So that’s it. No more shows to do up in Edinburgh. I have just been to collect the very minimal props and few posters I had left from the Underbelly, and me and Layla watched as the pictures were torn down from the walls and the box office dismantled. There is something so horribly anti-climatic about it all. What was once a hub of activity suddenly becomes nothing more than really really damp grotty caves that would no way pass any health or safety regulations ever. Quite a lot of people still have shows today. The Pleasance Courtyard, Gilded Balloon and Assembly Rooms revel in the schadenfreude of watching the performers on their very last legs have to muster up enough strength to perform to 1/4 full rooms of audience who have managed to scrape a cheap ticket. Its just mean that it goes on one more day for these people. Its mean the festival goes on as long as it does. I had, like in previous years, big plans to end yesterday by drinking my own body weight in alcohol, but instead sitting in The Loft at about 11.45pm I just crashed. Layla said I looked very pale and like I might just fall asleep on the spot so she took me home. Instead of whiling away the night with all the others that had dealt with the month, I tucked up in bed, feeling full of a cold, and completely exhausted by everything. Party time FAIL.
I hadn’t had a great last day to be fair. The day before was the Saturday of greatness and were you someone who believed in karma then it rose up on its high horse of equilibrium and dealt me a blow in the face of sheer ‘meh’. My final show, my 24th performance of 28 Years Later, was a dud. I had planned it to be fun. I was going to run back on after the final bit, then give a big thanks to Paul Byrne for all his hard work helping direct my show and keep it fun, as well as teching it everyday and then I was going to tell the audience that as it was the last day they could take all the chairs, lighting fixtures etc with them if they wanted. Had I had lots of cash, I would’ve hired lots of people dressed as zombies to run out from backstage and eat the punters, but I didn’t have loads of cash. Or even small amounts of cash. Just no cash. I’m poor. But even the smaller parts of the plan weren’t to be. The half full audience were not the best. Four non-English speaking Spanish people in the front row, several starers who just wouldn’t give me anything for any gags at all, and three New Zealanders who were lovely sitting right near the back. This last lot shouldn’t have been a problem, except that about halfway through they started talking to each other quite a lot. Eventually I became arsey comedian and I confronted them on it, being slightly over-aggressive about it all. I shouldn’t have been as they were talking because a small mouse was running around the floor by their feet. This then caused the woman in the group to squeal a bit and run out of the room. There was no getting this gig back. As well as those people, my friends Adam and Jimmy were in the room, as was Bruce Dessau. Of all the shows in the whole run they came to see, they saw my second most shite one. It didn’t help that I wasn’t on form. I was tired, run down and full of some sort of horrible cold. I finished the show, and decided I didn’t want these people to thank Paul, he deserved better than that. I sniffled a lot and trudged off feeling all a bit sorry for myself. So sad that my last gig couldn’t have been the sold out laughter fest of the previous day.
Luckily I had to race to Comedy 4 Kids which was a lot of fun and perked me up somewhat, although again, numbers were down from the 200 of the previous day and there were only about 40 in. I’ve enjoyed doing Comedy 4 Kids a lot this year and I spent most of my MCing talking to some kids from ‘Bridgeofalan’?? If that’s what its called? Either way I decided it was and created a scenario where they all took turns to guard the bridge that leads to Alan’s house. There was much further japery, great sets from Bethany Black and Gordon Southern, and I even managed to remember to tell the kids they could take all the chairs, lighting fixtures etc and cigarette machine when they left. The day was then closed with the Darnan and Fouieb at the Cow Cafe gig. This was an idea that was had by Keith and myself as we had spent most days sitting in the Cow Cafe bantering for hours on end while others endured our odd rants about things. We thought it would be fitting to end the month with an official show where we did just that. We asked for 60 suggestions of things to talk about from Underbelly staff and performers and we were to talk about each one for 1 minute each (this was timed by Ben who was dressed as a penguin, hence Benguin) while we drank a lot of booze. The cafe filled up and me and Keith went for it. For an entirely improvised hour, some of it really worked and of course, some of it really didn’t. The crowd didn’t really run with it, but many said they really enjoyed, but they were just absolutely knackered too. Me and Keith enjoyed it a lot and feel there’s scope for doing a slightly better planned version somewhere along the lines again. We went for a very nice dinner with Keith and his girlfriend Ginny before I crashed out and Layla had to take me home.
So much for Edinburgh going out with a bang. If it was a bang, it was one of those ones you don’t really want to hear. Less the bang of a party cracker, and more that of when you plug something in that was slightly wet and the fuse explodes and all the lights go out and there is panic until you realise all you have to do it flick the circuit breaker back on. Today is for flat cleaning and doing a few bits and bobs. Going to watch The Hotel, even though several of its performers have now gone home, so I worry it will be like half the experience. Then will see if I can endure more shows, but I may just head back to bed and sleep some more. Its been a truly brilliant year, but I’m very pleased its done and I miss my cats. Roll on tomorrow.