Tag Archives: Juliet Meyers

British ex-Navy comedian Eric and Bob Slayer’s banning bother in Australia

Bob Slayer at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe

On the day Malcolm Hardee Award winning British comic Bob Slayer was thrown out of his Austral venue at the Adelaide Fringe this week, I received this e-mail from his fellow British comic Eric, whose show is running at the Tuxedo Cat venue in Adelaide.

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As I walked through the Tuxedo Cat on the way to do my show this evening, I was surprised to see Bob Slayer stood by the bar. We exchanged pleasantries and Bob told me that he was going to come and see my show tonight. I must admit to being a little confused by this, as Bob had previously told me that he was unable to see my show in Adelaide because our shows’ times clashed – and, of course, he was unable to see my show in Perth as he had been banned from the venue…

Seeing the quizzical look on my face, Bob solved the mystery instantly by informing me that he had cancelled his ‘entire run’ simply so that he could see my show. Seeing my expression had now changed from ‘quizzical’ to ‘incredulous’ (I was eighteen years in the Royal Navy, an organisation that runs on bullshit, so I can smell BS at forty paces) he relented and told me that he had once again been banned from the Festival and all his shows had been cancelled.

“Oh well,” I thought, “that’s Bob I suppose.”

I, of course, knew that he had also been banned in Perth, but, as he had been reluctant to talk about that (or indeed anything else in Perth), I didn’t enquire further, but simply sorted him out with a ticket and went off to set up for my show.

After the show, Bob came backstage and we chatted while he watched me get changed. I am getting used to having an audience for my backstage strip now – I am thinking of selling tickets to it rather than to my show… I understand that Bob also treated Juliet Meyers to the spectacle that is The Bob Slayer Arse when she arrived to set up for her show. Anyway that is by the by…

Bob told me that the reason he had been banned from the Adelaide Fringe was because he had blogged the story of one of his shows attended by a number of people with Fringe Festival Passes, whom he eventually ejected because of their behaviour.

This made me think: “Oh! I had better be careful about what I write about last night’s show.”

A couple of guys sat right in the front row wearing ‘Artists Passes’ spent the entire show whispering to each other and generally being a distraction and, if it wasn’t for all the trials and tribulations that we had had with the show not finishing on time, I would have quite happily taken them to task on this. But, terrified of over-running, I let it go and just hoped they weren’t proving as much of a distraction to the audience as they were to me.

At the risk of also getting myself banned, I have to say that, if someone is going to take advantage of a pass that allows them free access to a show, then it is simply common courtesy not to disrupt proceedings.

Adelaide Fringe has a policy of allowing performers free admission to performances that are not sold out. So does Perth. And certain venues at the Edinburgh Fringe have a similar policy.

But audience members who have made no financial investment in seeing a show are far less likely to invest their attention in that show. We value what we have had to work for and earned far more than anything we are given for free. I am all in favour of artists, volunteers and other contributors to any Fringe being able to sit their bum on any empty seat at the Festival that they have helped to create but – hey guys – just don’t take the piss, eh?

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I received that e-mail on the day Bob Slayer lost his show at the Austral venue. But the story has a happy ending. Well, happy for one night.

Eric asked Cass, who runs the Tuxedo Cat venue, if she would be interested in having Bob perform there. She said he was exactly the type of edgy performer that the Tuxedo Cat would welcome with open arms.

Eric then mentioned this to Bob and so, tonight, Bob is performing one last show in a late slot at the Tuxedo Car in Adelaide.

He immediately issued a press release saying:

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Just when I thought the whole comedy world was going to cast me out for being a liability… I have been thrown a lifeline by Cass @ The Tuxedo Cat.

– Hang on wasn’t he banned from the Adelaide Fringe? The Fringe itself is an open access festival… with various promoters… I was banned by one of these promoters: Ha Ha Comedy who promote at the Austral as part of the Fringe… But Cass at the Tuxedo Cat has offered refuge and redemption like the church of yesteryear…

– Is this just a press stunt?

Oh man when you come along and find out what actually happened in Perth to get me banned (which had a knock-on effect here) and how much money it cost me (current estimate $7,500 and still counting) you will know that it is not!

– Why did you get banned in Perth? Why did you get banned in Austral?

– Look, if you want to find this out then you are going to have to come along for this one off special gig which will reveal all – It will make you laugh so hard that you will wish you were wearing a nappy.

This show will incorporate Bob Slayer’s full Australian adventure including: banned in Perth, touring the outback with a goat, hanging out with the proper locals in Coober Pedy, making wine in McLaren Vale, homeless in Adelaide, banned in Adelaide etc – and a conclusion that will make you weep.

Prepare for the most exciting and hilarious one-off show of the Fringe… qwarr

(Well maybe after Sanderson Jones’ gig – Seriously that will be special – Buy your ticket off him)

FREE GIG – there will be a hat for Bob Slayer’s repatriation Fund!

Also there is a great $10 bucks curry and vegi option plus Little Creatures Beer (and other drinks!)

1 Hour show (with after party til late!)

(My flight is at 6am and I will be drinking through)

One Night Only!

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Bob may be unpredictable, but he knows how to write a press release – and how to prepare the material for one. He now calls the Tuxedo Cat venue “The home of alternative comedy and cabaret at Adelaide Fringe and the defender of idiots”.

So the story has a happy ending. Sort of. Probably. At the time of writing, the show has not taken place. So who knows what may happen? As with all things in life, it is probably a good idea to hope for the best but prepare to hear the worst…

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Trouserless British comedian again appreciated at the Adelaide Fringe

Eric, photographed by Alex Brenner, appreciated by a fellow comedian

In my SO IT GOES blog two days ago, British comedian Eric told how the start of his first Tales of The Sea show was delayed at the Adelaide Fringe. I have just received this new e-mail from him:

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The third show kicked off late (as did the second) – so at least it is consistent. There was a mini power-cut tonight – just the lights this time and, thankfully, it happened before the show, as opposed to during it, which is what happened on opening night.

Kicking off late meant we finished late again. I hesitate to use the phrase ‘over-ran’, as the show was the right length, it just did not match the slot it was supposed to be in…

This meant that Juliet Meyers got to see me taking my trousers off again.

The dressing room was empty when I got offstage, so I thought: “Oh, good! I can get my trousers off unmolested tonight” and, to save time and the embarrassment of being caught, I tried to take them off over my footwear. Unfortunately, my trousers would not quite go over my trainers and I was in mid ‘dying crane’ impression when I heard a voice behind me:

“Ooh! You must have been doing press-ups with those buttocks!”

Juliet had snuck up on me. She said she had read the SO IT GOES blog and confessed that she had, indeed, been thinking about my bum for some time. Before she had seen it unfettered, she had mentally given it a ‘7’. But, when she saw it in the flesh, she told me she had upped that rating.

She did not let on what new rating she had given me, but I must admit to being curious… Is that wrong?

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After posting this blog about Eric in Adelaide, I am driving to Bournemouth to attend a funeral. So it goes.

Life goes on.

You have to laugh.

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Comic capers and calamities on the first day of the Adelaide Fringe Festival

Eric with “Tales of the Sea” - and now Adelaide

Two days ago, I got an e-mail from Bob Slayer – the day before his comedy show opened at the Adelaide Fringe:

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I am in Adelaide stopping at the house of a man called Matthew who I met on couchsurfing.org.

I have stopped at many random people’s homes in my life but never one I met through an online service that did not involve the prospect of sex. I once topped-and-tailed with singer-songwriter Beth Ditto – the big girl in The Gossip – in Portland, Oregon, when they supported Japanese band Electric Eel Shock, which I was managing. Did I tell you this recently? I also have an early demo I was sent by a band called the Arctic Monkeys who were, at the time, looking for a manager… Anyway I digress…

Matthew seems cool. He took me straight to the bottle shop and we bought beers. Jimbo came around to introduce Gary the Goat.

Oh! How I have missed Gary the Goat in the last few days!

Jimbo and he stayed in Port Kenny on the Eyre Peninsula with a girl while I went to visit an old tour manager friend of mine in McLaren Vale and ended up shoveling grapes and making wine for a couple of days. They paid me in my weight in wine.

I have lots of new things to talk about in tomorrow’s gigs like killing and eating the Australian national emblem but I might also pop into the hospital and see if I can visit strangers just to add their story to the mix.

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I got that e-mail from Bob two days ago. Then, yesterday, I received this e-mail from comedian Eric about his (Eric’s) show on the first day of the Adelaide Fringe.

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As last year, I am doing my show at the Tuxedo Cat venue. Last year it was ‘Adelaide Fringe venue of the year’. It is run by super cool Cass & Bryan who, every year, take over a derelict building and make it into something wonderful.

As with all refurbishment projects, it takes time to complete and, as Bryan & Cass are presented with just a shell every year, the build is coming from a long way back. Time is the old enemy and, when I ask about doing a technical rehearsal on the day of my first show, I am somewhat taken aback to be told that my room has not been built yet – but a blitz is about to take place that will turn three walls and a pile of old pallets into a performance space in time for my first show at 6.00pm.

I discover that there is no projector either. Last year I borrowed Dan Willis’ projector, so I drop him a quick text. He tells he now lives in Melbourne but has left his magic lantern with a mutual friend who lives in Adelaide. Our mutual friend Alex is at work and cannot leave. I go to his place of work (30 minute drive), pick up his keys, drive to his house (20 minute drive) pick up the projector, drive back to my house (20 minute drive) pick up my family (wife Helen and baby ‘Little E’), drive back to his place of work (30 minute drive) drop his keys back to him, then drive to the venue (30 minute drive).

I eventually emerge triumphant with projector and family at the venue. We park outside and unload everything we need for the show, which now includes pram, change bag, bottles and assorted toys.

I discover that the Blue Room where I am due to perform in an hour’s time is nowhere near ready and my heart sinks. Fifty minutes later, little has changed. There is no lighting, no sound, we have done no tech rehearsal at all. There seems little or no prospect of putting on a show. And the room is now filling with punters clutching their tickets.

I inform them that the room is not ready and invite them to return to the bar. No sooner have these people vacated than another wave of punters arrive. I give these people the same advice and, as the third wave arrive, I decide this is hopeless and locate the ushers and tell them the room is not ready and ask them to hold the audience in the bar until we are ready. I obtain the customary Australian “No worries, mate” response, return to the room and do what I can.

Five minutes later, there appears to have been a shift change with the ushers as the room again starts to fill with punters.

We finally kick off nearly half an hour late. I ask if any of the audience need to be anywhere before 7:30 and offer anyone who does their money back – No-one moves and we crack on with the show.

Ten minutes into the show, we lose all power. The light that we belatedly got onto the stage extinguishes. The projector’s whirring fan falls eerily silent and we lose both sound and picture, like a faulty TV.

Then the audience, who have been so tolerant up to now, really come into their own. Many of them take out their mobile phones and light the room up with their screens. It is a joy to behold… almost literally ‘people power’.

As we have gone completely off-piste and are unable to continue with the show, we just spend the next ten minutes chatting. Cass dashes about in the shadows trying to fix the problem which, as expected, she does and we finally get on with the show – a show that, to be fair, I have actually enjoyed… And so, it seems, have the audience. Much of the credit must go to them. I resolve to have all of them come to all of my gigs.

Comic Juliet Meyers is doing the show following mine and she is none too pleased that she is starting over half an hour late (and to be honest neither am I). I tell her the only upside is that she now gets to see me change out of my seafaring show garb and into my civvies.

As I drop my trousers, she tells me that my buttocks are “surprisingly pert”. I am not entirely sure how I should take this information but eventually conclude that the only explanation is that Ms Meyers has been imagining my buttocks for some time and now – faced with the actuality of my derrière – has found them to be more pert than she had imagined…

I then go off to find the family.

As usual, Little E is found feeding on her mum and, after I get myself and Helen some of the fabulous Vietnamese salad with dumplings from the food counter, we sit and eat in quiet contemplation, until a queue unexpectedly forms beside us.

Unbeknown to us, the ‘quiet’ corner that Helen had positioned herself in to feed Little E was in fact right next to the entrance to the Yellow Room venue and, for the next five minutes, we become a living exhibit entitled ‘Feeding the Family’ for the entertainment of the waiting crowd….

I then dash across to the Austral venue to perform in Nik Coppin’s show Shaggers.

On arrival, I see Bob Slayer making his way from the bar with four jugs of beer, two in each hand.

“Oh” I innocently think, “He is getting a big round in… He must be with a large group of people.”

Then I see him go and sit at a table alone and conclude he must actually be continuing his mission to outdrink Australia and, having done battle with Perth, it is now Adelaide’s turn…

The crowd at Shaggers are also lovely and everyone has a lovely time talking filth with them.

I am second on and, as I finish my stint onstage, I get a text to say Little E has finally fallen asleep and Helen has come to the venue collect me but there is a fight in progress outside the Austral and she is sheltering around the corner.

With the time approaching midnight and the car park I abandoned our car in closing at midnight, I have no choice but to brave the crowd and the fight and collect my girls. We all go home, having had one very long day.

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…That was a heavily shortened version of what happened in Eric’s hectic day. And that was only Day One of the Adelaide Fringe.

I feel we may hear more anarchic tales from Down Under.

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