Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Are You Sitting Comfortably?

Bennett Arron wrote a blog about the BAFTA’s yesterday (http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=50586253765) and I’ve not much to add to what he said. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed it. Jonathan Ross was a great host and Micky Rourke and Mick Jagger were excellent. In fact, I thought it was a bit wanker free. I mean, it was obviously FULL of wankers but they seemed to rein it in for the night. I think only one got through the net and that was Emma Watson. What a charmingly awful cunt she’s grown up to be. She was only on screen for 9 seconds yet even Kate Winslett must have wanted to punch her pretentious spoilt little face in. Listen to how she reads out the name of the winner. Horrible child: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4TZpyp335k

I was lucky enough to be asked to tell a story at Storytellers at Battersea Arts Centre last night. It was part of Josie Long’s N2o festival that featured separate shows by Jo Neary, Gavin Osborn and more (I think). I’ve done Storytellers before and always had a good time even though it’s quite nerve wrecking. Everyone who does it is a slick and sensitive storyteller and, to be very honest, I’m not. I’m shit. But I do get through it with my own brand of charm and swearing. It’s just so worrying thinking about what to talk about. James Dowdeswell told a great story about his school days and Gavin Osborn sang a terrific song (even though that’s cheating) about lost love. Then it was my turn. I talked about telling children to fuck off. For the last time, I am not Peter Ustinov.

I’m going to be very honest with you now. When I got to Battersea Arts Centre my stomach sank. It was full of crayon-drawn signs indicating quilt-making, collage-making and, Lord help us, dressing up. They actually had a box of dressing up “clothes”. Wherever you looked there were thing to make and do, cut-up, paste, pour glitter on and finger paint. I went to the bar.

The bar was almost as bad. They gave me a pint in a plastic glass? Why? It’s Josie Long’s festival. What is anyone here going to do with a real glass that would be so dangerous? The worst that will happen is that it’ll come back with tinsel glued to it.

I’m a curmudgeon. I think that’s fair to say. If I had my own festival it would be full of stuff that very few people would like. All of Patrick Troughton’s surviving episodes in order, scratching my arse and dog walking is hardly likely to draw a crowd and secure me a following and they did do an amazing job of decorating the place (it GENUINELY looked like a special needs crèche). I realise that it might be a studenty thing and I am very old. I’m 40, for fuck’s sake, and Josie must be….what? 30?

Josie was excellent at Storytellers. It was mainly her presence that made me a bit nervous about doing it. She’s very good at quirky, interesting and sensitive comedy. Stuff I probably wouldn’t have the first clue about. So, me doing a story about telling an 11 year old boy to fuck off didn’t exactly make me look like I was about to rob Ben Moor of his crown. Then Josie went on and told a story about a woman who wasn’t that fussed about being raped twice. I was so relieved.

By the way, the festival has lots of great acts on and it only has two days left. You should go. You can dress up!

Speaking of Josie, I’m watching her dad, Robin Ince, on Never Mind The Buzzcocks right now. He is FANTASTIC in it. Make the effort to seek out that episode.


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