York & Leicester

February 11, 2014

Just a quick blog post about my quick jaunt around the country over the last week, now that I've emerged mostly unscathed from my fracas with a lot of comedians from outside of London (which I think has blown over, but I'm hoping to make amends with them by making a short and poignant film entitled "Who's Tony Law: A Midlander's Tale," in which I play a young Midlander who wakes up one morning to realise he doesn't know who Tony Law is and sets out to find him, like Searching For Sugarman. This will only be remotely funny for the fifty-odd people who were even aware of the "controversy" I caused, like all good comedy).

 

I gave three performances over the last few days, the first being a performance of Awkward Prophet at St. Helen's Church in York organised by the Laurence Sterne Trust as part of their project The Good Humour Club. While it was partly just a really fun opportunity to perform the show again in front of another lovely audience, it was also one of the most fascinating performances of I've given as well due to its setting. Patrick Wildgust, who runs the Trust, was interested in the show for two reasons - firstly due to the fact that the show, like Sterne's Tristram Shandy, is a narrative that deliberately obscures itself, and secondly due to the fact that he's interested in repositioning pieces of work to be in environments they weren't written for. Essentially, performing a show written for a free fringe venue in Edinburgh in front of the altar of a beautiful church gives you, as a performer, a fascinating insight into how sensitive certain aspects of a show can be to something as fundamental as where they're being performed. I decided early on that I wouldn't censor the show due to the venue (save for one particular joke that just didn't feel like it sat right in a church), so just went ahead with the show in full, meaning that certain aspects, which are deliberately written to feel ramshackle and disorganised and sit well in the more informal setting of a fringe theatre, suddenly felt hugely out of place and inappropriate, which created a kind of uneasy humour in itself that drove me to discover a whole number of new directions the show can move in. Of course, it's unlikely it'll be performed in a church again, but as a one-off performance it gave me a really useful insight into ways of adapting a show to different environments and playing up different aspects of the humour for different contexts.

 

On Sunday I was in Leicester for Dave's Leicester Comedy Festival, performing my show again as well as giving the last-ever performance of Weirdos Comedy Club's The Colonel. Leicester has a lovely vibe to it as a festival and it was a real honour to be a part of it for the first time. I was performing as part of Bob Slayer's Heroes of Fringe venue at Hansom Hall, which will be there for the next two weekends with many more great shows, and both performances were tremendous fun. I feel like my show has continued to grow and improve with every performance, and got a lot of lovely feedback from local audience members, and there should be a couple of reviews out in the next few days. You can also listen to an interview I did with LUSH Student Radio in Leicester here if you like. As for The Colonel, it's been an amazing thing to be part of over the last few months and it was lovely to see if it off on such a high. Here's to whatever the next Weirdos project may be, and big thanks, congratulations and love to everyone involved.

 

Thanks also to everyone who helped make my trips to York and Leicester such fun, and best of luck to all the other great acts going up for DLCF over the coming weeks. Thanks everyone, and lots of love. xxx

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