2014 Gig One Hundred and Fourteen: Best of the Fest and Gig One Hundred and Fifteen: Edinburgh Fringe

We've had some slightly warmer weather in the last 24 hours and you could tell by the amount of white flesh that was being revealed to the sun.  I feel like I have an overabundance of vitamin D compared to the people around me.  I'm glad I have transition lenses because looking at some of the men wandering the meadows sans shirts could have lead to instant cataracts for this guy.  

I have performed in this venue in so many different places in the world.

 

Day time gigs are always tricky beasts and especially for when you're hosting.  At the best of times hosting is a thankless job but when it is a day time gig that boosts the difficulty by the power of ten.  Luckily I've performed in enough of these gigs over the years to know what to expect and with a crowd that was just shy of 300 it was a real opportunity to impress.  In the process I would hope it might help sell more tickets to my show so I had a specific game plan before heading out onto the stage.  My set list to open the show was the following:

 

Turning 40!

Invite to Parties

Fix Your Flaws

"I Don't Give a Hoot!"

Hushed Angry Conversations

Gym Story

 

I was going for my most family friendly routines for this day time show and it is amazing how even the most accessibly material still contains a swear word that you never really think about.  Since I don't do a lot of TV work I never have to worry about this but it is hilarious when you walk out onto a stage and see a 10 year old girl sitting in the front row that you become very self conscious about your material.  Even the "Gym Story" has one swear word in it so I had to substitute that word for something with less bite.

The stage manager for the gig was a gentleman by the name of George who is an old school Scottish legend.  We had a chat before the gig and he'd travelled with Billy Connolly back in the late 70s around regional South Australia.  We talked about gigs he'd been a part of in places like Whyalla and Iron Knob.  I can only imagine how much Billy would have loved performing in a place with the word "knob" in it let alone "iron". George was charming but when he told me that I was to keep my opening "tight" I knew he wasn't mincing words.  This show was one that was going to stick to time and I was definitely not going to be the one to throw it off track.

It was a cracking line up that consisted of Glenn Cosby, Lady Rizo, Lloyd Langford and Pete Firman.  They gave us cooking based entertainment, cabaret, stand up comedy and magic/jokes.  It was a great all ages line up and I think between us there was only one f-bomb dropped so I would call that a win.  I also need to point out it wasn't me that dropped it either so I was doubly proud of that.  Of course George had told me there was to be no swearing and when I looked into his steely eyes I knew he wasn't joking.  If George had told me to do the gig on my head I would have given that a crack too.  I have to point out that George was great.  It was just that when he gave you an order you knew he wasn't mucking about.

 

Glenn Cosby from the Great British Bake Off was the first act of the show.

 

After my gig I had some lunch with my friend Claire where I overate a plate of nachos. What a winner.  I then returned home for a nap and then it was back in to flyer and prepare for my gig.  I had a couple of ideas I wanted to throw in as I continued to play around with my show and I wanted to make certain they were locked in to place.  The setlist for the show was:

 

Johnny Loves Mary Forever 1994

 

Since I had removed the "Purple Horses/Cow" routine that had opened up room to reinsert the "I Don't Give A Hoot!" material.  I love performing that joke so I was happy to see it back in place.  It was also one of the reasons I had performed it earlier that day so I could get a performance of it under my belt before my show.  I also continued meeting my audience at the door which once again worked a treat.  Making contact with people who haven't seen me before and then explaining the show before actually starting has paid off handsomely over the past two nights so I'll definitely be keeping that.

 

Lady Rizo opened her set with a brilliant torch song for modern times as written by Neil Gaiman.

 

I did notice that I was a little word salad early in the piece.  What I mean by that is I was just stumbling a bit on a word or sentence and I couldn't really work out why that was so. It could have been a bit of fatigue revealing itself or I just might have been having a slightly off night.  I had been surprised by an old friend of mine from Adelaide being in the audience and when I mentioned it to her after the show she hadn't noticed.  It was definitely something I was aware of though so I'm glad I didn't draw attention to it.

It was also a big house full of paying punters so I was very happy with that result. Mondays and Tuesdays are two for one tickets (like our Tight Arse Tuesdays at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival) so I have high hopes for tonight as well. Then on Wednesday full price tickets kick in so then we'll see where we're at.  I'm taking each gig as if it is a one off so that way I enjoy them in the moment.  I have no plans or preconceptions for the rest of the run but so far it has been a lot of fun with bigger houses than I had previously hoped.

 

Justin Hamilton

5th of August, 2014

Edinburgh