Last night's late-night gig (I was on at 11.30pm - oh dear, I am old) knocked everything a bit of whack for me today. Plus I remembered that I had a Metro article to write. So I had to postpone my gym visit until after the podcast. I was also dashing around trying to little chores done like dry-cleaning and picking up tickets from the Fringe box office. I was not as energetic on stage tonight as I had been last night. The fitness and healthy eating is going pretty well. I have had a small drink most nights, but nothing to induce hangovers and I am walking about 5 miles a day I think.
The podcast with Susan Calman was my favourite yet. I think we might have sorted out the sound issues (though I like the fact that it sounds like it was recorded in a bin in 1973 - it's not meant to be polished or professional and we turn these around very, very fast for you), but also mainly, Susan talked into the microphone, which other guests have seemed less keen to do. We always have a lot of fun together, flirting and acting totally inappropriately. Can a married hetrosexual man marry a married lesbian woman? I hope one day the government will allow such a union. But also force us to have the sex that neither of us wants. I am hopeful we can still do that as a Fringe show (the sex bit, not necessarily the marriage). Susan is a fantastically funny woman and we do seem to have a great rapport. She knows just how to deal with my rudeness, whilst somehow spurring me on to greater heights of inappropriateness. It made me cry with laughter today and at one point I nearly fell off my stool. In the cramped environment of the stage at the Stand I might very well have brained myself. What a way to go! Have a listen.
My brain went back to slightly fuggy mode again tonight (it was 2 for 1 and the place was full) and I forgot my place a couple of times and missed out some good bits (managed to go back for a couple of them, but was annoyed by my lack of concentration). As I tried to dredge up one of the jokes I accidentally said, "I am 26", which got a massive laugh (unfairly I think - I could pass for 26, right?). I think it was partly fatigue and the heat and I think they were the kind of errors that niggled with me rather than the audience. Aside from losing my place in the Hamlet speech again, the longer routines went well, but one always hopes that each performance will be better than the last and this one was a slight step in the wrong direction. My stupid brain.
I went to see my first show of the Fringe, Adam Buxton. I felt I needed to repay him for the flowers. Maybe this is his big sales technique, like my free DVDs - a bunch of flowers for everyone in the country. Surely enough of them would come to see him to pay back on the investment. I am a massive fan of Count Buckules and think he is possibly the funniest and most inventive comedian in the country. I love the fact that often his stuff is just silly and scatological, but there is a craft behind it that is brilliant, but also I am often laughing without even really knowing why. Why are loads of tiny Adam Buxtons dancing around singing "In Your Face!" so endlessly funny? I don't know. But that's partly what I like about it. With most comedians, even ones I like, I can see how they got to where they were going. With Adam's stuff, at its best, it is inexplicable yet hilarious. He's a charming and self-effacing presence and even when he's mocking Youtube comment conversations he doesn't do so nastily, but more as a social commentator. And some of them are quite moving and revelatory about the human spirit. Having worked in his own comedy solar system he is refreshingly unaffected by anyone else's style or material and you should really go to see him. Increasingly I realiseI should point out that he did give me a bunch of flowers though, and that may well have affected my brain.
We went out for a drink after the show and although the matter of the hand-job hung in the air like a bad smell, none of us mentioned it. We had an interesting chat about comedy and podcasts (I think he's about to move into that arena himself, so that's the last Chortle internet award I am going to win) and other stuff. Luckily an extremely tall man arrived and started talking to Adam, so my wife and I were able to slip away without having to do the hand-job. Herrings 1 Buxton 0.
It was his last night at the Fringe tonight, so if you want to see him live then you'll have to check out his other dates. He's one of UK's comedy giants, but not when he's standing next to a 7 foot tall man (i got vertigo looking up at him)
So far so good with the reviews for WAGTD. I have got 5 stars from Broadway Baby and 5 stars from Informed Edinburgh. Can I keep up my average of 5 stars? It seems unlikely, but with luck I will get no more reviews and thus can leave the Fringe with my head held high.
And the podcast got this 4 star review also in Broadway Baby.
So the positivity is working. But it's a lot easier to be positive when people are coming to your shows and the crits are good. Shaping up to be the best Fringe yet. Imagine how good it will be if I do 22 more.