Thursday, 4 August 2011

The Calm Before The Storm

So this is it. Tonight I embark on a run of gigs that leaves me with only four nights off between now and September 12th. What I have managed to set myself is quite ridiculous. Over the next three days I'm running my comedy shows in Luton, Hitchin & Letchworth. On Sunday I drive to Edinburgh. On Monday I begin a twenty date run of not one but two shows at the Fringe Festival. on August 28th I drive further North to do a gig in Stonehaven which I booked in because I have never been and it was probably the only chance I'd get to go. I drive home on the 29th, have the 30th to unpack/launder/pack again before flying from Gatwick on the 31st to do a week of shows in Cyprus. I return on September 7th. I then have my shows in Hitchin, Letchworth and Biggleswade to do on the 9th, 10th and 11th. That's right - I bookend this entire thing with gigs in central Bedfordshire. Whilst in Edinburgh I am (already) additionally doing a few family friendly poetry gigs, showcase shows, a couple of radio things and (no doubt) some late night comedy gigs that I did last year. Conservatively, I expect to do around eighty shows over the next five weeks. There is also the outside chance that on September 8th I may get fired out of a cannon for Sky TV.

Of the two Edinburgh shows, "Tweeting Beauty" is by far the more problematic. It has been beset by problems. An oversight by The PBH Free Fringe left me under the impression that I was not doing it at all until February of this year which left me with four months less to write it than I had foreseen (I had effectively shelved it). Then there were problems getting the flyers sorted as my laptop effectively packed up. When I finally got it written, I performed the only preview of it last Sunday at a mini-festival in Balham. When I got to the venue, my room was the only one without a PA system and I had been billed as "Paul B. Dennis". The show before me over-ran and then when I came to finally do my show, It quickly became apparent that I wasn't struggling to fill fifty minutes after all - I had about three hours of bloody material that I've spent the last week editing down to manageable lumps because the jokes were largely lost in the verbosity. I got nowhere near the end of it by the time I ran out of time and apologetically bought the entire audience a drink in the downstairs bar afterwards.

The good news is that thanks to the procurement of a blonde wig, the development of the phrase "Brief Synopsis!" and the fashioning of a sock puppet par excellence I am now good to go, well, other than the little mp3 player that I bought for twenty five quid in Argos which I'm having trouble sussing out how to operate. It's all right though. I've got until Monday to work it out and I'm bound to bump into young people over the weekend.

I know I've put this (and the following) photo in the previous blog but, well, I'm advertising it, aren't I?

The other show I'm doing in Edinburgh is a straightforward comedy show that I'm hosting with different acts nightly. I've got some great bills for it and it looks like being a really good laugh. Towards the end of the festival I'm even hoping to bring a female comedian out of retirement for an absolute exclusive. She knows who she is...

...And I'm proud to advertise them too - this whole year so far has been a LOT of hard work (And drinking).
As last year, once I get to Edinburgh I'm hoping to blog at least every other day about how everything's going, who I've bumped into and what scrapes I've ended up in. I'll give it until a week today before I've lost my voice, my sanity and most probably my liver.

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