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Sunday 6th July 2014

4242/17161

When you're eating oats and vegetables for breakfast you have to be careful not to look at anything that might upset your stomach, so I was annoyed that the BBC website had a picture of Leon Brittan on the front page. He was never a dashingly handsome man, but now he just looks plain scary. Like the photographer had said, "Now Lord Brittan, let's do one where you pull a face like a Dracula. Just for fun. Can't see it ever being used for anything negative."

I am thinking that the play script will never quite get finished. I felt certain I'd get it sorted out today, but even though I worked all day long it felt like there was more to do by the end of the day than there had been at the start. It's just a matter of the last ten pages of a 100 page script now, but it's like the mountain is growing and the peak getting further away. How many days am I going to be saying, "Not quite, but definitely tomorrow"?  This is definitely the hardest thing that I have ever done (that I remember). The parentheses very important there, because I am sure other scripts must have been similarly tricky, but I've just forgotten. The cast have enough to be getting on with, so it's all OK. But I'd love to not have to keep getting up at 7am and going to bed at 1am as soon as possible.

There was a lively gig in Stoke Newington tonight to add to the fun. A well meaning, though maybe slightly drunk lady on the front row kept adding comments, usually over the last line of each routine, which were attempts to add to the joke, but were usually explanations of the joke. In my sombrero bit I had said, "Let them wear sombreros" and she had said, "Let them eat cake!" So I had to say that yes, that was the phrase that I was referencing there, but nice of her to point it out for anyone who hadn't understood. Then I did a routine about dancing and she said "You were the Lord of the Dance" and again I replied that it wasn't a coincidence that the show title and the routine had the same subject matter. She was not trying to derail things and was very good natured and I was able to mock her and be mock-exasperated with her. It made the show into something quite different than it would otherwise have been and I enjoyed the fact that she chose to interject just as each bit was reaching its climax - "Don't worry, the end bit is not that important. It's good to be cut off just as I am explaining what the whole thing was about. It keeps an air of mystery." But when I fucked up the end of one of my routines when she hadn't interrupted me, I was able to blame her for it, because I'd been thrown by being allowed to get to the end. Most of her comments would be amusing to her own booze-addled brain, but weren't funny on there own. But when I talked about the wool doll in the window of the isolated house she said, "Does Harry Hill live there? He likes knitted things," which has a surprising logic to it and was tangential enough to be amusing.

A couple of guys walked out during the International Men's Day routine and I asked them if they were annoyed by me spoiling the question for them. One said the show was boring and the other one said, "We were expecting Stewart Lee."

"That's odd," I replied, "Because my name was on the poster and I've done 30 minutes. How long did it take you to realise that I wasn't Stewart Lee?" They had gone by now, but I continued anyway saying that if they thought that I was being boring that they really didn't want to go and see Stewart. I had managed seven stories in the hour, they'd only be at the preface to his first routine by now.

I think the other people in the room enjoyed themselves. You can't please everyone. I am always quite surprised that I please anyone. Although most of tonight's digressions won't be usable again, I still discovered some next potential tangents for this show. And maybe a new double act partner.



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My new stand up show, Lord of the Dance Settee will be on at the George Sq Theatre at 10.45pm every night of the Edinburgh Fringe Buy tickets here.
My new play, I Killed Rasputin will on at the George Square Theatre at 3.35pm every day of the Edinburgh Fringe. Buy tickets here
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