Think I might be returning to some sort of normality or, to put it another way, I am back to blogging, wanking and looking for Peter Davison interviews on YouTube like I normally do. Rehearsals and previews for Gutted are over. Shame because it is a blast.
The two previews at Riverside went down extremely well despite the technical faults, late start time and me. The first night was good but the second night was twice as good. I assume this will always be the case throughout the entire month of August. By the 29th we should be the greatest spectacle ever witnessed by any living being at any time, I should imagine. I pity all other musicals in Edinburgh this year because we will shit on them. I'm not saying we're any better than they are, I'm just saying that we will shit on them. I shat on the entire cast of We Will Rock You once and most of them were livid.
I have been spending most of my time with Lizzie Roper lately.
No more Gutted for me now until 6th of August. I have secretly loved the routine of getting up early and going to work even though I have constantly complained about it. Being awake at FUCKOFF in the morning doesn't bother me but getting on the train with YOU wankers was awful. Why do we have this system? Why can't jobs start at various different times instead of all at the same time? Surely no-one likes suffocating on a packed train while their face is in a woman's armpit and a man's elbow is rammed up their arse? Do they? Blimey. And the fact that YOU are all so fucking polite about it was the most infuriating thing. Commuters apologised to people who rammed in to them while I had to continually tell bastards who were pushing me to get on a stuffed train that there is no room. They can see there is no room. Why are they trying to get on to a vehicle that has no room in it? YOU CAN'T DO IT. PUSH AND SHOVE ALL YOU WANT BUT YOU CAN'T GET IN. It's like trying to get into a wall. YOU CAN'T FUCKING DO IT. Then the doors close and the elbows are in the face and the knees are in the groins and the groins are rubbing the bums and all YOU do is smile and apologise. I swear YOU could get raped on a commuter train and YOU would turn round, apologise and offer a hanky. Not me. I relished the chance of a before 9am argument. I did notice that as the week went on there was definitely fewer commuters on my train so "Will you stop touching me" every day seemed to work. Just a tip for you there.
Now to cement my luvviness.
The really great thing about doing this show has been meeting a whole bunch of brilliant new people. I know. I'm a wanker. But I can't help it. They're nice. Colin Hoult, Thom Tuck, Lizzie, Margaret Cabourn-Smith, Martin White, Danielle Ward, Doc Brown and Sara Pascoe I'd met and worked with before and it's a pleasure being in their company. Even Margaret's. But I didn't know David Reed, Humphrey Ker, Daniel Tawse, Fiona Stephenson and the incredibly brilliant Jim Bob before and they are funny, nice people who I have yet to have the urge to bludgeon. There's also the director Chris George and choreographer Ian Stroughair who, surprisingly, haven't once decked me. They have skill and patience. Imagine having just one of those. Well, they have both. Phoebe Eclair-Powell, assistant director, has something different from patience; complete and utter, sunshine strewn, rainbow coloured positivity. She's just so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so lovely that you want to kill her. But with something nice. Like smashing her in the face with Toy Story 3. Her mum is really lovely too.
GOD, WHAT AM I TURNING INTO??? I'M NOT SUPPOSED TO LIKE BIG GROUPS OF PEOPLE. THERE HAS TO BE ONE CUNT! Oh, hang on. There is. Me. Phew.
Let me end my luvviness by keeping the best 'til last. Of all the funny people that I'm working with, I might not be able to do what they do but I understand how they do it. They might be way more talented than me but I understand how they have and use that talent (well, maybe not Jim Bob. I have no to less than no musical talent) but Helen George is just something else. She plays the lead role of Sorrow (not the title role of Vicar) and she is just incredible. She is a proper musical theatre performer. Her voice is amazing and she can dance. I think you can see that we clearly have nothing in common. It's one thing to have a bunch of comedians, albeit multi-talented comedians, hamming and grabbing the laughs but this show is utterly cemented by Helen. She makes the production a proper musical and she is perfect as Sorrow. She even looks like a Tim Burton marionette and I can think of no higher compliment to give someone. Every time I see her perform I think I would love to have her talent, but hey, I'm a comedian. That's a different skill, right? Then she proves that she's funny too. What an exhausting, thoughtless, heartless bitch she is. If you hate comedy come and see Gutted because Helen is a total music theatre star. If you love comedy come and see Gutted because Helen (and the script and the songs and the rest of us) is really funny. If you hate both those things then we cannot help you. I mean, if you're reading this blog after buying a ticket but before watching the show, I mean it, mate, you are fucked. God, you're going to have a horrible time. There is a blackout after I say "Well, I must say. I'm having a lovely time". Sneak out then.
Right. That will be the last of my writing about the making of Gutted. It's a brilliantly written show and Martin and Danielle should feel very proud of themselves but that is not why you read this blog or why I write it. Come on, Michael. What uncomfortable situation have you found yourself in lately? Well...
On Sunday, I kneed a little girl in the chest, knocked her to the ground and hurt the back of her head as she fell.
I didn't fucking mean to. All I was doing was walking. All I'm ever doing is walking. Why can't I just walk and not have the worst time imaginable? IS THAT TOO MUCH TO FUCKING ASK? I have an incredibly stupid rule. One that I refuse to change ever no matter what is happening. EVER. When departing the Bakerloo line tube at Charing Cross and walk down the long corridor to the main train station, there is a sign that reads "Keep left". Guess what? I ALWAYS KEEP LEFT. It's what the fucking signs says yet, for some reason, YOU decide that when they say "Keep left" you assume they mean "March like a stormtrooper on the right". I walk down that long corridor on the left and I keep my eyes on the ground, that way anyone who is marching towards me can clearly see that I'm not looking where I'm going and will have to move out of my way. In other words, they will have to KEEP LEFT. This rule might have to change because I wasn't looking where I was going and a little girl walked towards a busker to give him some money and she got right in my way and BANG! My knee hit her in the chest, she went flying and smacked the back of her head on the ground. The screaming started very quickly after that.
I apologised immediately and checked to see if she was OK. She was but the shock of being kneed in the chest by a stupid, old man who has a Keep Left chip on his shoulder takes a lot out of a 5 year old. She was crying loudly and I was sure her Dad was going to punch me.
I'm sure he will.
Any second now.
Sadly, Dad did not leap to his daughter's side, even though she was crying loudly. Dad was busy. Busy reading a poster for a Dan Brown book. A little girl is confused, in shock and in pain and six feet away her Dad is sorting out his summer read.
Eventually, (it only took about 15 seconds but that's a long time when you have a 5 year old stranger hysterically crying at you) Dad turned round and told her she was OK. He told me that it was an accident and it was all fine. I walked away very confused.
All I'm saying is that if you punch a Dan Brown fan's child then tell them it was an accident they will smile and believe you. I mean, why wouldn't he believe me, eh? If I said that's what happened then that's what happened. Conspiracy theories are bit nutty after all.