Juliette Burton shared an interesting flyering experience with me.
“Hi there,” she said to a man in the street today, “would you like to see my show The Butterfly Effect?”
“Oh, hmm,” he replied apologetically, “the thing is I’ve already booked to see TWO female comedians.”
“So,” Juliette asked him, “you can’t see three? You know female comedians are the same as male comedians just with vaginas, right?!”
“He seemed,” Juliette told me, “to shut down when I vagina-ed him, so I walked away.”
What I have been noticing is that there seem to be a lot of posters around town for Nathan Cassidy’s World’s Best MC Award Grand Final. This is the show where I am supposedly one of the judges.
As mentioned in this blog a couple of weeks ago, it seems to me likely to be an attempt to win an increasingly prestigious Malcolm Hardee Cunning Stunt Award and I was convinced I will turn up to an empty room. But with all these posters, there is no way Nathan can avoid real punters turning up. So I do not know what the scam (if scam it is) can be.
The Fringe thrives on uncertainties.
I was told today that the Potterrow Dome building is definitely being closed and replaced later this year. Well, presumably it might take a couple of years to rebuild, as such things tend to. It will remain a Student Union afterwards but what this means to the Pleasance Dome venue at next year’s Edinburgh Fringe, I know not and – hey! – I can’t be bothered to ask.
I only live in the Edinburgh bubble of Fringe shows which, at this early point, are having a slight problem of over-running. I was told that, earlier in the week, one of the Big Four venues had consecutive shows over-running to such an extent that they ended up an hour late and simply cancelled one performer’s entire show to catch up.
This morning, I saw Bone Wars, a cleverly-written show about dinosaur academia by Kieron Nicholson and Nicholas Cooke, with Michelle Wormleighton playing all the other parts, male, female and arguably other (i.e. God).
Am I the only person who never realised the logic – mentioned in Bone Wars – that, if God made Man in his own image, then God must share all Man’s many flaws?
Which is a terrible link to the fact I had a double-dose of Weirdos at the Hive today.
Head Weirdo Adam Larter un-knowingly chose PR legend Mark Borkowski as a punter to get up onto the stage in his L’Art Nouveau show – something that could have severely damaged his future prospects if it had gone wrong. But, luckily, it may have the opposite effect.
Fellow Weirdo Ali Brice had a good audience for his Never-Ending Pencil show and was superb – pacing, audience control, improv, surrealism, serious sections, everything worked wonderfully.
Ali told me before the show that, a couple of weeks ago, he had seen me in a street in Wood Green, London. But I have not been there for years; possibly not this century. A couple of hours later, Claire Smith (Scotsman critic and Malcolm Hardee Comedy Award judge) phoned me to say Come back and have a tea with me! as I had just walked past her in Bristo Square… Except I had been sitting in Finnegan’s Wake pub in a different part of town for the last 15 minutes or so.
So there must be someone roaming round London and Edinburgh looking like me.
He has my sympathy.
Later I went to the launch of the annual Death on the Fringe, organised by Robert James Peacock, which showcases a range of Fringe shows to promote more open and supportive attitudes and behaviours to death, dying and bereavement in Scotland.
Always eclectic, it included belly-dancer Shantisha aka Miroslava Bronnikova, Scottish Comedian of the Year Rosco McClelland, chanteuse Woodstock Taylor and Pauline Goldsmith with a coffin.
Late night, I saw Andy Barr in Tropic of Admin on a desert island where the audience was involved in a place crash. I may have been hallucinating by this point.
And, before that, I saw the ever-amiable and ever funny Martha McBrier’s show Balamory Doubtfire, in which the diminutive but plucky Glaswegian eventually plays a didgeridoo. Beforehand, she told me she was “a wee bit upset” because of an email she had received.
“This woman, “Martha explained, “emailed me on my website. She said I have subjugated an entire culture. She told me I am ignorant and that I should research culture and apparently women are not allowed to play the didgeridoo. It’s a men’s instrument.”
“So you are being racist AND sexist?” I asked.
“Apparently I’m being sexist and reverse racist.”
“What does ‘reverse racist’ mean?” I asked.
“I don’t know. But she quoted a rapper called Nas. As Nas said, she said, Respect.”
“Nas,” I admitted, “is a bit of a philosopher, isn’t he?”
“The thing is,” Martha told me, “women have been blowing on men’s objects for some time and no-one has complained before this.”
“Who is the offended woman?” I asked.
“It turns out she is a white sociology professor.”
“How,” I asked, “did you find that out? Did she tell you?”
“Well,” Martha told me, “I have people in the know and, by that, I mean people whose internet works in their flat in Edinburgh and they Googled her.”
“So she’s a highly-knowledgable professor?” I asked.
“Well,” Martha replied, “a didgeridoo is apparently called a yidaki and I’m a musician, so I’ll know that, obviously. But she spelled it wrong. She’s probably using the white reverse racist spelling. The thing is, I took up the didgeridoo on medical advice.”
“For your lungs?” I asked.
“Yes, to increase my peak flow and to reduce stress.”
“To increase your what?” I asked.
“My peak flow,” replied Martha.
“Ah,” I said.
“My flow has peaked,” Martha informed me, “but they want it even better. They told me the didgeridoo is commonly used to help sleep apnea, snoring, asthma.”
“But, if you play the didgeridoo in bed to help sleep apnea,” I suggested, “it’s not going to increase your partner’s happiness in bed.”
“Well,” said Martha, “I’ve had no complaints so far.”