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Thursday 20th February 2014


The drive up to Liverpool was slightly arduous, taking six hours, though my heart was lifted as I sat in a jam on the M1 to see a spectacular double rainbow appearing over a wind farm by the side of the road. It could almost have been a heavy-handed poster for alternative energy, but it was real. The main rainbow was so solid and bright. Even though I know how it is formed it's magic was not unweaved for me. But if you didn't know how it was formed then it would be a freaky, supernatural thing. Rainbows appear to be a glitch in the Matrix, some coding error that has allowed light from the real world to flood through to us. That's what they are, right? Like I say, knowing that doesn't take away any of the magic.

I arrived at the Unity Theatre only 75 minutes before showtime and couldn't find anywhere to park. I was in a bit of tizzy already as I loaded my stuff into the theatre, but luckily a man moved his car just as I was about to drive away and I got to park very near to the door. I set to putting the programmes out on the seats straight away. They were securely fixed, draped over the fold up seats and I got into quite a sweat putting out 180 of them. It took about 15 minutes so it was annoying when someone arrived right at the end and questioned whether I was allowed to do this. Some theatres are worried about the health and safety aspect of putting programmes on seats. What if one falls on the floor and someone slips on it. Better give them out by hand. I don't really see how this solves the problem. What if someone who has been given one by hand puts their programme on the floor and someone else slips on it. If they're fixed on the seats then an accident seems less likely to me. I can't imagine that slipping on a programme on a theatre floor happens all that often, but in this litigious society I can understand why theatres are concerned about it. There seem to be bigger dangers in theatres though.

I came back out to put my props on stage to find a man taking all the programmes off the seat. I was a bit annoyed about this. "Sorry it's theatre policy," he told me. If that was the case then it would be nice if someone from the theatre had told me that as they had watched me putting the programmes out. I tried to argue that now the programmes were there that maybe we should leave them, pointing out that if they were a danger to human safety then giving them out by hand didn't really help. Also if you do that then a lot of people don't take them, which in turn leads to less money being collected for Scope. "If it's all right with you," the man said, "This is our policy."

"It's obviously not all right with me," I answered. It was bloody irritating. But there was a smug jobsworth nature to this that meant there was no point in arguing. I was already a bit spiky from being late and from having sweated getting the stuff in and the programmes on the seats. It wasn't the ideal way to get me into the right mindset for the show.

I had nearly forgotten to bring my show shirts with me on this short mini-jaunt away from home with me. I nearly always forget something, so was glad I'd realised. Unfortunately I'd forgotten to bring my cufflinks so had to perform with my shirt sleeves rolled up. But that would save time later if I got into another fight, like I did almost 7 years ago after performing at this theatre. Just whip off my jacket and I'd be ready to ineffectually slap any university lecturer who tried to kick a woman in the head.

Liverpool always seems to provide me with some blogworthy incident. And it wasn't going to let me down today. After the show I headed back to my hotel. I had booked this back in December, proud of myself for being so organised. I'd been sent a voucher from the website I'd booked on and they'd already taken my money. So I was a little perturbed when I got to the hotel and they had no record of the booking. Luckily they had a spare room. But I was worried I'd been scammed by a fake site and was going to have to pay twice. But the website is still running, though judging by its Twitter feed @olotel I am not the only customer who has found the service wanting (though of course there is a chance that the mistake was made by the hotel). It took up another 45 minutes when I would have liked to have been relaxing in my room. If I hadn't made the mistake of being so organised then this would never have happened to me. And it was still better than getting back to my hotel with my T-shirt ripped off. I love you Liverpool. I really do.

My first Fubar Radio show went out tonight. I think there should be some kind of listen again facility on the station (if not yet then at some point), though looks like it is repeated again on Sunday. Here's a Chortle article about the station.

Another guest confirmed for RHLSTP. On March 10th I will be chatting to Danny Baker (though I think he might do most of the actual talking). Get your tickets here. Still trying to find a second guest for next week's show with Robert Llewllyn from Red Dwarf. Hopefully sort that tomorrow.

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My new stand up show, Oh Frig I'm 50 is at on tour from February til June 2018. There's also a new series of RHLSTP with recordings every Monday from February 5th to April 2nd All details of shows here.
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