THE BAD NEWS.
So I didn’t win the Amused Moose. I knew it was always going to be a tough sell because I was on at the beginning and I had accepted that I was probably going to lose out to Pierre Novellie. He’s just, quite simply, very good and I’m pleased that the competition recognised his quality.
I have to say though, I was annoyed by just HOW flat my material fell. Maybe it’s because, in my heart, I knew that I was saying last years stuff and that it’s time to do the scary thing of starting to throw away a bunch of stuff that works to find a bunch of new stuff that I’m actually excited to say. Steve Bennet on Chortle, while not utterly savage in his critique of me, just seemed underwhelmed by my lack of original material. Now while I don’t agree with him necessarily - I think that he has a point that the material I did in the competition was not the best representation of me. I just wish that, having got this far in the competition, I had the courage or the wherewithal (or just the fucking time) to bust out some of the story telling stuff that I really enjoy doing in the later half of my club set.
You can read the full review here.
Now so far, I’ve been pleased with how my show has been going. That is, when I’ve been allowed to perform it. I’ve had to cancel three shows due to having no audience and one in order to do the competition. At the moment, the no shows are neck and neck with actual performances which is a trend I want to stop dead. Thing is though, a lot of the other shows are in areas that look a bit like this:
Whereas I am in a place that looks like this:
I fucking love show business! Also, I’m on at 12:30pm so there is NO foot traffic at all.
Also, I’ve only got one review so far - from ‘Broadway Baby’. Now while they do say that:
The Bravery Test is an honest and enjoyable examination of the way families shape us and the unpredictability of life, told with heart and humour.
Which is nice, they also say:
It felt like Dunican had more to say about his family and would have benefited from separating his material regarding his illness into a different set. Whilst his recounting of the diagnosis is interesting, it feels like a big leap between childhood escapades and being twenty-two in hospital with a chronic illness. This disconnect is, unfortunately, a bit jarring.
Which, I have to say, annoyed me. The juxtaposition of the past and the much more recent past in the show is - somewhat - the point. you can read the whole thing here:
However, I did have a review from an audience member that was, by far and away, the nicest thing I’ve heard so far. It was from a guy called Lee Butler and it ran thusly:
This show is the best I have seen at the fringe so far. Witty, insightful and best of all it was free! Angus is an all round funny guy who paints the most amazing picture with words that will transport you back through time. For those of you who were born in the 80’s it will have you reminiscing over a post show pint. Definitely worth the time and effort, this guy is going places.
God bless you Lee Butler, whoever you are, and may your children grow to conquer space.
That brings us neatly to…
The Good News:
A nice lady from Radio 4 came to see the show, really liked it and told me to call her.
That’s all I’ve got at the moment but I’m holding onto it for dear life.
First of all - this is where the show is happening:
If you’ve already been to see the show or fancy just looking at stuff on the fabulous internet then here are some additional bits of fun for you. Also, if you go onto the rest of my blog, you’ll be able to access the rest of my festival diary, including reviews, recommendations and HIJINX!!!!
For now though, here are some relics:
THE BOOK OF MAPS
I don’t know why but I started drawing maps when I was little. I think maybe I was inspired by one that Niall (my older brother) drew which looked like this:
As you can see, it’s pretty sophisticated stuff - it’s on graph paper! I especially like the dead-end that leads to water and the weird fish-dragon that’s lies in wait for you near the end. Also it’s Doctor Who themed so that was always a plus. Needless to say, my first attempt to replicate this sort of thing was less successful.
So I think this was meant to be ‘Return to Oz’ but it wasn’t terribly detailed. Poor Tick-Tock just had to find his way past a Wheeler and that patch of yellow (signifying the deadly desert).
Now I think this stab at doing 'Trap-Door' was, artistically, more interesting. What’s odd about it, in terms of being a map, is that - having reached the trap door - the spidery beast that gets let out then finds its way back to the beginning to spook Berk in the first place. Hauntingly cyclical.
This Batman map, while colourful. represents something of a step backward for the cartographer in terms of clarity of form. But then crayon is a very difficult medium. These problems have been addressed by the time we reach this Turtles map:
Here we find the colour renderings in pencil crayon, with the more engineering orientated forms of the empire state and the Technodrome conceived in sobre pencil.
Now, seeking to match my brothers earlier effort, I went one further and drew a Doctor Who map that doubled as a board game - in which two sides (represented at the beginning of the game by the TARDIS and a Dalek spaceship) raced to find K9. Please observe the excellent spelling throughout.
Feeling somewhat hungry for more space adventures, I rushed out this Star Wars effort all too quickly - mainly focussing on creating an epic battle, with only the most perfunctory of nods to its status as a map. Notable use of colour and perspective though.
This 'Robocop' map is the only example of collaboration in the Book of Maps. Here the line of progress, the pit of spikes and the larger of the two baddies were drawn by my friend Matthew Gordon - hence the differing conceptions of scale.
This 'Ghostbusters' effort is altogether too derivative - though it does predate the Turtles map, hence the re-use of the Empire State as a landmark.
This 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' effort sees the beginning of the complexity that my final works would become so notorious for. The route is suitably convoluted as well as there being one or two elements ( a 600 tonne weight and a crocodile) that were the pure inventions of the cartographer. Along with this 'Gremlins' map:
…we can see the beginnings of a new direction. Please note that this is the first formally titled entry.
Returning to the Star Wars universe with a bang, we see this attempt to capture the essence of 'Return of the Jedi' - with additional stylised titles (which were to become a mainstay). Once again Star Wars brings out the desire to draw perspective - with both sideways on and top-down views of speeder bikes on show. My confidence was growing.
The film 'The Neverending Story' has a prominent place in my unconscious and this colourful and detailed stab at its story line is one of my favourites. Sadly, water damage effects much of the Ivory Tower. I have begun discussions with a restoration team.
Finally, we have my only attempt at a sequel to my own work - a depiction of 'Gremlins 2: The New Batch'. as well as this being, by far and away, the most busy of the maps, it also scores impressively on detail, colour and titles. Of particular note should be the mischievous Gremlins in the corner - whom I intended to seem like the writers of the titles. The only sad mis-step here is my terrible attempt at a speech bubble coming from the Brain Gremlin at his desk. It was supposed to read ‘I have the brain around here.’ but, instead, come out as ‘BRAN…I HAVE THE’
A BLOODY POEM!
Ok, so earlier this year, I had a minor relapse of my condition which led to me being put back on some not-so-very-much-fun medication and generally feeling sorry for myself. While I waited to be seen by my specialist at Guys, I found myself doing something I haven’t done in years and started writing a poem. So here it is - hope you like it.
A visit to an un-finished future,
tense with trepidation
that this day shall be that day
you wished would not come for good long whiles.
A TV whispers, low as conspiring children, while some soul far away
writes the minutes of meetings no-one called,
so that we - the un-called for - can sit and read them,
out of step with powdered lips.
I am on the system but he wants my details anyway.
Bless him, he wants to do it properly.
Soon he’ll learn the faces
and turn the wasting of their time
to idle games for his tidal mind.
It’s the only sane response.
This woman seems to have fallen asleep,
half-melted into her coat like some long-pocketed treat
and younger feet fall dispassionately all around and about.
Is she alone
or there to bear bad news as one half of two?
From the way she’s seated I’d say she’s a
"Let’s wait and see dear."
not yet 4 years old,
investigates new ways of not sitting still
and defies the will of those that made it.
its favourite game is not playing theirs.
It wouldn’t be here at all except Lee had to work
and Mum irons for Nan on Mondays…always Mondays
or else disaster.
So here it struggles, a he in fact,
Cargo that wont go in the car without his owl and
"How did it get in there?", his mother asks him
but more herself.
How DID it get in there?
Most have stopped asking the sky this by now,
It’s just how it goes for some so why not them?
all things can be lived with when one is stubborn enough.
"You can’t have these can you?"
"Thank you but I’ll give them to my grandson if you don’t mind?"
"Sign your name and date of birth on it
or who on earth knows where it will fetch up”
A thimble full of something that was this mornings coffee.
Half an hour now and it
"Shouldn’t be allowed!" someone remembers to say.
"Today of all days, I’m meant to be working at eight.”
That TV makes a change and finds us something with some jokes.
Time slows down as you approach the speed of light entertainment
and glaciers blur past like vacuumed clouds being tidied by Mrs. God.
The door to his room will open soon
and someone who dares to not be me
will be pleased to step this way.
He’ll call them
"Mr. Adeyeye" or "Mrs. Forsyth"
and try and sound less tired when he asks
"How are you today?"
Soon it will be me,
The best ‘till last when the rest have passed
and gone to wait elsewhere.
There I’ll be and he’ll call me by
the first name, I’ve been coming long enough for him to learn.
I’ve earned as much as that.
…AND NOW, AN ADORABLENESS CHASER!
My EXCELLENT Dalek costume.
and the day of the X-Wing.
Oh to be young was very bliss.
I thoroughly recommend popping along to the show tonight. I’ve blogged on here before about Luke and the other members of the Aisle 16 collective so you can probably tell I’m a fan already. You will be too if you go - I guarantee it.
Expect irreverent and playful verse - delivered with gusto and honesty. A absolute treat for spoken word kids.
If there’s a chap in London to listen to about comedy, it’s Dave Ward and when you hear he’s starting his own night, that’s a night worth making a mental note to pop along to one night.
Even better though is that it’s a new material night. Now some of you might think,
"Yeah we’ve done those - 20 comics doing 5’s to silence", well not this time. Dave is a picky man and the preliminary line-ups are already looking very tasty (as well as un-namable special guests).
Plus entry is only £5, £3 NHS/Fireman/Police and £1 for students (with NUS card). Bargain.
So yeah, get involved!
I’ve plugged Ian a couple of times on here. Why you may ask? His cheeky-meta stylings? The intriguing fluctuation of his beard length? Straight up South-East London solidarity (he does live down the road)?
Well, this is all true. However, I do just think that he’s considerably better at stand-up than the vast majority of his contemporaries.
Go see him preview his Edinburgh show here, I’m gonna.
Video with 1 note
Comedy You’ve Never Seen: John Cleese, Graham Chapman and Marty Feldman in ‘Mice Laugh Softly Charlotte’ (apologis for low quality).
So a while back I got an message from a compadre of mine called Liam Garvo (whose production company, Dresden Pictures, just acquired the rights to a live action adaptation of Grave of the Fireflies interestingly enough). He asked me to come along and do a table read of a feature that he’s working on. Naturally I agreed and I’m glad I did as the script - entitled 'The Fitzroy' - was absolutely lovely.
It’s a winning combination of elements; alternative history meets black farce. Think Fawlty Towers by way of Fallout - with a dollop of Terry Gilliam. Anyway, as you have no doubt guessed by now it’s crowd-source project.
(What? a film with an off beat and inventive premise that DOESN’T have studio backing?)
Sooooo, I’ve just checked in on their Kickstarter campaigne and they’re just over a sixth of the way there. That’s not bad going as they’ve got a month to go yet before they hit their production deadline. However, they need the money by then or IT WILL NOT HAPPEN AT ALL.
I’m not asking for your money - just to take a look at their profile on Kickstarter and their pitch video…where they will ask for your money.
Go on, be a producer.
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