day 18: it’s supposed to be bloody fun

I woke up on Monday in the little village of East Linton, where I had stayed in the cottage my Mum and Nick have rented. My back hurt. The bed was very comfortable but very single, and I’d fallen out in the night.

Apart from that, it was lovely to be there.

We went to the seaside for lunch, and that was lovely too. But unfortunately, we hadn’t actually booked any acts for the Showcase. So I got back just in time for me and Timmy to cobble together a makeshift lineup. We were quite lucky that James Acaster came back to close the show again. I like his act so much – he just speaks in a way that makes me feel calm enough to laugh a lot – that I wanted him to have a better gig the second time round; and I think it was a little better. Timmy compered, which was good because for some reason his material isn’t hitting at the moment, but he’s pretty adept at warming the room up.

If only we could get more people in there – it’s such a big room that even when we get 30-odd people in (as we generally do, even on the quiet nights) – it feels half-empty.

We also had a very small pre-booked audience for the Flashback, but that meant less fear. And less fear meant one thing. It was time to bring back Beetlejuice.

I did my best with it, but I think the audience was too small to really tell whether it had gone well or not. The best (and possibly worst) thing about it was that as I hit the bit where the first magic trick doesn’t work and Beetlejuice goes straight into ‘Magic number two!’, I heard a badly-concealed snort of laughter. It had obviously come from behind Fraser’s side of the screens which we optimistically call ‘backstage’, but it set me off giggling and I really struggled to get through the rest of the scene without completely cracking up.

Which was good – as Timmy pointed out a few nights ago, it doesn’t always look like we’re really having fun ourselves, and in all our attempts to get the show tight and professional we might have lost some of that sense that at the end of the day it’s just a bunch of idiots pissing about in silly costumes for a laugh.

But on Monday, in front of those sixteen people, it felt like we were making a realisation that we need to really be enjoying it, and enjoying it infectiously.

And also, of course – in front of those sixteen people – a realisation that we probably need to flyer a bit more.

Showcase: 5/10 (the audience was too small to get much atmosphere)

Flashback: 6/10

Overall: DRAW

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