Thursday, 7 July 2011

Mummy's funny but Daddy just talks.

Japanese Knotweed
Wow. It's been quite a few days for me. After a day at Gay Pride on Saturday I ended up at a free comedy night in Angel where i saw Jay Foreman. I know this because I have a scrap of paper with his website written on it. I obviously thought he was very good, therefore asked for more information. So, even though I can't remember much (any) of his act, I recommend him.

The next day I saw Robin Ince and Michael Legge in Brighton. Another fantastic and entertaining day. The day after I was not well and spent most of the day trying to eat something and keep it down and feeling very sorry for myself (I would rather not go into the details) but by the evening was feeling a little better and decided to pop down to The Fortnight Club just round the corner from my house. There I saw a number of comedians: Bennett Arron compering, as well as Sean Brightman, Tony Cowards, Juliet Meyers and others. After the gig (also attended by Richard and Simon) I met Michael Legge (again) and had a little chit chat with him, Bennett and Sean before heading home.

Jesus and Bridget Christie
Today was the long-awaited Edinburgh preview with Michael Legge and Bridget Christie. I had seen Bridget's show last year, when she performed at LQC as "A Ant" (in an elaborate ant costume) and was keen to see more. I met up with Neal, Bob and Simon at The Olde Explorer for some grub beforehand. I was horrified to see that my favourite Field Mushroom and Shropshire Blue sandwich had been taken off the menu, so tried a Grilled Halloumi instead. It was ace.

We got to The Phoenix and I wondered where Alex / Mr Pineapple Band was (we eventually found him after Michael's set and before Bridget's). It was pretty stuffy inside so we moved outside (and now it's nearly a month since I stopped smoking, I'm amazed I still had no compulsion to have a fag!) By 7:45  we were summoned downstairs. We found a nice table, but no one seemed to want to sit at the front, so in the absence of volunteers we moved into the empty seats.

Simon & Bridget
Andrew Collins was compering for the evening, coming out of retirement to say funny things on stage. He asked us about a Sun headline about a new species of lizard in the Philippines that had 2 penises and asked us to think of a better headline than "Busy Lizzie" which, he argues, is the worst thing in tabloid journalism today - not the voicemail hacking, but the lack of good headline puns.

Michael came on to do an almost finished version of his "Curse Sir Walter Raleigh" which has certainly moved on a lot since I saw the last "full" preview. OK granted that was 12 months ago, but it was really shaping up. He starts by telling us why the Edinburgh Fringe is shit, as well as the time he and Colin Hoult were rescued by a 90s superstar (no spoilers!), as well as coming to the main point of the show - his obsession with Sir Walter Raleigh and good manners, including an obvious lie told to him by his father about Sir Walter's ability to hit a plastic drainpipe with a stone. The show ends with some stories of Michael's encounters with rudeness on trains. For full details, see his blog.

After the interval, Andrew was back, introducing Bridget Christie's "warm up act" (it's actually her in a costume, but ssshhh, don't tell anyone), Japanese Knotweed. The music plays. And plays. And plays. We wondered if this was truly avant-garde comedy and she wasn't going to set foot on the stage. We weren't sure if we should applaud when the first song ended. I didn't. Others did. Turns out it was just a cock up and Bridget was still getting changed into her rather elaborate costume.

Bridget / Nick Clegg
Andrew came back on to reintroduce her and she arrived (see picture above) with a tambourine and ukulele round her neck as well as a hula hoop tied round her waist and coconut shells on her feet. She eventually managed to take the costume off but it did take some time. She isn't sure if she'll do this again, but I think we'd all like to see it.

She told us she goes to church every week and was a Catholic. Now this is not the done thing theses days in comedy (and I remember telling Robin Ince on the tube on Sunday that I was personally getting bored with atheism in comedy - a brave move I tink you'll agree) and the freshness of it really worked. Although I imagine most of the crowd were atheists, we were all still on her side. Words cannot describe her Jesus puppet. They can, but I'm not sure which words to choose. Just look at the picture.

She told us that she was married to a comic who is an atheist, and I won't say any more about that but she told us that her babysitter asked her kids what mummy and daddy did. She said "Well... mummy's funny, but daddy just talks...) - I immediately thought it was a great title for this blog, especially when you know who "daddy" is !

Andrew came back on to thank us for coming and decided to out me by pointing at me and saying "you're gay..." - There was some sort of reason for this - oh yeah about another weak Sun pun that was about Daniel Radcliffe being straight - "Potter's not a Botter". I was chosen as a representative of the gay community, in fact the Scottish gay community to agree that "Botter" is not any sort of gay slang.

What a great show. Completely silly, not an apologist for the Catholic church, but not being ashamed of her beliefs. Forget religion. Your beliefs are irrelevant. You will LOVE Bridget Christie.

We had a couple of drinks after. Hey Collings & Herrin fans - I was told by a reliable source that he is pretty sure there will be more podcasts. So nerds - stop worrying. Once Edinburgh is over, all bets are off... anything could happen.

I had a nice chat with Bridget after too, and she is extremely sweet. She doesn't seem half as confident off-stage than on it, and both Simon and I had to really tell her how much we enjoyed it - and I'm still not sure she believed us!

Anyway, Michael has 2 more previews here on Sunday afternoons. I will be there to see Michael anyway (honest!) but on the 17th, the other guest is Thom Tuck, and on the 24th it is Rich Fulcher from The Mighty Boosh - so come to both of these ! See you there!

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