Writing blogs has been tough this week. My mind has been on other matters and so hacking away musings of the week seems to be the last thing on my line of priorities. The main task of yesterday and today is trying to finish my 40 words for the Edfringe programme entry. Its only 40 words. That should be amazingly easy, but its not. I can often think of 40 words, I’ve already written 40 words in this blog. I can fairly easily shout 40 different words in one go if I wanted to, but I don’t because people will think I’m nuts or have some sort of surrealist Tourettes. I do wish that existed. I’d love to walk past people in the park and here them shout things like ‘ The goose is made of polystyrene, beware the warriors of paint!’ Although that statement sounds like it almost means something and I would probably end up being suspicious of geese and paintbrushes for ever. The 40 words I need for the program though need to be coherent and sell my show. I am good at self-publicity but I’m not good at making myself sound great. Currently (under agent’s advice) it says ‘Internationally acclaimed’. I need to remove that, because I’m not. I have done only 2 gigs abroad ever and I’m not sure anyone noticed. My website has now been viewed in New Zealand, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Australia, Canada, USA and Ireland which all sounds impressive. Until you realise its by a grand total of 55 people. And probably some of those numbers are the same person visiting twice, assuming they weren’t put off the first time. If I could write the 40 words I’d really like to write it would say something like ‘ Its my first solo show. It might be rubbish. Hopefully it wont be, but sorry if it is. Beer? “Glad he doesn’t work for us anymore. He was rubbish at filing” – Camden Council’.
I was in Midhurst yesterday. Midhurst is one of those lovely towns that you don’t know exists and would normally just stumble upon by accident. You travel through lots of dodgy windy country roads and suddenly in a clearing is this pretty little place with nice houses and stone bridge and other stuff they only had in Trumpton. I was hoping for a windmill with a man who conveniently would leave and enter his house just in time not to be killed by the massive sails, and for 6 firemen who all had names that would fit perfectly into a rhyme and later a techno beat. They didn’t have the latter but I wasn’t disappointed. I could imagine that nothing ever goes wrong in Midhurst and occasionally the newspaper has to be released because someone has lost a sock or is a bit worried because they’ve seen litter, or someone who isn’t local. This bookended a rather lovely drive up with Janice Phayre who I haven’t seen for a while. Janice is a lovely and a top passenger. I helped her rehearse a casting script which is the first time I’ve done that while driving. I had to put on an Ardel O’Hanlon Irish accent which I felt I did rather well until I tried it again today and realised it was very sub-standard and no way as good as my Tony Law or Rhod Gilbert. It was a lot of fun and it means she now competes with Tom Deacon who brought clementines and eclairs, Lloyd and Henry’s jazz chat and Tom Craine who brought germs. In fact, Craine is disqualified. I didn’t like getting ill. I might start tallying up some sort of passenger based points system. Good chat is fairly standard but its those extra bits that might get you a star sticker or something equally as pointless. I’m driving to Dorset with Andrew O’Neill later. I always enjoy Andrew’s company but if he doesn’t bring scripts, food based goods, or some sort of new car entertainment he will lose points.
The gig at Midhurst lived up to the standards of the area. It was ridiculously lovely and there was nothing to complain about. Run by Duncan Oakley, he has set up a truly great club in a truly great room with really lovely people. I know, it means I have very little to write about. There was even a landlady and waiter who would stroll through the room bringing drinks and food which is something I would have normally found distracting and crap. But in Midhurst they did it in such a nice way, it was fine. I don’t really understand it. I’m almost suspicious that they pump something into the air so that everyone felt happy. I mean, its just not right that it was all so great. I spent time worrying about this blog, thinking, ‘well if its all so great, what can I write about?’ Duncan needs to think about this. Its all very well running a stupidly good club and being a great host, but how will anyone moan about it? The car journey home was massively devoid of any kind of griping. We almost felt cheated. Then we got stuck in a traffic jam and I was able to breathe a big sigh of relief and get all shouty.
I’m in Gillingham in Dorset tonight. I hope, for your sake and mine, that its got something wrong with it. Maybe the stage will be in the loos, to 20 stag-dos and a serial killer, with a sound system created by tin cans and rope. We can only hope.