June 30, 2011 · 8:41 am
Yesterday afternoon, I had a tea-room crawl around London’s West End with comedian Charlie Chuck. He had come down for a meeting in Soho about appearing in a TV ad.
He told me his girlfriend now has 21 ducks and a Buddha statue in her back garden. To celebrate, we went down to see the ducks in St James’s Park which is a fine example of ornithological multi-culturalism where any number of imaginable and unimaginable breeds intermingle, mostly politely, and occasional light grey pigeons wander randomly about, looking slightly stunned at the surrounding plumage, like drab, grey-suited City gents who have accidentally wandered into the VIP hospitality tent behind the Pyramid Stage in Glastonbury.
Dave (Charlie Chuck’s real name) told me more about his unbilled second show at the upcoming Edinburgh Fringe – Dave Kear’s Guide to the Universe – which I blogged about last week and which he will perform in theSpaces@SurgeonsHall for six days. He has plans to develop this year’s show into an hour-long play called Mister Nobody at the 2012 Fringe and has been discussing with a 1960s ‘celebrity vicar’ what that might involve.
Sitting in St James’s Park, watching a three-mallard duck-fight on the water, Dave suddenly remembered that, when he was a 20-year-old drummer with innocent hopes of a hit parade career ahead of him, he had slept overnight on a deckchair in this very park, the night before an early morning meeting with a record producer in what was then Tin Pan Alley.
He also regaled me with tales of touring Britain for a year in the 1970s as drummer with The Missouri Breaks – backing band for 1950s British rock ‘n’ roll legend Wee Willie Harris. Support acts for Wee Willie Harris on that tour were comedians Bernard Manning and Duncan ‘chase me chase me’ Norvelle.
That sounds to me like one hell of an eclectic tour.
Manning’s act involved going on stage with two large, fearsome-looking bouncers who stood on either side of him while he insulted the audience and the other acts. Seeing the size of the bouncers, no-one ever objected to the insults.
“I met Bernard again on James Whale‘s 40th Birthday Party show,” Dave told me, “and he asked me into his dressing room and told me You’re doing a great job. That’s a great character. I were chuffed. It were very nice of him.”
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Tagged as 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 40th, Bernard Manning, birds, birthday party, Britain, Buddha, celebrity, Charlie Chuck, chase me, Dave Kear, duck, Duncan Norvelle, edinburgh, edinburgh fringe, Glastonbury, Guide to the Universe, James Whale, london, Missouri Breaks, Mister Nobody, Mr Nobody, multi culturalism, ornithology, park, pigeon, Pyramid Stage, rock n roll, Soho, St James’s, Surgeon's Hall, the spaces, Tin Pan Alley, uk, United Kingdom, vicar, Wee Willie Harris, West End
June 25, 2011 · 10:04 am
One day is a long time in the run-up to the Edinburgh Fringe.
In yesterday’s blog, I mentioned that cult comedian Charlie Chuck was thinking of staging a semi-serious show called Charlie Chuck’s Guide to the Universe at next year’s Edinburgh Fringe.
At this August’s Fringe, he is staging Charlie Chuck’s Laughter Lounge at SpaceCabaret @ 54.
Just a few hours after I posted that blog, a production cancelled their show at the Fringe and their six-day run became available in theSpaces @ Surgeons Hall. Because tickets for Charlie Chuck’s Laughter Lounge are already selling well, suave and ever efficient Charles Pamment, who runs the SpaceUK venues, offered those six days at Surgeons Hall to the esteemed Mr Chuck.
So now – pay attention – there will be a show called Dave Kear’s Guide to the Universe (Charlie Chuck’s real name is Dave Kear) running 15th-20th August the Fringe. It won’t be listed in the already-published main Edinburgh Fringe Programme, but it will appear in SpaceUK’s printed programme and their online webpages.
Ah! The Edinburgh Fringe!
It’s like juggling spaghetti in a high wind.
Who knows what tomorrow may bring?
Who knows what today may bring?
Did I say juggling spaghetti?
That’s another story.
To be continued.
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Tagged as cabaret 54, Charlie Chuck, comedian, comic, cult, Dave Kear, David Kear, edinburgh fringe, Guide to the Universe, humor, humour, juggling, Laughter Lounge, program, programme, Space, spaghetti, stand up, Surgeon's Hall, surreal
August 25, 2010 · 11:11 pm
(This blog originally appeared in What’s On Stage)
I’m organising the Malcolm Hardee Awards until 2017 although “organising” was an anathema to Malcolm. With luck, the ashes in his urn will forgive me.
We have now announced this year’s shortlist, but there were other acts I personally saw and wished I could have included but we couldn’t.
Prime among these was Tricity Vogue’s The Blue Lady Sings at The Three Sisters, which mixes kitsch theatricality, Freddie Mercury, torch songs, audience involvement, Blues medleys and a bright pink ukelele and which has more laughs than several alleged comedy shows I’ve seen at this year’s Fringe. It’s highly original and almost indescribable because it falls into no existing genre. But it’s not comedy as such; more a music show.
All The King’s Men at Espionage (not to be confused with the totally different All The King’s Men at Surgeons Hall) brings together four highly promising young Scots comics including Richard Gadd who has aspirations to high levels of weirdness which, if developed, could easily bag him a Malcolm Hardee Award in the next couple of years.
And joker in the pack is my comedy chum the elfin and highly talented Laura Lexx in Quiz in My Pants at Dragonfly. All three of this show’s team studied Stand-Up Comedy (yes they did) at the University of Kent at Canterbury… as did other Fringe participants Tiernan Douieb, Jimmy McGhie, The Noise Next Door and Pappy’s.
Malcolm Hardee’s ashes must be turning in that South East London urn of his at the thought of anyone studying Stand-Up Comedy but, on present evidence, this Kent course looks like it may turn into a comedy equivalent of Malcolm Bradbury’s legendary Creative Writing course at UEA.
Who has won this year’s three Malcolm Hardee Awards? We won’t know until around midnight on Friday during Nik Coppin’s nightly Shaggers show.
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Tagged as Blue Lady Sings, Blues, Canterbury, Dragonfly, edinburgh, edinburgh fringe, Freddie Mercury, Jimmy McGhie, King's Men, Laura Lexx, Malcolm Bradbury, Malcolm hardee, Nik Coppin, Norwich, Pappy's, Quiz in My Pants, Richard Gadd, Shaggers, South East London, Surgeon's Hall, The Noise Next Door, Three Sisters, Tiernan Douieb, torch songs, Tricity Vogue, UEA, ukelele, University of East Anglia, University of Kent