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Thursday 24th June 2004

CNPS numbers spotted 3 (863).

I had really been hoping that my gig tonight would be cancelled so I could watch the football. Also I was well aware that I would have a tiny audience (if at all) given the strength of the competition.
I'd been trying to find out all day if we could pull the gig, but no-one at the theatre was answering the phone (which augured well for zero ticket sales). I was already making plans for where I was going to see the game, when the news came through that eight tickets had been sold, with a couple on reserve. It was enough people to mean that I had to do the show. Damn my stupid fans. Why don't they fuck off? All eight of them.
I was in quite a foul mood for the rest of the afternoon, as I hadn't really done all that much more on the script and wasn't convinced that performing to under ten people was going to help me get anywhere with it. And I didn't want to miss out on England's glorious progress to the semi-finals.
As I was setting up for the gig, I heard a momentous roar from what seemed like backstage. I realised there was a TV on in the bar upstairs and the game had started. Surely we hadn't scored. I ran upstairs and sure enough we had. And we seemed to be playing pretty well. Maybe if no-one showed up I could just watch the game here.
But unfortunately people did turn up, the stupid idiots, so I had to do my show. But I left the match confident that we were the better team and also knowing that the cheers or boos from the bar would keep me up to date with the score. Which is probably worse than being forced to watch the match on Ceefax, but at least it was something.
Despite my reticence I was very glad I got another crack at the show. The audience was too small to really laugh loudly, but they seemed to be paying attention and thus when I got to the bits that I haven't scripted and only have notes for (pretty much the same bits as from my first preview. I haven't got very far yet) I was able to give things a decent crack.
I ad-libbed everything really well and once again wished I'd brought a bloody tape recorder with me.
Strangely I wasn't hearing anything from the bar at all. But no noise is good noise. I reasoned it must still be 1-0. We were definitely going through. Nothing could possibly go wrong.
With the gig over I popped back upstairs to find that I hadn't missed a thing. I was actually quite pleased that I had had something to distract me from what sounded like a boring and agonising hour of play.
Then Portugal scored.
I got to see the rest of the game, and my gut feeling was that we were going to win it. Even when we went down in extra time I still believed. Even when Beckham missed his penalty I felt sure they'd miss one of theirs too.
I was right both times.
But as you might know already, our luck did not hold out.
I wasn't all that upset. I was quite relieved. At least it meant that I might get an audience for any future gigs that coincide with the football and it's better we have the disappointment now, rather than in the final.
Ironically I had felt more depressed earlier when I thought I was going to miss the match. As it turned out I was glad that I did.
So how many years of hurt is it now? At least 40 before we're going to win anything. On another positive note I guess this means we won't get a reissue of "Three Lions".

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