When I talked to Chris Dangerfield for yesterday’s blog, he gave me a photo of an interesting comedy poster.
It was interesting because it was for a gig billed two weeks ago in London –
ZIP ZIP COMEDY
WITH MALCOLM HARDEE
I would have paid a large amount to see this gig because Malcolm Hardee drowned in 2005.
Also on the bill were Ellis and Rose (billed as Ellie and Rose), Lee Kern, Rob Pybus and Tom Webb. As far as I am aware, they are all still alive.
When I asked Ellis (aka Ellie) this morning, he told me: “Ha! That gig was cancelled!”
Rob Pybus told me: “Ha! Yes – this was a bit of mistake by the publicity people at The Proud Archivist (the venue). Not only did they have the date wrong, but a line up that was a tad impossible. I wonder if anyone went? The proper night happened the following Friday and was great.”
So I asked Poppy Hillstead, who organised the gig.
“I’m unsure if anyone turned up for the gig,” she told me, “as I had the poster down quite quick! We didn’t even have a gig on that night: we actually had Trevor Lock headlining the week after. The Proud Archivist does its own posters for my show, I have no idea how they managed to get not only the wrong date but the wrong lineup – with Malcolm Hardee headlining!
“When I went in to speak to them, the staff said: We’re really excited about tonight’s show! I said: That’s great, but it’s not on and the headliner has been dead since 2005…
“They said: Aaaaw. Yeah, we should change that. And also I also pointed out that ‘Ellie’ and Rose don’t exist haha. We were meant to have a gig on that date with (Malcolm Hardee Award winners) Ellis and Rose and two other acts but it was moved to the next week because Ellis got ill and had to drop out. I don’t know how The Proud Archivist got it so wrong haha. I think they had a new poster maker in.”
“I see they also used a photograph of Malcolm,” I said, “which I took myself in about 1995.”
“They must have Googled it,” said Poppy.
If she had not told me the whole thing was a mistake, I might have thought it was a publicity stunt because, at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe, Poppy helped run (Malcolm Hardee Cunning Stunt Award winner) Bob Slayer’s two venues The Hive and Bob & Miss Behave’s Bookshop.
I asked Poppy about her experience of working with Bob this year – It is always an experience.
Poppy told me:
“The Hive smells but Bob Slayer wore the same Electric Eel Shock T-shirt every day of the Fringe and not once did it smell. By far the best smelling act was Chris Dangerfield. Nobody smells better than Chris Dangerfield, whose show Sex With Children did incredibly well. But it also meant I had to announce at the bar each night: Anyone for Sex With Children? Come on through for sex with children! This was met with disgust by people just out for a regular drink.
“Other highlights included, every night, fetching Wilfredo‘s specially-purchased step, which prevented his bollocks getting crushed in his ridiculously tight trousers as he stepped up on stage.
“A major highlight, though, was watching Bob Slayer get his prostate checked by a lady with a very dirty industrial rubber builder’s glove.
“Now I’m back to running my own Zip Zip Comedy Night at the Proud Archivist. We want the night to be a mix of animation and live stand up from more alternative acts on the circuit. The first gig was mental: we tried to create this 3D compere which motion tracked comedian Rob Pybus‘ face in real time, projecting him as a Max Headroom type character onto the stage. But it was very complicated and deeply terrifying. We will probably bring him back at some point.
“Now we showcase a new episode of Rob’s Living Cartoon series each month. Using his skills as an animator, he projects cartoon environments and characters around him. You have to come down and see it. I will try and get Malcolm Hardee to headline it.
“Another night that I’m doing, which I’m proper excited about is Tell Us a Secret hosted by Trevor Lock with Chris Dangerfield and a showbiz pal on the panel. Comedians and the audience are asked to tell a single secret before the panel. This is going to be a good one. It is on the 17th of October!”
Maybe the whole thing with the Malcolm Hardee poster WAS a cunning stunt.