Back to driving myself around on tour and I left for Margate just after 2pm so that I could avoid the Friday evening traffic. Kent is one of my least favourite places to travel to on tour. It looks so close, but you have to cross London to get there, which is packed with traffic on the way out and drunks on the way home. My plan to leave early did not work. It took me over four hours to do the journey that would take me under two hours on the way home. The whole of London, it seemed was determined to squeeze through the tiny tunnel that takes it to the garden of England. My wait was compounded by me mis-reading my sat nav and taking a left a bit too early, meaning I had to join another traffic jam approaching from another direction.
I don't think I've been to Margate before (it gets hard to remember after so many years of playing theatres), but I didn't get the chance to look around. I drove past the sea and the down-trodden looking amusement arcades. I would have loved to have gone to Dreamland - what could have been better than a land of dreams? But I had 150 Margatians to entertain with the dreams that come with death (no dreams). The Theatre Royal is perhaps not as grand as it sounds, but it's a sweet old space with a slightly raked stage and a sense of living museum inside - were those seats the originals? I am not taking the piss though. I really liked being here.
There were no interventions from God, though I did momentarily pause to give Him a chance to take his cue. He's moved on to other things and who can blame Him? Those earthquakes aren't going to create themselves. I did however very nearly come a serious cropper at the start of the second half as I entered and tripped over the lead of my microphone which was coiled up on the floor. I could have falled off the stage and broken my neck. Which would be somewhat ironic as I warn the audience that they could trip and fall on their way home. The tech had offered me a wireless mic too, but I prefer to have the lead. Imagine if that choice had killed me. Steve Bennett from Chortle would be rubbing his hands in glee at the irony. I couldn't think of a suitable pun for this accident on the spot - maybe Mic kills Fish? (Michael Fish) A pun is not a pun unless you have to explain it in brackets afterwards.
Aside from that it was a good but unremarkable show. I stayed energetic despite the drive and the fact that I'd run five miles earlier. During the run my favourite pre-show WAGTD! track came up on shuffle on my iPhone. It's "Ain't It Grand To Be Bloomin' Well Dead" recorded in 1932 by Leslie Sarony. It's great that a song from over 80 years ago is still funny, but it also makes the good point that we treat people like Lords and Ladies in death, when surely it would be better to give them a good day of luxury whilst they were still alive. Sarony himself was only pretending to be an old man in this track - he lived until 1985 and was one of the elderly clerks in the Crimson Permanent Assurance section of Monty Python's Meaning of Life. But there's an added poignancy to the song given that all the people playing it are now dead. But I love that they are still making me laugh all this time later, as I attempt to prolong my own life by running. And that youtube link has a whole extra load of verses on it too, so that was fun to listen to. Nice work Leslie. You maybe made my grandma laugh in the 1930s and now you're making me laugh in the 2010s. If I can make anyone laugh in 2090 I'd be delighted. And those poor fuckers are going to need a giggle, what with them living underwater and having no oxygen. It really is grand to be blooming well dead.
Only eight more chances to see "We're All Going To Die!" live and I believe St Albans and Sutton Coldfield are sold out. It'd be great to get a full house for the DVD record at the final show of the tour at the Bloomsbury Theatre on the 23rd May. Book here.
This week's Metro column is about how my diet is going so far.