This sword of Damocles has hung over me for so long now, that it’s actually a bit terrifying to think that I might actually escape its blade. The impossible now seems possible. I have just one (admittedly quite long and unformulated) scene to write and the six scripts are done. If I can do it tomorrow that gives me a whole day to look over all the scripts and tighten them up (something we will perfect further whilst recording - once you hear the scripts read out, so many obvious changes get made). I think, if the illness holds off, I can do this tomorrow. My cough is still mild (my wife’s is getting worse though) and though I am tired, I am not THAT tired.
I can see the tsunami of relief on the horizon and can’t wait to be enveloped in it. Even if I am bed-ridden for four days I reckon we’d be able to wing our way through this in the studio now. But I’d rather not.
I am reminded, and not for the first time on this blog, of sitting at our dining room table doing my A level revision, whilst outside care-free Cheddar kids cycled by in the Spring sunshine and I yearned to be free. Perhaps the completion of this script is not quite the milestone that that pressure chamber between childhood and adulthood was to be, and I can’t see much out of my office window. But the echoes of that feeling of incarceration about to end resonate.
Man, I am going to be cycling around and playing like a motherfucker once this job is done though. And probably going interrailing too.
I had my fourth night out in a fortnight (and I think I might have already been out to the London theatre more times this year than last and we’re not even quite halfway through the first month) to see Frank Skinner at the Garrick Theatre.
The show has the vague theme of Showbiz, but it’s really just what Frank does best: telling jokes and rude stories and being cheeky to the audience. It’s old school, because the 1990s is now old school. Frank is a comedian with funny bones. He’s able to make me laugh with corny jokes and where there are no jokes at all. Luckily he also has some great jokes, but what I love about him best is the way that he embroiders his poo and cock jokes with the most beautiful language and imagery. The premiere example of this is when he once described a fart that “hung around me like an ermine cloak”. Loads more to that standard as well as a throughly explored mock-heroic story of how he coped with getting his penis out too soon on a visit to the urinals. He’s a master and makes it look effortless and I suspect for him it is actually quite effortless.
It was press night with drinks after so there were quite a few comedians there. I was sitting next to David Baddiel who would occasionally commentate and tell me how old a particular joke was, though to be fair to Frank, this was only during banter - the show itself was all new and very much about being an ageing dad and comedian and working out your place in the world. There was a little coincidental crossover with my stuff on this
(most obviously the observation that coming to fatherhood late means you hopefully miss those awkward teenage years). There were times when I was dizzy with laughter (though I am not 100% well) and thought I might faint. And a great observation about Bruce Forsyth’s ashes being under the stage of the Palladium and why Bruce would hate that.
I have been trying to get Frank on RHLSTP since the start with no success, but hopefully I can persuade him. He would be a perfect guest on this.
Talking of which - RHLSTP with Ahir Shah is up on audio
He’s a very smart and very funny comedian and this is well worth your time.