day 10: no regrets

So, obviously yesterday was a good day because Nan was around for most of the day. If this was a ‘charlie’s relationship’ blog, I could say more about that. But it isn’t.

In comedy terms, yesterday was a useful day, but also a day of some small regrets.

The lunchtime show went well overall, and I was doing well until I did two sections that bombed just like they’ve been bombing every day: the ‘pie charts’ bit and the ‘big butts’ bit. So, regretfully, I have decided to shelve them both for the time being. I wish I could get them to work, and I may try and pick them up again later on in the run, but they aren’t working and I can’t justify keeping them in.

As if go solidify the decision on the ‘big butts’ bit, James Sherwood was headlining the evening show and he has a brilliant joke that starts along vaguely similar lines (although mine goes somewhere very different with it). So I left it out entirely, substituted a bit about radio 4 and a line about mobile phones, and it ended up being the most consistent set I’ve done so far this festival – certainly worth a 7.5 (with the 0.5 deducted because it wasn’t as slick and well-rehearsed as it could be).

On either side of the evening show, I took Nan to see two sketch shows: Pappy’s Fun Club at the Pleasance; and our friends Rik, Fraser and Rachel doing ‘The 80s Movie Flashback’ in the Counting House.

Both were brilliant. Pappy’s, of course, are always brilliant: they had the energy and silliness and cleverness and combination of brilliantly structured narrative and feeling of madcap unpredictability they always do…if anything, I thought this year’s show was even better than last year’s, possibly even better than the Perrier-nominated show from two years ago.

But ’80’s Movie Flashback’ got pretty close to that feeling, too – their show was packed with such a great combination of scripted gags and audience interaction that it felt the way a good Pappy’s show does, like the unpredictability was in good hands. They could have perhaps done with a little extra plotting and structure, maybe bringing back a few characters more than once to make it feel like something was happening to them that went beyond each individual sketch – but the feeling of fun and energy was there in buckets.

Walking home, though, I couldn’t help but feel a little sad – it was only last year that ‘Topical Scurvy’ drew a few comparisons to Pappy’s; and the Flashback was an idea that grew out of a ‘Topical Scurvy’ guest slot that Rik and Fraser wrote for Fraser to perform as Marty McFly.

Somehow, in getting invidually stronger at our own stand-up, we lost something, and I don’t know what it was or when we lost it; but when we had it, we wrote some moments of really good sketch comedy last year. And we couldn’t capture it again this year.

I guess it doesn’t even matter why it’s gone, whether it was laziness, or business, or egos, or whatever. Because we have a stand-up show to get right tonight, and tomorrow, and the next day; and having taken a few moments to regret that we don’t have whatever it was any more, it’s time to stop moping and move on.

No Regrets – as a terrible but correct philosopher once said – they don’t work.

CTD: Audience – full; Performance – solid, apart from the puns, which threw me enough to not be worth doing them tomorrow (5/10)

SSS: Audience – packed out again; Performance – best so far (7.5/10)

Other stuff: Nice…

Overall: WIN

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