Rik Mayall would have been 60 today. And even though I knew he had died young, I had somehow forgotten how young he was. Phill Jupitus posted a link to Kevin Turvey- The Man Behind The Green Door
which I think maybe more than anything else he did was the show that had the most effect on me. Did I tape it? I can’t remember, though it seems likely as I could quote vast swathes of it. When they repeated it they cut 10 minutes from it and that annoyed me at the time, so maybe I didn’t have a tape. Who knows? Anyway happy birthday Rik. Thanks for opening up the world of comedy to me and my generation.
The tour continued tonight in Harpenden and I just squeaked over 100 ticket sales. Will this be the first tour where I don’t sell under three figures for every gig (aside from Sutton Coldfield which has an 80 capacity)? Probably not by the look of some of the newer gigs, but on the whole it’s going all right. Most places are selling well - some, like Belfast and Dublin - seem surprisingly low based on recent sales.
At least this one was close to home.
It was a slightly weird one. Harpenden Halls is a cavernous room and unlike the last time I was there (I have never done well in this venue) I was up on the stage and all the 400 chairs were laid out. I was without Welsh Ray because it seemed pointless to have a tour manager for such an easy gig and as I told the tech guy what I wanted to happen when I came on I sensed he wasn’t really listening. I repeated it three times and it’s such a simple show to tech that any more would seem rude. It didn’t matter, but he didn’t do what I asked.
Once on stage I realised that the bug I’ve been fighting all year had not disappeared and my voice was croaky and the echoing room which was in total darkness made me feel even more spaced out. I’d forgotten to check whether there was any light on the crowd as I need to direct some of the material to the front row (it’s not a show where I pick on anyone, but I at least need to be able discern men from women). I had to ask for lights to come up, but the house lights lit up the back part of the audience and not the front. I felt like I was floundering a little.
But luckily the Harpenden ton were a good crowd and once things got underway we had a lot of fun and I took the mickey out of them for not being quite as nice as Hitchin and being like St Albans but with a sense of desperation. This stuff came out of nowhere, but were weirdly pertinent observations.
I fought through the lurgy and it was a creditable performance under weird circumstances.
Backstage I had been idly warming up for International Women’s Day and had been amazed to see that I was halfway to the third target of £25000 for the Refuge just giving page.
I got home and at least it was an earlyish night, given the rigours that I knew I’d be going through tomorrow. I had the whole day set aside to let men (and the occasional women) that the International Men’s Day that they pretended to want and only cared about on International Women’s Day did exist and was on November 19th. With the added impetus of raising funds for charity (which we did unofficially last year, but without a dedicated page) it did feel it would be a justified job rather than a self-defeating chore. We would see.