Halfway there and still living on a prayer. It seems, objectively speaking, that I have a “solid” three-star show on my hands. Three stars are always prefixed by “solid.” I came here with manageable expectations (what a great lost Dickens novel that was), and have been pleasantly surprised. The Scotsman, as I have established, gave me three stars. Fest, the free listings magazine, also gave me three stars, and that review is now online. (It’s the one that mentions “the spectre of Herring,” which I still love.) Yesterday I got a three-star review, albeit the faintest in its praise of the lot, in Three Weeks, which is another freesheet and an email bulletin. The review is here. I’m obviously relieved not to have had a slag-off.
It’s hard enough to even get a review up here, what with the sheer volume of shows, especially comedy, and I suspect it is the fact that I am making my solo debut that has rewarded me with these reviews. In many cases, you need an angle to get noticed, and a debut will have to do with me. I won’t dwell on the actual wording of the critics, as that way madness lies, and I have seen enough comics with madness to wish to steer clear of that. (I get upset enough when people don’t like my books.) However, it’s funny that the Three Weeks man described my humour as a bit “Surrey-based-Guardian-reader,” which is at least accurate in one sense, or two in relation to the section in which I remember living in Surrey.
Another full house for Secret Dancing, on surely the hottest, sunniest, bluest-skied day of the Fringe. I had to personally turn a few people away, as I was doing my own door, Free Fringe style. I had a bottleneck of friends in today, whom I had to “walk in” – Mat Ricardo, his wife Lesley, Jim Bob and entire family, Justin Moorhouse and Iain Morris, who’s up to audition young hopefuls for the Inbetweeners film. This made me incredibly nervous. They were all very kind afterwards, and unlike Richard Herring, Justin actually gave me some useful, practical advice about microphone technique, rather than telling me I’m shit. If you come and see the show from tomorrow onwards, it will be a lot better, thanks to Justin Moorhouse. He is my new mentor. Herring is fired, and will have to say “I’m out” to HIMSELF.
A much better Collings & Herrin podcast gig this afternoon, where no microphone technique is required, due to them being on stands throughout that are set up by a professional tech, called Lynz. Don’t know why the show was so much better than, say, YESTERDAY’S (which, ironically, sounds OK on the podcast). Best not to find out why. The audience seemed more up for it, including one man in a suit who’d also been at Secret Dancing and frankly ruined the subtle drama of the bit where I show how to hold out my outstretched palm to attract a robin by shouting out, “Would it help if I said my name was Robin?”, which didn’t help. He came up to us after the podcast gig, and said, “I’m wasted,” but that he’d enjoyed it. Ah well. We enjoyed it, too and we were anything but wasted, unless you count the fact that Richard has a wasting disease judging by the way his suit is hanging off him.
Richard was videoing today’s show on a tiny but miraculous device that he set up on the lip of the stage, so let’s see how that came out – it may see the light of day as a DVD extra. Thanks to the keen photographic eye of Gordon “GoHod” Hodgson, you can see a preview here.
Anyway, here’s the podcast blurb:
In the fifth of our live Edinburgh podcasts, and the fourth that has come out – Podcast 126: Light Side Of The Poon – we recreate, in full, an entire episode of the American sitcom Friends. We also solve the blue towel mystery, improve Anglo-Australian relations immeasurably, rewrite the pronunciation of some popular names, recall fondly the occasional naked lady on the cover of the Sunday Times magazine and the half-inch of underskirt Andrew glimpsed when Sarah Jane Smith fell over on the Giant Robot episode of Doctor Who, defend David Beckham’s sister’s empty wheelie bin and mount our own version of Willy Wonka’s golden ticket scheme. And Richard unveils his new variety act: failing to identify audience members by their accents. Back on Wednesday, kids, with Space Dust action.
Right, off to see flatmate Tom Wrigglesworth now.
I’m glad I’ve got a couple of days off to freshen up my photographic approach. I may well be starting a new job this week, which I think would be a great loss to photography (and comedy). Did you get your 20 free tickets to see Dark Side of the Poon? (the password to tell the box office was… Martha Poon… Imagine having to say that to somebody.)