day 19: improvisation

So Loz is gone, and we still have to put on a show at lunchtimes. So we’ve improvised: we drafted in Jay Foreman to sing some friendly songs, and yesterday he fitted in quite well. He’s no Lawrence Francis, obviously, but he’s more than good enough to fill the gap.

In the afternoon I went to see the play ‘Dinner’ at the ECA, partly because a friend is doing press stuff for them and thought they might have reviewers in, and partly because it looked interesting. And it is – it’s well written and it has some good gags, creative staging and some valiant (if clumsy) attempts to apply Nietzsche to life. So it ticks all my boxes – although I couldn’t help but feel that some of the acting was a little high-school drama club, and at an hour and 40 minutes it was a bit longer than it needed to be (I missed a meeting with Bobby, who owns the flat we’re staying in, because it ran so long).

I compered our evening gig; it was the best compering I think I’ve ever done, with some neat and confident crowd work at the top and some gently and appropriately slotted-in material throughout the show. It was a great gig, and for a very short while, I was pretty proud of myself.

Then I went to see Daniel Kitson.

Kitson is astonishing. He’s a genuine master of the art of stand-up: he is honest and endearing, seeming spontaneous while piling up afterthought after afterthought; he can make points which hold genuine significance, then cut through any tension with a few brilliant laughs which, if anything, make his point even more firmly. And his point in this year’s show could almost be lifted out of a guide to Heidegger – we’re all going to die and nothing has any meaning except the meaning we give it, so we should fill our lives with whatever meaning we choose, and do our best to pass that meaning on so that it isn’t lost when we die.

I lived the rest of yesterday night – through freestyle rapping and getting landed on by crazies jumping the fence into the Library Bar garden, through exhausted poetry analyses and uneaten oven chips – with that thought in the back of my mind.

CTD: Audience – small; Performance – competent (6/10)

SSS: Audience – medium, but nice; Performance – really good compering (7/10)

Other stuff: too much fun, really

Overall: WIN

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