Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Your Only Hope.

I just turned 43 in August but it wasn't until yesterday that I think I may have finally grown up. I've lived the life of a child for 43 years and I suppose it was inevitable that I would grow out of it, I just thought I might grow out of it when I was 14 or 15. I'm at least 28 years behind schedule. Don't worry, I still ignore bills, get bored with books in the first chapter and refuse to fix my collapsing house but I've definitely turned a corner in my development. Yesterday I was looking at my DVD collection and I saw the box that holds my Star Wars discs and I realised that I just have no interest in it.

This is actually much bigger news than it seems. About two years ago I confidently claimed that there is nothing better than Star Wars and I meant it. When I saw it (5 times) in 1977 nothing effected me more and I've yet to be hit by that all encompassing feeling since. No movie, no band, no relationship that I've ever encountered has changed my life so obsessively as Star Wars and that's actually depressing when you think about it. I've fallen in love but I've always managed to have some moments when I've not talked or thought about my romance even in the early stages but as a 9 year old I was a lot more enthusiastic about my new crush. And I took that film with me throughout my life. I never really wanted kids but the older I get the more often I'd daydream about sitting down with my child and watch them watch my favourite film of all time just to see if it did anything to their heads at all. Then, when it didn't, I'd know that this wasn't my child and it's mother is a WHORE. But that would be the original Star Wars. Back in 1977 the original Star Wars was known as Star Wars. I wasn't happy when on it's re-release it was changed to Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope. What was the point in that? It's called Star Wars so call it Star Wars. Then it got re-released again with new bits in it. Terrible, awful new bits. Then it came out on DVD with newer new bits and next week it will be released on Blu Ray with more new bits. In 1977, George Lucas gave me a present but ever since then he keeps taking it back and drawing all over it.

In the blu ray edition there is a new addition that George Lucas thought was absolutely imperative. It just had to be included because, like a Jawa falling off a dinosaur or Hayden Christensen turning up as ghost at the very end, it was always part of his original vision. In....sigh....Star Wars: Episode VI - Return Of The Jedi, Darth Vader finally sees the cruelty within The Emperor as he sees his son being electrified. Vader silently lifts The Emperor above his head, taking the dark force electric shock himself, and throws him down the shaft of the Death Star. Now, instead of the mighty silence of Vader's attack on his mentor, the new Blu Ray version comes with Vader shouting "NOOOOOOOOOOOO!"


The thing is, George only owns the rights to these films and not the emotional impact they have all played in mine/our life/lives. He's been fucking with these films since the day he gave them to us and there is no sign of him ever stopping. Well, that's actually of no odds to me because, and I'm happy to declare this, I'm not a Star Wars fan. It's just a stupid sodding space film that's been battered by it's master it's whole life. But there is maybe, just maybe, a way that he can be stopped from doing this again to this beloved classic (well, it's not beloved by me. Not any more). Just do yourself a massive favour, DO NOT BUY STAR WARS ON BLU RAY. If no one buys it, he'll just go away. I'm not going to buy it and I was delighted that my good friend, Martin Wolfenden, went back to Amazon where he ordered his copy and decided to cancel his order. The reason he gave was "Darth Vader saying Nooooooo!" I'm incredibly proud of him.

I'm pretty sure that....sigh....Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace will be left alone as it was on the day of it's awful release because, let's face it, you can't polish a turd. But that doesn't mean you have to take the Mona Lisa and smear shit all over it. Yeah, I've moved on. I'm finally free of Star Wars and it's 34 year Force grip. I've finally grown up.

Don't forget, Doctor Who's on this Saturday.

Kindle owners might like to know that my blog is now available to subscribe and read on your Kindle here:

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Say Again?

I'm back. I really feel like I'm back. Not just back from Edinburgh but actually back. For a month I've been happy (in a way) and feeling incredibly fortunate. I wake up every day and walk through the beautiful Meadows of Edinburgh and I get to do a show I love with my friend Robin Ince. You'll notice that I wrote that it's a show that I love. I love it. I'm not quoting anyone elses opinion or cutting and pasting anyone elses reviews of the show, I'm just telling you I love the show. Isn't that nice? Isn't that nice to actually enjoy the thing you do? It's that enough? Why do we need anyone elses opinion about anything? AND WHY THE FUCK DO COMEDIANS INSIST ON RTing THEIR PRAISE ON TWITTER?

Look, you stupid fucknuts. People follow you on Twitter, right. That suggests they like you. THEY ALREADY LIKE YOU. Why then would you feel the desperate need to tell all the people who already like you that you are liked? They know you're liked, THEY LIKE YOU. Why they like you is a complete mystery to me but they do like you. So you really don't need to tell them that The Scotsman love you or that someone Tweeted that your show was "good". It's the most trivial and needy thing you can do. When I see anyone RTing their own praise it just stinks of someone thinking "Wow, I hate my show and it makes me sick and nervous but someone likes it so I must be great. Look, everyone! I'm great! A child on the internet said so".

I mean, what lack of faith do you have in yourself when someone elses opinion is more important to you than your own? I mean, I'd give it more credit if the same people RT'd when they got negative feedback. I mean, it's just as relevant.

I made a friend of mine upset on Twitter because I was very mean about his constant praising of himself or RTing praise others gave him. I am genuinely sorry about that. To be honest, I'm not sure any amount of explaining of how when you either praise yourself or brag about praise given just detracts from you as a performer and a person would make a difference. It's my problem, really. If people are happy to do that then they should be able to without my wrath. But why stop there?

Surely, you have been praised at other things. Nice parking? Tell us about it. Made a lovely cup of tea? Well, why are you keeping that to yourself? Urinated without getting a drop on the seat or the floor? Then let us all give you a massive fucking round of applause, you big headed, needy, egotistical shitbag. (I am NOT still having a go at my friend here, he at least hasn't praised himself today) Let's see your school reports and scout badges and sports trophies and book tokens and premium bonds and completed crosswords and sponsored walk forms and Worlds Best Dad mugs and whatever the fuck it was you got in your Kinder Egg. Show us it all because it's exactly the same. Or...

You could just be happy that you like your show and carry on with some dignity. Either way, I thank you for reading this. You're really great (don't RT that I said that please).

Yes, I'm home and the second I got on the train from Edinburgh to London I had a brilliant Fringe moment. OK, I'm leaving the Fringe but I'm still counting it. I opened up my laptop and started watching the latest Doctor Who on iPlayer. This made Steven Moffat, who was on his way back from the loo to his seat, do a double take. YESSSS!!! Then I met him in the queue for taxis and told him the story of how my badge featuring the face of Peter Davison was mistaken for a badge featuring the face of Anders Behring Breivik. I love the fact that that story has such a strong chance of now getting back to the 5th Doctor. Now, all I need to find a friend of Anders Behring Breivik and the circle is complete. Also, Steven definitely said that he was bored of Matt Thingy and was interested in a 43 year old with psoriasis as the next Doctor. I can even pick my own companion, I imagine. Now, which one of you will it be? Hmmmm...

PS I'm really sorry for being mean to my friend. He's an idiot but I pushed it too far. I am also an idiot.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Wonder Why You Haven't Before.

There is just a week left of Edinburgh Fringe. Hope you're enjoying it. Sad to say, I'm very much enjoying it. Remember the good old days of angry Fringe blogs? Those are years away. Mind you, I had a shit IWANNAGOHOME day three days ago. The thing is Edinburgh is great but the line from Anchorman, "We've been coming to the same party for 12 years, and in no way is that depressing", keeps popping in to my head. But it's the last week so my energy's up and my outlook sunny. But what to do in the next seven days?

Simple: go to The Stand.

The Stand comedy club in Edinburgh is the greatest comedy club in the world. It's also rare in the comedy world as it's sole purpose is comedy. When you go to The Stand what you get is comedy. NOT comedy and a disco, not comedy and a shout out on your birthday, just comedy. It books great established acts and nurtures new talent and it treats comedians and audience members with respect. It's also really decent to other clubs. They don't allow hen or stag nights in the club and instead recommend Highlight or Jongleurs if that's what you want. Not in a nasty "Why don't you fuck off there, you cunt with a stupid hat" way, no, it's a purely "I think you'd prefer this" kind of way. But really you should visit The Stand's five venues this Fringe because the show's there are of a higher quality than the so-called Big Four. If you don't make the effort over the next week to visit The Stand then you might as well not be at the Fringe at all.

Stewart Lee, Omid Djalili, Richard Herring, Phill Jupitus, Simon Munnery, Bridgest Christie, Andy Zaltzman, Todd Barry, Paul Sinha, Steve Gribbin, Tony Law, Simon Donald, Jo Neary, Tiffany Stevenson, Phil Nichol, Josh Howie, Craig Campbell, Wendy Wason, Alun Cochrane, Gavin Webster, Seymour Mace, Political Animal....That's just off the top of my head. I mean, you've only got a week left. A WEEK. Why would you think of going anywhere else? The Stand have a better line up, there's a better local pub (Lord Bodos across from The Stand 1) and you'll be happy knowing that you've put money into a club that's actually trying to look after you, comedians and the craft of comedy itself. Every member of staff at The Stand should feel proud of themselves because they're doing brilliant work this year and I would gladly buy all of them a pet swan if I could. I love them.

And hey, when you've seen a few shows there why not treat yourself to a free one at Peter Buckley Hill's Free Fringe? The Voodoo rooms are right around the corner from The Stand and Cariad Lloyd, one of the best shows I've seen this year, is on at 3.55 followed by Tara Flynn, one of the best shows I saw last year and will see again this year. It's all happening over this side of town so don't be a massive dick in the last week, come over and have fun. Oh, and me and Robin Ince are here at 2.35 too. I forgot about that.

Now, can someone kindly explain to me how The Pleasance got fucking charity status?

Tickets for POINTLESS ANGER, RIGHTEOUS IRE 2: BACK IN THE HABIT at this year's Edinburgh Fringe are now on sale here:

Kindle owners might like to know that my blog is now available to subscribe and read on your Kindle here:

Monday, 15 August 2011

Men. Over-Bored.

Where did I get the time to blog so much in the past? What was I not doing then that I'm doing now? I feel just as lazy now as I did then but with no time to blog. How is that possible? I guess I was just a younger, fitter, sexier man back then. Now I'm 43. Oh, yes, it was my birthday on Friday. I'm incredibly old now. The posters of Edinburgh seem even more judgemental to me now. I'm really feeling my age too. By that I mean my voice has completely gone. Thank God I'm not starring in musical theatre like last year. This might seem a bit odd to anyone who has ever seen me perform but I didn't realise how much my art depends on me screaming my bones out. That's a hard thing to do when you have no voice. This became clear when I did a gig in Glasgow on Friday night. At one part of my routine I had to shout really loudly but my voice had gone, my throat was desert dry and so....I was sick in my own mouth. They say Glasgow is a tough town to play but all cities in Britain are pretty tricky when you have a mouth full of boke. It goes without saying that it got my biggest laugh of the night.

Now that Curse Sir Walter Raleigh is over I've got slightly more time on my hands so I've decided I'm going to see more shows. I might see a play or a piece of performance poetry but mainly I'll be seeing comedians. I love comedians. To me, it's always a good night watching comedians. Oh, it'll be comedians this year for me definitely. I love comedians. Mind you, let's be honest, there's nothing worse than sitting down to watch some comedians and a male comic walks on.

I'm sorry, I know it's sexist but I just don't like male comics. I think it ruins a night of comedy when the male comic turns up and says the same boring things about his lack of sexual prowess, the unfunny lies he says to women and his broad sweeping generalisations of politics. It's tedious. They're all the same male comics. They wear zany t-shirts or, even worse, a suit to try and convince the audience that he's not in crippling debt after the second divorce and then they just spout the same obvious shit as the last male comic you've just seen. Why can't they be like comedians? My favourites are Bridget Christie, Caroline Mabey, Jo Neary, Josie Long, Holly Walsh, Shappi Khorsandi, Tara Flynn, Catie Wilkins, Susan Calman, Roisin Conaty...well, the list goes on, you know the ones. They're just infinitely more edgy and original to the point where you really don't know what's going to come next. You don't just switch off when they're on. They talk about different subjects in a different way. Last night I saw The Segue Sisters and howled with laughter from beginning to end. It was just so proudly fun, like watching a lost episode of The Monkees (admittedly, The Monkees were male comics but it was a different time then). Last week I saw one of the semi-finals of So You Think you're Funny. There were only two comedians in the final, the rest were male comics. Lorna Forde and Rachel Parris were easily the best acts on the bill but did they win? God, no. Typical. The award was passed to some piece of trouser who the judge obviously wanted to bang. The only thing really missing from this year's Edinburgh Fringe for me is Margaret Cabourn-Smith and Zoe Gardner, my favourite comedy act of all time. Even then, some male comic has hired Zoe to be in his show this year to make sure he doesn't stink out his venue with cock jokes and reasons why X-Factor is below par. Look, I've nothing personal against male comics, I just wished they tried harder. I mean, some of them are good. I saw Stewart Lee and Andy Zaltzman and they're both reasonably competent although clearly trying to be comedians. They'll never be comedians, of course, they're just male comics but good for them for giving it a go and trying to be different. All I'm saying is that when I see a male comic on a bill where a comedian should be I just sit there. I've already made my mind up. He's going to be crap. You know what? Let them have their male-only comedy nights (there are lots of them) and I won't begrudge them having their stupid and ridiculous and frankly pointless to the point of embarrassing male-only competitions but you won't catch me laughing at them. Male comics just aren't funny.

I think my favourite crap show of the festival that I haven't seen but am perfectly happy to judge is Loose Men. "Take a unique glimpse at what the loose male thinks, feels, and really wants from life". Yes, that is unique. If there's one thing that there's a complete lack of it's hearing what a bunch of slaggy men think. Loose Men. I'm glad they've removed the Wo but retained the woe. Male comics just aren't funny.

Tickets for POINTLESS ANGER, RIGHTEOUS IRE 2: BACK IN THE HABIT at this year's Edinburgh Fringe are now on sale here:

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Fringe Benefit.

So, dear friends, tonight will be the last night of Curse Sir Walter Raleigh. The Edinburgh Festival has only started and already I'm finished. It's at this time, at the end of my little run, that I have to ask myself "Why did I come here and what the hell did I get out of it?" Those are good questions. But they were questions that I had already answered six weeks before coming here.

Curse Sir Walter Raleigh is a show I didn't want to do. In fact, I have no interest in doing a solo show. I like working with other people. It's less lonely and there's less pressure. If we succeed in a show then HOORAY, we ALL succeed in a show. If we fail in a show then HA HA HA HA HA, we died on our arses together. Look, I'm 43 tomorrow and I might never do another Edinburgh Festival. Can I bow out of Edinburgh forever without doing a solo show? I could, but I know what I'm like. In the coming months and years I'll just bully myself into regretting not doing a show on my own. "You're not as good as a real comedian, Michael", I'll say to Michael Legge. "Look at you hiding behind Robin Ince. Are you so scared that the world will see how a deformed, ancient, psoriasis freak like you could never compete against the might of Daniel Sloss and whatever new comedian currently celebrating their 5th birthday?" And, in a way, that's true. Most of the big, hip, young comedians have actually been up here for the last few years earning their following and now they have a huge PR machine building on the foundations that they made themselves. If you actually look at what you're competing with, why would anyone come up here? You won't have a chance. You won't get seen. You won't be nominated for an award. The press won't be interested. You won't get in at one of the main venues because you're a nobody. There won't be any space for your poster because all the posters up this year were put up in September of last year plus you won't get a Brooke's bar pass. There is NO POINT AT ALL in coming up here. Unless of course you consider the good work you do to be of value.

That trivial thing, creating something that you like, might just get you through an entire run of the festival. You won't get an award and you'll have to listen to other people either complaining that they haven't been nominated or people bragging that they have been nominated, but I still think that it's actually worth doing something you like instead of trying to win an award by doing a show you think is the kind of show that wins awards. My show is small. It's just based on a few experiences I've had with rude people. I'm not sure many people have had a nervous breakdown on a train and threatened a child by trying to throw their shoe out the window but it's that kind of small thing that means it's not like the other shows. In a way, I just think that's enough. The subject of the show is the growing acceptance of bad manners in daily life. So it's a show that's small, has a story about a shoe that means it's not like other shows and it's about something that lots of people feel strongly about. What I'm saying is, I'm actually proud of myself. If I have one regret it's that I'm not doing the show for the entire month and the reason I'm only doing it for 8 days is because I was scared of the competition instead of being overjoyed at making something I like. The first night I had 8 people in. 4 of them were friends. It was a disaster but it turned out to be a very delightful disaster because, as it turns out, it doesn't matter how many people see this show, I just like performing it. The numbers have grown every night and I really don't know why other than maybe a few people have said "You should see this show. A man has a nervous breakdown on a train, shouts at kids and seems very happy to retell the story on stage". There are no posters for this show, I know this because when I arrived I was told that my posters hadn't been put up but "Here's a pile of them. Can you put them up yourself?" plus I haven't seen any flyering. I'm not for one second saying there hasn't been any (my agent says my flyerer is a very lovely person) but I haven't seen any. It's a word of mouth thing. A small show that I really love. Get's talked about by a very small amount of people. The audience grows a bit and last night the room was nicely full. Not sold out but very nice. That's why I came to the festival. And I think that's better than having headaches worrying that you might just not become a star or upsetting yourself by seeing everyone elses magnificent successes. In many ways, people, I am the spirit of the fringe.

Now where's my fucking award?

Tickets for CURSE SIR WALTER RALEIGH at this year's Edinburgh Fringe are now on sale here:

Tickets for POINTLESS ANGER, RIGHTEOUS IRE 2: BACK IN THE HABIT at this year's Edinburgh Fringe are now on sale here:

Kindle owners might like to know that my blog is now available to subscribe and read on your Kindle here:

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Time Out and Time's Up.

I'm enjoying myself. That's what happens when I don't blog. I know I don't blog as much as I used to but that's because I'm happier than I used to be. I just don't see the point in writing about being happy. What could anyone get out of me being happy? NOTHING. The festival is going well and people are coming to see the shows and laughs are happening. So I'm enjoying myself at the Edinburgh Fringe, the very thing you don't want me to do. Not that it's all been paradise. Some stuff has riled me. Seeing all those posters already up and screaming at me last Monday gave me such a shock that I barely noticed that practically all of them have something in common. I don't know how I didn't notice it before but bar a few exceptions they're all exactly the same. The font seems pretty much the same, all chunky letters as fat as the ego they represent, with the same photograph of the same T4 haircut and the same skinny jeans. It's all BIG FACE ON POSTER WITH BIG WRITING. Not just a few of them. Practically all of them. How are we supposed to know what comedian it is we're seeing? They shouldn't have their names on posters at all. It should just say something like Comedian "A" or Female Comic 12. Not that there are 12 female comedians, of course. Where's the imagination, comedians? And stop being called Russell all the time. Even the few that aren't called Russell are called Russell, aren't they?

So, how have I survived the madness of Edinburgh with it's permanent rain and it's constant NO's? It isn't easy to be honest. It really has been raining a lot and there hasn't been a day without a classic Edinburgh NO. My favourite so far was when I went for a beer with my friend Sarah. We met at The Tron, a bar just off the Royal Mile, and I ordered us a couple of drinks. Well, I wanted to but both members of staff behind the completely clear bar didn't see me despite them just standing there doing nothing. It was an interesting experiment to just wait to see how long they would wait until they felt embarrassed enough that they HAD to serve me. I guessed it would be 20 seconds, quite a long time to wait if it's a clear bar and staff are a foot and a half away from you. My guess was way off. It was about three minutes before they reluctantly acknowledged my existence. As all seats were taken we decided to have our beer outside. "I wonder how long it will be before they say you can't drink outside", I said. It was immediate.

Look, what you need is a trampoline. Edinburgh is a tough town during the month of August. It's full of ups and downs and the best ups and downs are the ones you get from a trampoline. No doubt your student accomodation comes complete with a trampoline, right? My place certainly does. It stopped raining a few days ago and I had a choice: do I get in the jacuzzi (oh, yes) and relax in the manner fitting a man collapsing into 43 or do I just act like a dick on a trampoline. I went for the trampoline. There is just something really funny about being nearly 43 and bouncing up and down like an idiot while your friends laugh at you and take clips to put on YouTube. That said, it's even funnier when you're nearly 43 and you bounce up and down on a trampoline while no one at all is watching. I wasn't not showing off, I wasn't trying to be funny, I was just happily being nearly 43 and bouncing up and down on a trampoline. Alone. I really recommend it. It's really fun and a bit scary. All you can see is the metal bar of the frame that holds the trampoline in place and when you bounce you just KNOW you're going to slip and smash your skull on it. But what a hilarious way to go. Dying at the age of nearly 43, alone on a trampoline.

I have something else to recommend to you this Edinburgh Fringe. How about stepping away from all the shows and seeing some art? Take yourself to the Scottish National Portrait Gallery and see a painting called The Three Oncologists. You know when some very pretentious people say "When I saw that painting, I just cried"? Well, you just might. It's a painting that just lets you know that one day you will die. Looking at it actually feels like a cold, friendly hand offering to help you into death. It is beautiful and terrifying and I can't urge you enough to see it. Trust me, there is nothing better going on up here than that painting. Note that I haven't attached a picture of it here and please DO NOT Google it. Just go to the gallery and see it yourself. My agent, Kate, took me to see it as should all good agents show this perfectly tragic piece to their clients. "There. Look at that. Now, fancy doing something good before you go?" See it. And enjoy yourself, it's later than you think.

Tickets for CURSE SIR WALTER RALEIGH at this year's Edinburgh Fringe are now on sale here:

Tickets for POINTLESS ANGER, RIGHTEOUS IRE 2: BACK IN THE HABIT at this year's Edinburgh Fringe are now on sale here:

Kindle owners might like to know that my blog is now available to subscribe and read on your Kindle here:

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

I Get So Emotional, Baby.

I feel sick.

I arrived in Edinburgh yesterday and it was lovely. The place I'm staying in is just fantastic and the area around it is beautiful. It's quite far from the centre so every day I'll be lucky enough to walk for maybe 30 or 40 minutes before seeing a crumpled flyer on the ground. The first thing I did when I arrived was go to Waitrose, yeah I'm one of those people now, and bought some food and then spent two hours making chilli. You shouldn't rush chilli. Especially in this house. The area is so quiet and cooking is very relaxing. I should savour the whole experience. I sat at the table and ate while thinking this is how the Edinburgh Festival will be for me this year. Relaxing and peaceful. About 5 o'clock I decided to slowly wander into town just to see if anyone I know is around. Just to say Hi and share a laugh.


The festival hasn't started yet but everyone is everywhere selling their show. My posters aren't even printed yet. No matter where I look there are posters. Massive posters. All of them screaming at me. "I SOLD OUT LAST YEAR". "I WON THE BEST COMEDIAN IN THE WORLD AWARD". "I'M THE STAR OF THE MICHAEL MCINTYRE COMEDY ROADSHOW". You're not but that's not the point. Look, I know this whole thing is incredibly competitive but at least let's wait until it's started before we draw blood. My friend, Marisa, said they've been up for ages. WHAT? What about us little guys? The ones nobody knows. Let us put a poster first, eh? I mean the rain will wash it away in a day or two because our posters are made of recycled spider's webs and psoriasis and THEN you can put your solid steel, really pretty posters up. I think acts should bring their own posters to Edinburgh. Not here yet? Then you can't put your poster up. This is too early. Way too early. I saw a poster of Craig Hill and no-one had written "God, I hate him" on it yet. THAT'S how early it is.

I missed out on the train journey to Edinburgh and I've now realised how important that journey is to getting your head together for the festival. You need five hours in a carriage with noisy actors and bragging comedians to slowly let yourself know that this next month is going to be a massive pain in the arse. Just arriving and having it punch you in the dick simply isn't sporting. All of a sudden I really miss all the people I've ever done shows with. I'm doing this 8 night run all on my own. Where's Robin? Where's Johnny? Where are the other Cvnts? I'm scared that I'll fail on my own, paranoid that everyone will think it's shit, worried about...everything. Ah, the Fringe. It's great to be back.

That's all part of it. The fear. It can't all be drinking and laughing at other people's bad reviews. You have to be a bit scared yourself. That's good. That's adrenaline. You can use that. Can't I? Thankfully I didn't spend the whole night thinking about what will happen to my show. I mean, who in Edinburgh could spend an entire evening just going on and on about themselves? Marisa and I bumped into Rich Fulcher, then we met Richard Herring, Catie Wilkins and Charlotte Jo Hanbury of The Segue Sisters and had a really good laugh. If I can have nights like that then maybe my definite and unavoidable failure will not be so bad. I've got a good show that I'm happy with. Come along if you fancy gambling on something that hasn't got a massive publicity machine behind it. You might like it.

Now, is there any room for my poster, Edinburgh? NO!

Tickets for CURSE SIR WALTER RALEIGH at this year's Edinburgh Fringe are now on sale here:

Tickets for POINTLESS ANGER, RIGHTEOUS IRE 2: BACK IN THE HABIT at this year's Edinburgh Fringe are now on sale here:

Kindle owners might like to know that my blog is now available to subscribe and read on your Kindle here:

Monday, 1 August 2011

Shut Up, Gilbert O'Sullivan.

This is it! Today is the day that most performers make the journey up to Scotland for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. So many bright, young hopefuls are packing up their dreams, ambitions and stilts and taking them on that fun, song-filled train journey to Waverley Station where they will show the world that they’ve got the goods, mister. Each one of them fresh-faced, energetic and alive.

Not me. I’ve been up here for a week already. On my own. Going mad.

Glasgow is a great city but Glasgow is Rotterdam and Rotterdam is anywhere alone. When you’ve spent the bulk of six days on your own in a hotel room, your mind wanders and breaks. Only someone who has spent six days alone in a hotel room with a broken mind could find it clever to throw in a Beautiful South lyric. That’s me. Hello.

I’ve brought DVD’s and work with me. Lots of DVD’s and lots of work. So far, I’ve done a thimbleful of work and I’ve watched one DVD. I just can’t seem to concentrate on one single thing this week. There’s so much to do in preparation for Edinburgh that I’ve decided to do as much nothing as I possibly can. That means a lot of looking out the window, a lot of pacing and a lot of doing things that never need to be done. I spent a couple of hours on Thursday deleting phone numbers from my phone. Who’s Brian? I don’t know. Delete. Hmmm…am I ever likely to phone Carol again? Last time we spoke she said that she liked my sitcom idea and would send the first draft to the head of her production company and then she said she hated Doctor Who. Delete. Every time I pressed delete I imagined that person immediately disappearing off the face of the Earth. You can see why that took a couple of hours, surely? Then I decided to find out how much German TV I could stand watching. The answer is 72 minutes. Das ist gut, ja? I did do a lot of reading which I think is healthy. Reading every day keeps the mind fit and strong. There wasn’t a single day when I didn’t read that soy sauce packet. Sometimes aloud. “Wok and Walk soy sauce. Fermented soy beans, wheat, water, salt. Recyclable packet”. I didn’t even look at that, I know it off by heart.

Do you talk to yourself? Me neither. Why would I talk to myself when I have Mr. Curtains and the Cup twins? Sadly, I’m not lying when I say I really did start to talk to inanimate objects this weekend. On Saturday I turned to the kettle and said “What are you actually made of?” He said nothing so I made two cups of tea that I forced to compete for my affection. One was called “Welsh Blend”. It was from a hotel in Machynlleth. The other was a posh rooibis tea from a hotel in Hong Kong. That Welsh tea never stood a chance. I remember sitting on the floor naked just laughing at it and thinking how pathetic it was.

Finally, last night after the gig I went back to the hotel and actually watched a film. It was Bananas, the Woody Allen classic. I decided it would be great to watch it with the commentary on. My commentary on. Turns out, although I’m quite critical of a lot of the production values, I know a lot of behind the scenes gossip from that film. “He shagged her. That building used to be a brothel. That car’s in jail now. That was Woody’s own spoon. I remember him punching Charles Joffee in the dick for touching it”, I said while sitting alone in bed eating eight vegan sausages. Actually, it was seven. I found one under the duvet this morning. I had it for breakfast. It was warm, so that was nice.

The gigs have been great fun, though I was shit in Falkirk last night, but the absolute highlight for me this week was when someone pointed at my Peter Davison badge and said “Jesus Christ! Is that the Norway bloke?”

Normally the cracks start to show near the end of the second week during the festival run but I’ve come ready prepared. I’ve gone as mad and broken as I can be this week. Or perhaps this is just the beginning. Edinburgh, here I come.

Tickets for CURSE SIR WALTER RALEIGH at this year's Edinburgh Fringe are now on sale here:

Tickets for POINTLESS ANGER, RIGHTEOUS IRE 2: BACK IN THE HABIT at this year's Edinburgh Fringe are now on sale here:

Kindle owners might like to know that my blog is now available to subscribe and read on your Kindle here: