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Saturday 27th May 2006

To Bromsgrove tonight for the last scheduled performance of Someone Likes Yoghurt. It's usually a bit sad when a show comes to an end, though at least with this year I might do some of the routines in stand up shows every now and again, though it's probably time to put the Pope bit to bed and the yoghurt routine is now so substantial it is pretty much impossible to do it in a normal club night.
I knew it hadn't sold well tonight so was anticipating an anti-climax, which would be a shame after the good run of the show this last month, but I was determined to do my best.
As I sat in my dressing room I listened to my walk in CD playing the last time. This is weirdly the most poignant thing about finishing a show. The walk in music (in this case a slightly re-jigged version of the Ben Folds album "Songs for Silverman") is the one constant in a show from start to finish and it's usually one of my main memories from a show. It conjures up memories of standing backstage in Edinburgh waiting to go on, feelings of excitement and anticipation. It's often my main memory of a show as time drags a bit before you go on and then flies by once you're performing.
The minute I walked on stage I felt it was going to be hard work tonight. The audience of 50 or so were spread out through the auditorium and the applause I got as I walked on was only polite. Usually there is a cheer or two or some excitement at least, but I sensed this was a crowd who weren't aware of my work and who maybe just come to everything at the venue. Looking out at them they certainly looked older on average than my usual audience. But it's hard to get an audience of this size going in any case and the yoghurt show does not really make any concessions or start with some easy gags to bring people in, it's just straight in with a strange Kipling based routine which many people might be confused by.
It certainly seemed that way in Bromsgrove tonight and it wasn't the swansong that I had been hoping for. A couple of men left fairly early, obviously through boredom rather than offence and others clearly weren't enjoying it. I tried my best to liven things up, but found myself making tiny annoying errors and stumbling over my words, which was an annoying way to say goodbye to the material.
It was OK and some people were going for it, but it was like wading through a bath of very treacly yoghurt at times. I took the piss out of myself and the situation a bitm which helped things along, but it just felt like a pity to end like this. Maybe it was sort of fitting that this strange and unpredictable show should expire in this way. But I can't help feeling like it's another interesting and funny show that has faded away without making the impact that it deserves. If history remembers it at all (which clearly it won't) it will only be as the Daily Telegraph Worst Comedy Experience of 2005.
The second half did go much better, though I still made some annoying slips. A few of the bored people had gone and the others seemed to have warmed to me more. A white haired old woman in the sixth or seventh row was still there, even though I had confidentally predicted at the end of the first half that she would leave. My expectations had been subverted and I realised that even though this weren't my normal audience they were still getting something out of it.
It's been a good year and I am proud of this show. It's going to be nice to move on and see what the next show brings - though I am at the point where I don't know what the next show will be, which is scary. I think things are moving in the right direction and am confident that I can retain my Daily Telegraph title. Move forward. Don't look back.

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