On the way to Edinburgh bitches… part of the way anyway. We were heading to Thirsk as I was doing an episode of RHLSTP at the Deer Shed festival at the slightly weird time of 11.10pm. We set off in good time, but the traffic was a bit variable and according to the sat nav it seemed we were two hours from our destination for about two hours. The most costly part was stopping at a service station for a wee and it took us about 20 minutes to get in and about 20 minutes to get out again.
But it still felt exciting to be taking the whole family on this epic trip north - even if we were taking it slowly over the next four days. However awful a Fringe might end up being there is always a wonderful feeling of hope and excitement as you travel north at the start and this year, the fun of taking the whole family and them being old enough to get something from the experience makes it extra special. And it’s not just the Fringe. We’re going to get a good three and a half weeks together and all the excitement of trying out new things and seeing stuff that some of us have never seen.
We’d elected not to camp at the festival this time and instead to have a mini-break in York for the next few days, so we stayed at the Premier Inn in Thirsk. Premier Inns were almost the most reliable cheaper option when I was on tour and the family room we had was more than adequate. Though I’d be leaving the family to sleep whilst I went off to work, way after my bed time.
My guest was Daliso Chaponda, who had done a brief interview with me back in 2019 and who is a thoroughly lovely guy. I spent a good couple of hours with him backstage, after he’d done his own stand up set, which had mainly been to children, so he’d had to shift focus. After that show the bit top was showing a film. Now I’d have put the film after RHLSTP, but we were closing the night in this tent. The film had a very small audience, again mainly kids, but as the time of our show approached people began drifting in and we had a pretty full venue.
The show was fun, though a little surreal. Daliso was quick witted with he emergency questions and had a few home truths about the racism he has faced, but, as in his act, delivered with disarming charm. He’s an excellent comic and I love that he managed to do material about slavery on Britain’s Got Talent and didn’t get the usual gammon like response. We had talked about a person of high standing and pegging (something I’d had to google before the show but which I gleefully explained to the children whose parents had been stupid enough not to take them to bed. It was a lot of fun. We might not be able to put all of it out.
I think we’re putting this one out next Friday. Though there are lots of new podcasts coming your way in August, so buckle up for three new shows a week.
Malcolm Gaskill has written an amazing book about witches, paranoia and the clash of cultures and ideas in the New World, The Ruin of All Witches. He talks to me about it in this week’s RHLSTP Book Club. Last one of the series. Back in September.