It was great to be back at the Battersea Arts Centre tonight. Over 100 people came which I am delighted with (and Friday's show has already sold out which is phenomenal - still a few tickets left for Thursday. Make sure you book if you want to come). The BAC is a building with a lot of memories for me and one of the staff showed me the advertising booklet from 1992 when we did the ramshackle the dum show
previews here. I was here a lot through the 1990s: it was here I first did the full frontal nude scene in Excavating Rita
and we even did our dress rehearsals for the first series of TMWRNJ
in one of the studios. Every corner holds a memory and it was slightly eerie and disorientating being back. But in a good way. Like returning home after a long holiday.
The show was pretty solid, but most of my energy went in to remembering what came next and so I didn't ad lib too much, but some nice stuff still came up and people enjoyed it, I think, though some of them were a little suspicious of me to start with. It's a special show (whether you find it funny or not, it's surely at least interesting) and as proud as I am with my award of Worst Comedy Experience of 2005 I think I will have to hand it back as it was an undeserved accolade. No fuck it, I am keeping it. I never win anything.
I spotted an interesting bit in today's Notes and Queries in teh Guardian. The question was "Why Hiroshima and Nagasaki in particular?" and Tomo Katagiri wrote in to expalin that it was as much a scientific experiment as a war effort, so the Americans wanted to target cities that hadn't been bombed too much before so they could assess the damage done by their terrible weapon. Nagasaki and Hiroshima fit the bill. Then Tomo adds, "Kyoto, also virtually undamaged, was the original first target, but Secretary of War Henry L Stimson vetoed the choice - having visited the ancient capital on his honeymoon trip to Japan, he had fond memories of it."
It's amazing to think that a decision of such historical import could swing on such an issue. Think of all the people's lives and deaths that would have been changed if Stimson had honeymooned in Nagasaki or if he'd just gone to Crete like a normal person. All those people who died in Nagasaki might have been spared and instead hundreds of thousands of Kyoto residents would have been killed. How different the world would have been but for this quirk of fate.
It makes you realise that you should always be polite to any toruists that happen to come to where you live. Make sure you show them a fantastic time and are generous with your time and favours. Because one day they might go on to be the person who decides which of your cities is going to be destroyed and if you were a grumpy bastard, pushing them out of the way for stopping at the top of staircases, then they will have no compunction at wiping your stinking unfriendly town off the map.
It's a shame that people will probably only goaded into being nice by the prospect of getting something in return (or not getting something in return in this case) but that's just human nature. Plus if everyone in London is nice to all tourists, then the chances are our unknown enemy will instead bomb Birmingham, which can't be a bad thing.
I am thinking of spending the rest of my life living in Carlisle and being obnoxious to any honeymooning couples from abroad who were stupid enough to visit this godforsaken town. Chances are that after having their romantic holiday ruined they won't think twice about nuclear bombing the place into oblivion.
I think I have learned the right lesson here.