RIP Eddie Braben - so much of Morecambe and Wise's success down to his advice, wit + comedic vision - link(2 hours ago)
Talking Cock in Tewkesbury tonight - link It's looking very quiet indeed! (3 hours ago)
21/05/13 PRESS Interview with CMoorin.co.uk
17/05/13 JOURNALISM Metro 64
PRESS Interviews with the North Devon Journal and the Daily Chuckle
14/05/13 PRESS Time Out RHLSTP article and Podcast top 10
These are my upcoming gigs.
Click GIGS above for more details.
TALKING COCK unless otherwise stated
24th Milton Keynes
RICHARD HERRING'S LEICESTER SQUARE THEATRE PODCAST:
Another series of RHLSTP (rhlstp) will run from May 27th - July 1st. May 27th - Chris Addison.
June 3rd Stephen Fry
Other guests to be confirmed, but I am aiming for BIG names, so book now
EDINBURGH FRINGE 2013:
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
So any fears that the whole “You Can Choose Your Friends” commission was an elaborate practical joke have now been largely allayed (unless it’s a really really elaborate practical joke), as filming started today.
I was picked up at 7.30 (a relatively late start apparently, because I wasn’t acting until the final scene of the day) and taken to a leafy private road in a small town in Surrey where the house of the fictional Ken and Margaret Snell is located.
The first scenes were from early in the script and featured just Anton and Julia. I sat in a room off the lounge with the continuity woman and the guy in charge of lighting and watched the action on a small monitor. It all looked very professional. “It looks really amazing,” I told them, “Almost like a proper TV show. I reckon this is good enough that you could actually put it on telly.”
No-one understood my “joke” and tried not to look at me like I was mad. They have to be nice to me. I am an actor.
But I like to keep up these idiotic pretences. When Stew and me were doing our TV shows back in the 90s we had a running joke (which owed a little to the film Spinal Tap) whenever a set designer brought in the tiny model of the design for the studio, we would look at it thoughtfully for a while and then one of us would look a little concerned and say, “The real one will be bigger than this though, won’t it?” Every time. Sometimes we might add a comment about how at the present size we wouldn’t really fit in it or whatever, but the important thing was to do the basic joke, whether the set designed understood us or not. Or even if they had heard it before.
Filming is a long and laborious process and most of my day was spent sitting around watching or doing crosswords or sudukos. The fun and relaxed atmosphere of the rehearsal period has continued into filming and the cast continue to bond. Julia allowed me to help her with her Telegraph cryptic crossword and I worked on the relationship between myself and the actor playing my character’s youngest nephew, Tony Bignell, by taking the piss out of him all day long. At one point in the filming he was accidentally masked by a wooden pillar in the lounge and I said that it would be best for the film if we managed to keep him hidden like this at all times. Even if that meant cutting down the pillar and moving it around the house. It could be a nice surreal touch to the otherwise realistic drama. The character hidden by a bit of wood who never says anything. I undermined the 17 year old actor with such comments all day long threatening to have him replaced in the part or to write a new scene early on where he dies, though admitted I am only picking on him because a) I am a method actor and this is how our characters would interact and b) because he’s the only person in the cast smaller than me, so he probably won’t be able to beat me up. It’s interesting the way that fictional relationships become mirrored in real life. I think Tony gets the joke, but maybe he goes home at night and cries himself to sleep. He is quite a confident fellow. I think he’ll be all right.
To stop messing up the house too much everyone who is not acting in a scene has to wear little blue shoe-shaped plastic bags over their shoes. They’re a sort of boot prophylactic and I argued that everyone had to wear them to stop the spread of Shoe AIDS, which is an increasingly serious problem.
Lunch is the best time of the day. We are driven to a car-park some distance from the location where there is a catering van and a double decker bus that we can sit on whilst eating. I tried my best to eat healthily, though later in the day did succumb to doughnuts and biscuits, so my fears of my character being fat at the start of the show and relatively thin at the end looked in danger of coming true.
I hadn't washed my hair this morning as I couldn't remember if if make-up prefer clean or dirty hair on an actor (it's clean if you're interested as they can always make clean hair dirty) and figured they could always wash it if I didn't. So after lunch I had my hair washed. By someone else. See how I have changed. A couple of weeks ago I was mocking the idea of someone doing up my shirt buttons for me. Now I was insisting that I was too grand to wash my own hair. I have changed.
As it happened there was no hot water in any of the trailers and so I had to decide whether I would have dirty hair or whether I would have it washed in cold water. I decided not to get the reputation of being difficult and grand and to make up for not having washed my own hair by going for the latter option. The water wasn't just cold, it was freezing. After the temperature had permeated through my thick hair, my skull felt like it had turned to ice. But I didn't make a fuss as I figured this was all a punishment for having not washed my hair and that in fact there was plenty of hot water in the other tap. I would show them that I wasn't the usual prissy actor. God it hurt though. I'll complain to you. But I pretended to them. You might say I acted. Because I am an actor.
The afternoon scenes zinged along and the cast were still making me laugh (which was OK as I was sniggering quietly next door). I allowed myself to start thinking that this whole thing might turn out really well. Shamefully at about that point my mobile phone rang in the middle of a scene and though I turned it off quickly I had still committed the cardinal sin on set. I was sure it had been on silent. At the start of the next take there was a terse reminder to turn off all mobiles – “Yes!” I chimed in in an accusatory manner. Hopefully that helped me get away with it.
Finally it was my turn to do some acting and it involved kissing a bare lady in bed. The fourteen year old me who used to enjoy watching this kind of scene on television (for some reason) would not have believed that he would one day be involved in something like this, but to be honest I had so many other things to concentrate on that the 14 year old inside me didn’t get a chance to enjoy it. This is just my job and I am mature, so I just take this kind of thing in my stride. Because I am mature, like I just said.. Plus there was some men watching us and filming everything, which took away most potential sexyness… and anyone who says it didn’t and in fact made the whole thing more exciting for me, is lying.
Seven o clock was approaching and that was when filming had to end and so we had to rush things slightly, but I think I did OK, though it wasn’t until the last take that I was happy with what I was doing. The producer complimented me on looking suitably subtly nervous and embarrassed (as my character was worried about his parents next door hearing what he was up to), though I think my awkwardness might have been more to do with me than the character. But I am not going to tell anyone that and when I pick up my BAFTA for portraying this bumbling, self-conscious idiot so effectively, only you and I will know my secret.
Everyone seemed happy with day one and it is surreal, but exciting to be finally underway. Thank God I have managed to surround myself with so many brilliant people who know what they are doing, and then also Tony Bignell who at least ensures that I won’t be the worst actor in it. I’m just joking Tony. I am. Am I?