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Saturday 21st August 2004

I had my first sell-out show today. At last! 200 seats sold. Although a group of 20 people arrived 10 minutes late and then couldn't find the empty chairs which was a bit distracting, especially as it came in the sensitive bit about me and my girlfriend breaking up. But it was a good show and came to a rousing conclusion and it banished my tiredness and made me feel great. It's a shame there haven't been more big audiences; it does make a difference when there is that kind of energy in the room. I am prepared for things to drop down again numbers wise in the next couple of days.
I haven't been seeing many other shows while I've been up here, but my friend Phil is up and so we went to see a couple of things this afternoon. One of these was the hilarious and shambolic "Trachtenburg Family Slide Show" in which an eccentric family (a mother, father and 10 year old girl) make up songs based on slides they have found at car boot sales. Even though it was hard to hear the words of the songs this was a weirdly engaging and even rather moving hour. The rambling chat between the songs was the best thing, with the young child drummer saying some amazingly funny things, which made me wonder if she's the American equivalent of Wee Jimmie Krankie and is in reality a small middle-aged man. They had just received a Herald Angel award which they were very proud of. Half-way through the act though they dropped it and it smashed into three pieces. It was such a funny and well timed bit of business that I wondered if they had planned this in advance, but I'm pretty sure it was an accident.
Other people's photos, especially from decades ago, can be strangely fascinating and even a little eerie. Even when they are funny one can't help thinking about the transicence of life and how insignificant we all are in this ocean of humanity. We've all got the same kind of dull photos, which if taken out of the context of those who know us, would appear comedic and smell slightly of tragedy. It's a wonderful idea to do this incredible and strange show around such pictures.
And the family themselves were so eccentric and yet human as well. You couldn't work out if they were just being themselves or working in character, but (assuming my Krankie theory is wrong) one of them is just a little girl so she'd have to be a brilliant actress to pull that off.
It was spell-binding and hilarious. I would love to tell you to go and see it, but this was the last perfomance this year. They will be back next time. Buy your tickets now.
I slightly regretted not having got out more this Festival and seen more stuff, because the place is full of such weird and wonderful glimpses into the lives of others. But I've needed the rest and the time to think about my own show. Hopefully I can get to more stuff during this last week.
Only 8 more shows to go. I found out today that the Pod is closed on Bank Holiday Monday, so next Sunday is my last show. I am delighted about this. The final Monday show is usually a massive anti-climax. And I will be home in my own bed one day earlier.
It's not that I want to go home quite yet, but by next weekend I will be ready to call it quits.

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