It was a day off for the podcast, but turned out to be my busiest day of the Fringe, with even more dashing around than usual. By the end of my day my bones ached and for pretty much the first time this Fringe I got a cab home (only taken them when I need to be somewhere quicker than it is possible to walk).
I did find the time, somehow to watch the new episode of Breaking Bad, which could be the name of Me2's autobiography. It was ace.
Foolishly I had agreed to do a chat show in the Speigeltent at 2pm, so I didn't even get the afternoon off. There was an audience of about 10 to see me chat about my shows and two of them left right at the start when an indignant posh man started complaining that the host he had expected was not there. "Where's Ian Mcwhirter?!" he bellowed, "We came last week and he wasn't here and we were promised he'd be back this week and he's not." The replacement host explained that Ian Mcwhirter had dropped out of the show and that there wasn't anything she could do about it and that the change of host had been clearly sign posted outside. But the man was pompously furious, even when it was explained that he could get a refund. "It's not good enough," he bellowed as he left. I enjoyed the performance. I wish that after the first question I had just stood up and said "Hold on, you're not Ian Mcwhirter. I was promised Ian Mcwhirter. This is not good enough."
I had a fun chat with the host and the other guest who has written a play about the Tolpuddle Martyrs, but I couldn't help thinking that my afternoon off might have been better spent resting up rather than being interviewed in front of a tiny crowd who did not really look like my audience.
I the rushed up the hill to see Ben Moor's show. He is as charming and witty as ever and his show lyrical and beautiful, but I was too tired to really enjoy it properly, so will hopefully get a chance to watch it again. The show is dense with jokes and ideas and really recommended, but I couldn't keep up and his soothing voice made me want to sleep. So if you like clever comedy or are an insomniac this is the show for you.
Next I had to dash across to Assembly 3 for the last 15 minutes of the tech rehearsal of Me1 vs Me2 Snooker. We set up the mics and I was impressed with how clean and unsoiled the especially purchased snooker board was. Luckily my waistcoat had a few cat hairs on it (even though I had never worn it before, I had left it in a bag in a room where my cats could find it for a short time) so Liono and Smithers would be there in spirit, if not in full shitting glory.
Once we'd set up the Tascam and sorted out a licence for the radio mics (apparently I risk a £10,000 fine for using these unlicensed in my basement - fuck it, this is like pirate radio) I then walked briskly home to have dinner, before walking briskly back to the Pleasance for my evening show. Amazingly there were over 200 people in, but I think the fact that a lot of people were having a day off helped my numbers. I think it was the best performance yet, but it does require a lot of energy and tonight I had to walk straight out of the venue doors and to the Assembly 3 (over ten minutes walk) to play snooker against myself. Perhaps we'd have been better off with a time slot more than 25 minutes after my previous show ended.
Over 60 people turned up for the show, which is enormously impressive in many ways, although I had hoped this sligthly crazy idea might have been one that had taken the Fringe by storm and become a hot ticket. Even after all this time I am still not the kind of act that can command a definite audience for self-indulgent ideas.
I hadn't had any time to think about this show, which I think is only right, and was pretty tired, but the crowd were enthusiastic and excited and laughed throughout. Which I thought was very disrespectful to the players who are after all taking part in a serious sporting event. They were also somewhat thrown when it turned out Scottish snooker boards have much smaller pockets than English ones and there was also a weird camber on the table which meant that the balls moved around as if being affected by magnets. It reminded me of the Addams' Family Pinball machine which has one special state where the ball moves erratically. I think both players were disappointed not to be able to show off their skills in front of the crowd. But one of them won the Scotch Cup. To find out which one, you'll have to listen to the podcast.
Me2 had been drinking whisky during the frame and I felt the need for a drink myself once it was all over. I drank a pint of stout alone before heading back home, feeling like I could do with a day off. This is why you should never have a day off.