Wednesday 31st October 2012
I am delighted to say that I finished the Rasputin script today. It will now go off to be judged and if the BBC get back to me within 25 days and green light a series then I am going to count that as 2010 AIM achieved. That can't really possibly happen though, so I will content myself with having got to ten years of unbroken Warming Up, being married and having a more philosophical attitude towards my career. The good news is that the three people who have read the script really like it and I feel pleased with it too and am excited by the possibility that I might finally get a TV project off the ground, but also after a slightly disconsolate September, I feel reinvigorated and keen to get on with other projects. I have almost four months before my tour starts in earnest and it would be cool if I can fill them by trying to kickstart a few more projects. The next job is to have a go at a radio version of Gorgeous, but I'd also like to have a think about a couple more sit-com and book ideas. A weight seems to have been lifted off my brain, whether it will smash down on it again when I try to move to a new project remains to be seen. But I am feeling positive.
Weirdly when I was out in the Westfield I happened to bump into the man who commissioned the script - not in the Pret a Manger this time, luckily just after I had left the frozen yoghurt cafe Snog (it would have been inexplicably embarrassing if he'd seen me in there - and no I don't particularly like yoghurt any more than anyone else, I just fancied one today). I am usually very bad at remembering the names and faces of the terrifying individuals who hold my fate in their hands, but for some reason this man and his name have managed to stay in my memory banks, so I was able to tell him that I was on my way home to make the final changes. I told him it was weird, but good, I thought. I managed to resist getting down on my knees and begging him to commission it. Of course the BBC is nearby so it's not too much of a coincidence that I should see him, but it was still an odd happenstance, especially with the mystical nature of the subject of the script.
At last we seem to be taking advantage of my lighter gig load and getting out and seeing stuff. Tonight we went to the Bush Theatre for the first time since it moved location (I am annoyed I haven't been before, it's a really cool venue with a bar/cafe and a really impressive theatre space) to see the film "Mission to Lars". It's a documentary about Tom who has Fragile X Syndrome (a kind of autism) who is obsessed by the idea of meeting Lars Ulrich from Metallica and his brother and sister who decide to try and make his dream come true. It's moving, funny and heart-warming and whilst it is insightful about what it is like to live with learning disabilities, what is remarkable about it is that it quickly just becomes about the relationship of siblings, how that changes over time, how we can drift apart as we get older, how we can reconnect. We spend so much time with our brothers and sisters when we are kids and then only see them occasionally when we're grown-up. Maybe we should all be made to get in a camper van and drive across America and see how we get on. For the one in ten people that would end up dead, there would be two or three who would make an important reconnection.
Tom likes routine and hates loud noise (so it's interesting that his favourite band is Metallica and that his favourite member of that band is the drummer), so it's not easy to get him to America or to the gigs and it's a testament to familial love that his siblings want to give this a go and there's lots of laughs and sadness in Tom digging in his heels and deciding he doesn't want to see the band once he's in America. There's genuine jeopardy as it's far from certain that this will have a happy or satisfactory ending and as I watched I feared that Tom might meet Lars and just be underwhelmed or leave or that the efforts would be for nothing and he wouldn't meet him. You'll have to watch it to find out if my fears were confirmed.
It's one of the best things that I have seen for a long time. So good in fact that it didn't even need a shrek in it. In fact a shrek would have spoiled this film completely and I think that's a testament to how good it is. I can't think of any other work of art where this would be the case. It's so good it doesn't even need a shrek. Put it on the poster.
Unless your heart is dead you will love this amazing adventure. My heart is a bit mangled and I still did. I didn't cry though and anyone who says I did is lying.
Another 2010 aim from Matt Whitby - "You may or may not have heard of the NanoWriMo challenge where you have have to write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. My challenge to myself was to actually complete said novel. I would have done so if it wasn't for laziness which i'm sure you'll agree is something totally outside of my control. This year though, oh yes this year."
All the dates for the Talking Cock tour can be found here
Buy the Talking Cock book here
Tickets are now on sale for both my Edinburgh Fringe shows. "We're All Going To Die!" is on at the Pleasance Beyond at 8pm Book here
Richard Herring's Edinburgh Fringe Podcast is at Stand 1 daily at 14.10. Book here
You can get video downloads of Richard Herring's Leicester Square Theatre Podcast from Go Faster Stripe
A video explaining the idea can be seen here
You can buy tickets to the shows from the Leicester Square Theatre website
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