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Sunday 6th August 2017


We are succeeding quite well in making this a family holiday. Admittedly a family holiday where we’re stupidly tired, I have to work at night and we both have loads of re-writes to do. But for the Herring family, that is quite a break.
Phoebe slept in a bit longer than usual, so I had to go up and poke her to make sure her head injury hadn’t taken her in the night. But she was still alive and very soon running around, blowing raspberries and kicking me. Business as usual. Or maybe the head injury has turned her into a feral beast. Or slightly more of a feral beast. 
We went swimming and then to Frankie and Benny’s for lunch. I ordered pancakes and was told they had no pancakes left. Which is a bit suspicious for a restaurant given pancakes are made out of milk, butter, flour and eggs. It looks like the chefs at F&B’s principal tool is the microwave. I should have been tipped off by the fact that the pancakes came with maple-style syrup.
 I was tempted to go and knock some up myself, but instead went for an early lunch, making a bad mistake selecting the barbecue chicken pizza, which was so sweet that I think they might have been able to pass it off as pancakes. 
The restaurant was projecting old films on to the wall opposite us. The ghosts of Laurel and Hardy flickered in front of us. To remind us of our inevitable deaths. Made more inevitable by regular dining at this restaurant. But the staff were attentive (almost sarcastically so) and we had a fun, if weary time, before heading the the supermarket and then back home.
We sat in bed, the three of us, Phoebe playing on her iPad, Catie doing some admin and me attempting to drift into sleep, but only dreaming of the weird game that Phoebe was playing. Only five days in and napping already required. But it was my favourite bit of the day. A little elbow leaning on my stomach, my girls and my kicking little boy by my side. And I could only be pleased when a tired and hungry Phoebe turned into a 30 month old monster before dinner, chucking her toys around and ignoring my entreaties to be good. At least she wasn’t concussed or worse. All these memories are golden, but today was the closest I’ve been to losing my temper with her, as she pushed the limits to see what would happen. The answer is not a lot, darling. Daddy is a pushover.
And even though her comprehension skills are not amazing yet, she’s started repeatedly asking “Why?” when anything is explained to her. For me, it’s the repetition that makes it amusing.
After some food she was in a much better mood and cheerily waved me off with an “I love you too daddy,” as I left for my stupid job.
The walk up to the Pleasance is just long enough to get my blood pumping and have the show revolving in the back of my mind. Predictably on a Sunday sandwiched between the cheaper tickets and the 2 for 1s of the next two days, numbers were down a bit today, at around about 180 (but still up on the 2013 show that I am choosing to use as a comparison). Providing this trend continues (and We’re All Going To Die did get some great reviews so maybe later shows will be harder to keep up with) then I won’t lose any money and might even claw some back. But ultimately it’s just better to have some people to perform to and the lack of worry about that means I can concentrate on having fun. I recall the despair before going on to do Lord of the Dance Settee in a quarter full theatre (if I was lucky) and the way I somehow managed to switch my mood as I came through the curtain and pretend I didn’t care. I put so much energy into that show (it was when I was super fit and significantly lighter, so that was easy). But today I played backgammon on my phone behind the curtain before strolling out to a lovely reception. No transformation required and another relaxed and enjoyable performance (though I’d say probably the least receptive crowd so far - but they’ve all been pretty high on the scale).
But the queue for signings and EQ books was longer than yesterday and everyone seemed happy.
I came home and drank too much wine and hung out with my wife. It’s so good to have the family up with me to give me perspective.

And a slightly weird coincidence picked up by Chortle (and it’s both strange that two shows have a routine about the same toy and that the same reviewer happened to see them both so quickly). I am confident it’s entirely by chance. I have never heard of the other guy and I am sure he has never heard of me and I have only been doing this routine for 6 weeks and in tiny venues mainly in London. It shows that it’s possible for two people to come up with the same idea, even with a subject as obscure as this. Though the main part of my routine, I’d say, is the deconstruction of the packaging. Again no one would copy the first bit and not nick the better half.  Slightly annoying to have what felt like an original routine proven so quickly not to be. But comedians, pay heed. Two people can come up with the same idea.

On RHEFP on Friday my guest will be James Acaster (+ one other) Selling well, but still some tickets

OFI50 is sold out on Monday night, but still some two for one tickets left for Tuesday.

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