Are we allowed to say it’s like the Nazis yet? Mixed with the American Civil War? But with super stupid Nazis and Confederates?
Oh, OK. Let me know when we can.
My only hope is that this is the final kick of a dying horse (with brain disease) and it will lead to us moving forward into the 21st Century rather than moving back to the worst bits of the 20th and 19th Centuries. The problem with democracy is that we are bound to accept its decisions, even when they are damaging to democracy. At least it’s all good news of Putin. Until it all gets out of hand and fucks him up too.
But meanwhile in the bubble of Edinburgh, life ploughs on. I managed to spend most of the morning in bed, which probably did me some good and then made some headway on some of my writing work in the afternoon. I spent some time considering why Flake, Twirl and Ripple don’t settle their differences and become one chocolate bar. But that basic issue is at the heart of most of the world’s conflicts and I guess it will never happen. I wrote a big chunk of Emergency Questions for the new book, but still over 100 to create before I can send my bit off to the designer.
With all the other shows selfishly being back on today, I had just over half capacity at the Pleasance 1 and they were a quiet and mildly sluggish audience. I actually did a fairly good rendition of the show, but I wasn’t getting too much back. Yesterday the enthusiastic crowd had pushed me on to create all kinds of new subtleties in the performance, but today was more workmanlike. I dug in, did my best and tried not to get thrown. I got some nice feedback afterwards, so I think it was just one of those quiet crowds that laughs internally. The fuckers. But it never ceases to surprise me how the same show can get such different responses from one night to the next and how it might get judged (by punters and critics alike) one way or the other depending on bad luck. I was unlucky enough to have at least one reviewer in on last Thursday’s slightly drudgy and mis-remembered show. But luckily not all the reviewers came to that one.
I felt mildly blue afterwards - nothing by the depressive standards of previous Fringes (and I have remained almost entirely upbeat so far this Fringe) - just a bit deadened and tired. I was down to do Set List for the first time in a few years and was wishing I hadn’t agreed to it. I felt flat like my audience and incapable of comic invention. I sat in Brooke’s Bar and had a whisky whilst trying to write more emergency questions (possibly the best preparation for the improvised show). I was pretty certain I was going to stink the place up and even envisioned myself just having to walk off stage defeated. I didn’t feel as terrified as the first few times I took this leap into the dark, but even that worried me.
As it turned out it was just the right thing for me to do. The audience were sweet and encouraging and I managed to get some traction out of “Nigelingus” talking about my recent encounter with Farage, how I had the chance to attack him and then I claimed, instead I just licked his vagina and that convinced me that Brexit was a good idea. I took the idea of his magic vagina that could persuade people to want to leave the EU a bit further, but I wish that I had run with it a bit more. Plus I missed out on the joke that you could lick Farage anywhere and you’d still be licking a cunt. But I ambled through the other subjects getting a little out of each of them and left the stage feeling delighted that I’d taken the plunge back into this queasy and ridiculous world. Likeable and witty Kai Humphries is a brilliant host for the show. And as always this is a strong recommend for anyone up at the Fringe. I am doing it again on the 23rd. I am already regretting it.