Up to Birmingham to do Hercules at the Midland Arts Centre tonight. I got a nice hot meal of lamb casserole in a jacket potato, so that's a snadwich rating of... to be honest I've slightly lost my place with this and can't remember what I've given other venues. It's probably a six or seven, but I think maybe the time has come to leave this system behind. It smacks of the Simon Streeting era and things have changed.
I'd sold a reasonable number of tickets (unlike for Saturday in Wimborne, where presales haven't yet hit 20 - uh oh) and the venue was well run and it was a very enjoyable experience.
For the first time I put an interval in and it really helped. Not only did it mean I could do longer than ever (I was on stage for over two hours in total), but it seemed to make the show seem more theatrical some how. It also meant people could get a bit drunk in the interval which helped the second half along no end.
It's been a long time since I have experienced having an interval. We used to do two halves with the old Lee and Herring tour shows, but since then I've always ploughted straight through. It was rather nice to have a little break, although there were some anxious moments wondering if everyone would come back for the second half (I think they all did).
The interval in a strange hinterland for the performer. You're off stage, but you're still in the show. It's a breathing space, but not one that allows you to relax too much, though it does mean you can have a wee in a less messy way than if you'd had to stay on stage talking.
I also changed my shirt which qualifies as a costume change and I can imagine that tomorrow in Birmingham offices will be buzzing with the words, "I saw a comedian last night. He wasn't very funny, but he wore almost three different costumes!"
Now it has time to breath (and urinate) the show is coming into its own and I think it's something a bit special now. There's a part of me that slightly regrets the fact that hardly anyone (especially in Wimborne) is ever going to realise this. And yet then again, I quite like it being this little secret. Though from the conversations humble Dave has had with the manager in Wimborne he isn't quite so enamoured by its clandestine nature. He'd like not to lose loads of money putting on the show (however good it actually is). I'd like that too, obviously, but it's enough for me to know in my heart that I'm doing something worthwhile.
Plus I'm on a guarantee.
Which maybe helps this attitude along a bit.