Penny's Cabinet Of Curiosities & New Live Show

Two birds with one stone, this post. Firstly, an update on where I'm at with regards to new live stuff at the moment. I think I mentioned here previously that my focus post-Fringe was on some in-development scripted projects, and some fun collaborative stuff with people like Weirdos (such as the upcoming panto My Big Fat Weirdos Christmas Wedding, which you can read about here). As such, the idea of doing a new live show was very much at the back of my mind, and it was my plan to try and keep touring my previous show Hello, Goodbye to lots more theatres and festivals at the start of next year, and worry about doing a new one much further down the line. The main reason for that was that I was asked to perform Hello, Goodbye as part of a mini-festival within the Vaults Festival in February for two days, and was really excited about that - not only was it an honour to be invited to be part of that festival, but I felt it gave me a good reason to extend the shelf-life of that show and keep faith in it for a little longer. Sadly, the mini-festival I was to be a part of within the Vaults has ended up not being programmed in, so I won't be performing it there after all. As such, it's slightly knocked my feeling that I want to keep doing that show lots more as I no longer have a big outing to look forward to for it. I'll be performing it three more times - in Manchester in a couple of weeks as a double bill with Eleanor Morton, in Oxford in January as a double bill with Marny Godden, and at Angel Comedy in January as a final send-off, which I hope to get filmed in order to try and preserve that sense of longevity I was hoping to have with this show. After that, as with all my shows, I'll quietly consign it to history and move onto something else. Maybe it's for the best, I've always got a weird kick out of my shows being ephemeral, disposable things that flicker out shortly after Edinburgh and enable me to do something new, even if I was excited about doing more with this one.

Anyway, on the plus side, this decision has prompted me to start working harder on creating new live ideas, and at Lottie Bowater's Depresstival Presents... gig on Sunday, which was absolutely lovely, I was told by a lot of people that my new live stuff is some of the best stuff I've done, so I have renewed confidence in the idea of putting a new show together, which will be called Look At Me, Don't Look At Me and will be about social anxiety. Last year I took my new show to a lot of different festivals to get it ready for the Fringe, but I think I'll be a bit more low-key about it this year - it'll be at Leicester and it'll preview in a few places in London, but that'll be it I'll think.

Except for one other outing in January, which brings me to the second reason for this post - some of you may remember Penny Matthews' day-long festival of silly comedy in Swansea at the start of this year, Penny's Cabinet Of Curiosities, which was a huge success and a really lovely way to try out a new show in front of a lovely audience of new fans in a new town. I loved it. It's coming back this year but as a two-day extravaganza this time, showcasing some of the best weird alternative comedy from around the country. It'll be taking place in Swansea on the 21st and 22nd January, and I'll be on the 21st at 2pm. It's an incredible line-up, featuring myself, Mark Dean Quinn, Lucy Pearman, Cassie Atkinson, Eleanor Morton, Ben Target, Adam Larter, The Death Hilarious, Phil Jarvis, Andy Barr, Marny Godden, Michael Brunstrom, Ali Brice and Noel James. More details and ticket links will follow soon.