Show 16 was a lot of fun, particularly for me, as I had one of my favourite club comics, Rich Wilson and my old pal Sarah Kendall on. Sarah and I shared an Edinburgh flat for four or five years, along with Lucy Porter, Justin Edwards and Henry Naylor and it was really my favourite time to do the Fringe. My shows went well, but I also had this brilliant group of people to return to each day and Sarah and I particularly liked to talk shit and push our conversations into weird and dark areas. It would be hard to replicate this on stage, but we did pretty well today. To begin with we were laughing more than the audience, but we dragged them to our level and it was a giddy and offensive podcast. You can listen here
My after show signing was a bit weird. First a man congratulated me on my radio series. I thought he meant Relativity to begin with, but explained he meant that one where I talk to people about their teenage diaries. I have been on that show and think it was at least partially inspired by my Headmaster’s Son show, but it’s presented by Rufus Hound. Politeness and embarrassment meant that I nodded along and agreed what a brilliant show it is and that I hoped it would return and said that his idea that the tables should be turned and one episode should be me reading from my teenage diary was a good one. Luckily he’ll never discover his error as I presume he reads Rufus’ blog thinking he’s me.
Another woman told me that she’d come across someone using my Christ on a Bike photo on Bumble and that when she’d said “Is that a picture of Richard Herring?” the person had not responded and deleted their profile. So she assumed it was really me. I didn’t know what Bumble even was, though correctly suspected it was probably something like Tinder (maybe for people who were more socially awkward and bumbly - which is cool. I would be on that one if I thought my wife wouldn’t mind - she just said she doesn’t mind). I don’t think the woman really thought it was me, but it was strange to have this follow on so quickly from another case of mistaken identity. Especially when I suspect that there is someone going round pretending to be me, as I hear so many stories of weird things that I am meant to have done.
Then as I left someone shouted out my name and I was greeted like an old friend by a man I had seen sitting in the second row of the show. He had had a great time and I was delighted to hear it. He told me that this was the second time we’d met and that the first time was under much sadder circumstances. I didn’t remember meeting him before so I asked him to remind me of when that was and he went into some detail describing a funeral that I am pretty certain I didn’t attend. The name of the deceased rang no bells at all and I haven’t been to too many funerals. Had it been of the relative of an ex-girlfriend or something like that? I couldn’t recall having been to any funerals of people that I wouldn’t immediately recall. Thankfully funerals have been rare enough in my life that I recall all the deceased pretty well. But I still affected an unconvincing memory of the event. “Oh yes, of course,” I lied. Because to tell this guy that he’d mistaken me for someone else or that he’d conjured me up at the funeral out of grief would be much more embarrassing than this weird pantomime we were going through, where I pretended to be sad about someone I had never met, living or dead.
He was a really nice guy and I didn’t want to make him feel bad or embarrass him. But I did start to wonder if I was somehow being Gotcha-ed. I was amazed to think that Noel Edmonds might have brought that format back and even more amazed that he’d have selected me as a victim, rather than one of this mates like DLT. But it’s possible that Noel Edmonds had mixed me up with Charley Boorman or someone.
We got a baby sitter tonight so managed to see a couple of shows. First up we were at the City Cafe in a room so small that I assumed it had been set up as a parody of the Fringee’s desire to turn every possible space into a venue. Really, I can’t quite work out what the room would be in non-Fringe times, but I assume a slightly large cupboard. I’m not exaggerating. It was incredible that this was being used for a show. But amazingly it worked and I saw Thanyia Moore and Sian Davies sharing the hour to do a work in progress shows that they hope to bring back as full hours. Both shows had lots of potential and the performers had enough confidence to make us forget we were sitting in a cupboard that would be a death trap if there was a fire outside.
Then we went to see Jayde Adams’ remarkable show at the Pleasance, which I suspect is in with a good chance of an award nod this year. Really bold and original perspective on feminism from an engaging performer with just the right balance of confidence and fragility. And her Maitre D line should be the joke of the Fringe - a proper pithy observation, rather than a reconstituted pun.
And it felt like, for one night only, we were doing the Fringe.
On the way out we met a friend who was delighted to see Catie, but totally failed to notice me standing beside her. This Gotcha is really going into some depth, Edmonds.
See Rich Wilson’s show - Tickets here
Listen to his podcast
See Sarah’s show - tickets here