Monday, 7 December 2009


I'm an actor now. I now have yet another talent to add to my big bag of talents, which is pretty much full to bursting since I became an actor. Oh, yes. Comedian, writer, podcasterer, shouter, swearer, quite-good-at-grilling-halloumi-er and now actorer. I sometimes think that there's nothing I can't do. I think I might just treat myself to a slap up meal and a wank.... but I can't. I have to learn lines. Why? Because I'm an actor now.

Like all other proper actors, I am going to be in a play. Admittedly, it's a short play and it's only going to be performed once but isn't that exactly how Robert De Niro started? No, it isn't but when I finally end up working with Robert De Niro (or Bobby as I will continually and loudly refer to him on Film 2027) and tell him of my humble beginnings he will surely be very impressed and probably tell all his fellow actors of how someone with THIS much talent once did a very short play just the once and then ask to be my friend on Facebook.

The play is called One Each Way and I play the part of Darren, who is a bit thick. It's quite a struggle finding the character but the director, Maggie Inchley, was very impressed by how quickly I nailed it. Sometimes she couldn't find words to describe my acting. At other times, she would even leave the room, slamming the door with respect for my skills.

I'm not alone in the play. The people I am frankly carrying throughout the production are Sara Pascoe, Gordon Southern and Aisling Bea. They're not very good but I think as long as I shout my lines the loudest and always stand in the middle of the stage that should cover up any weaknesses that they bring. My character, Darren, gets to have sex with both women but that is all in the "text" and not seen on stage after Sara asked for a "re-write" and Aisling pointed out that my acting was "too real and smelled awful".

Yesterday was our first rehearsal and I have to say I really enjoyed it. To be VERY honest, I don't really know what I'm doing at all. I've never acted before and it's pretty obvious that everyone else involved has. That's a bit scary but I'm pretending that everything is fine. That normally gets me through these things. The play is set in the world of gambling and centres on broken relationships. How me is THAT? Darren, like me, is a gambler, a workaholic and aged late twenties to early thirties. At no point does he talk about Dr. Who or shout "WHAT's WROOOOOOOOOOOOONG?" so you can see the challenge I'm facing.

It's part of the Comedian's Theatre Company's series of new scripts that are performed as rehearsed readings by the likes of Phil Nicholl, Milton Jones, Alistair Barrie and, for some insane reason, me. It starts at 4 o'clock at The Pleasance, Islington so come along and see me shit myself. That sounds slightly unappealing when it's written down.

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