and a shower felt much better, but I’m approaching tonight’s gig with trepidation. It can’t be worse. It can’t. One more of them and I will start taking hostages until the mood changes positive. Or as positive as it can be in a hostage situation.

Homeward train on Tuesday, all that remains between now and then is the last Monday of the fringe, an arch excercise in pointlessness which I will spend, as tradition dictates, pissed.

Internal Madness

My decision to not read reviews is killing me. I usually trawl the meagre comedy pages of the media obsessively during the rest of the year. The one time when the papers are brimming with the stuff I’ve made a pact with myself not to look! It must be for the best. It must be. It must be.

Two days ago I took my first pedicab home, which took the exciting route of The Mound, then Dundas. That’s a shitload of downhill. It was exciting, then it would stop becoming exciting when I realised that I might die. Then we would go uphill and it would be slow and less exciting, but with less chance of death. Ten minutes in which I lived a thousand lives. With a blanket over my knees. Continue reading

Variety of the Fringe

The show continues to go well. I’ve sold out all bar the first day which was unexpected and a delight. Minor technical problems occur, but Simon who does my Tech is great. Today he was in a terrible moral quandry about having been flirting with a 20 year old. No quandry from where I was standing.

Doing the other gigs up here aside from the show is a real treat. I did Comedy for Kids, which was great fun. I’ve done it once before and learnt that if you let the kids dominate the gig, it ends up being a lot more successful. So we talked about evil sponges for ten minutes. Whatever they wanted; and they wanted evil sponges.

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In the swing

OK. We’re in the swing of things now. Four shows in and starting to look good. Full houses, decent shows etc, allows a bit of breathing space for having some fun. Our flat is servicable. No, that’s a lie. It’s very grand to look at but most things are broken. So it’s pretty but useless. Think of Fearne Cotton. If she was pretty. A tin opener is quite a tough thing to break, so I can only imagine the kind of muscle-bound freaks that must have lived here prior to our arrival. Continue reading

Underway at the Fringe

Three days and one show in. I was glad not to be the first to arrive in the shared flat (four comics; most people’s nightmare). I remember rattling around on my own last year having nobody to vent at with raw nerves.

It’s quite scary how easy it is to slip back into the fringe. Walking into the Pleasance Courtyard, seeing the same faces, it really feels like it was never taken down, and I mean that as a positive feeling.

My preparation this year has been certainly more thorough than previously, which gives me a slight confidence but it’s impossible to approach a task of this magnitude without the odd collywobble. Out for drinks on the first night another comic took it upon themselves to ‘push my buttons’ for want of a better phrase. I blew my lid, which is something I haven’t done in years. So I’m clearly tense. Continue reading

Fringe preamble

This will be my second full length Stand-up Comedy show at the Fringe. There is one week left before the National Express train flings me into the festival and all it entails.

Firstly, the show isn’t ready. This is normal. Most comedians will make wholesale changes in the first week of getting to Edinburgh as they slowly realise that many of the jokes they assumed would work in Edinburgh are just shit. Last year I made changes to half of the show after week one; far, far too late. I think I’m safe to say I’m not alone in relying on pressure to deliver the goods. I have two more previews, one in Colchester (which could be intimidatingly ‘provincial’) and one in Camden (which by all rights should be good and tight). Continue reading