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Monday, 3 October 2011

Chipping away at the cabaret coalface


 Another little dispatch from clubland. It's been a fun week. Three nights performing at the Brickhouse, as part of "The League of the Extraordinary" (tip to producers - you want to make variety monkeys happy? Imply that they're superheroes..), a show which is closed every night by the flame-haired firecracker Sophia Landi - seen at the top of this post filling the room with sparks. Spectacle, kids.

Found time during the week for a photoshoot with an old friend, Paddy Docherty, who I performed with thirteen years ago in a West End show called "Joey & Gina's Wedding", which was partly improvised, and very, very fun. He's one of those actors who's been in everything and is always rushing between castings and meetings. He's also your go to bloke for dirty jokes.

Friday night, and I was doing my thing at the Cafe De Paris for "La Reve", which is always a gorgeous show to do. Tonight was hosted by Kiki Kaboom, who I am, as any right thinking person is, a huge fan of. One of the great things about working the cabaret circuit is that you get to hang out backstage with other performers who you like and respect. We all watch each others stuff, and there are lots of hugs and kisses. It's all very lovely. It's interesting, therefore, to compare this with the comedy clubs that I also sometimes work. Very different. Not much in the way of hugs and kisses in the world of the stand-up comedian. Much more of a masculine, competitive vibe. Not as fun.

Nice surprise backstage at La Reve was to catch up with Donna, who runs the Itsy Kabaret in Edinburgh - one of the nicest stages I worked during the last Edinburgh festival. Somehow she foudnout that I could play the spoons, so I got press-ganged into teaching her the thing that my granddad taught me thirty-odd years ago. She is wayyy too enthused about playing the spoons and now carries them with her where-ever she goes. I apologise to Scotland in advance.

Then, a rare weekend not working, spent at the seaside. Trifle flavoured ice cream & clifftop walks. Not bad at all. During this little weekend away, two fun things happened. My friends Morgan and West, the Time Travelling Magicians had, a few months ago appeared on "Fool Us!" with Penn & Teller, and had - yes - fooled Penn & Teller. So this weekend they collected their prize, which was, rather wonderfully, a one night spot in P&T's show in Vegas. This is, obviously, awesome. More awesome, from my point of view, was waking up to a torrent of tweets from various people informing me that they'd mentioned me to Teller, who had googled me, watched a bunch of my stuff, and tweeted about me to his quarter of a million followers. Yow. Always been massive fans of P&T, right back from when channel 4 aired their first off-broadway show "Don't Try This At Home", so that gave me quite the wide grin.

Then, on the journey back home Sunday night, my phone started pinging and telling me that the advert I filmed a few weeks ago had started airing, apparently quite a lot. So - sorry about that. Just so you know - 51 takes, and I got the trick right every single time. Oh, and all the people from the ad agency were exactly like they are in Mad Men. Exactly.

If you haven't seen it yet.. <sigh> it is:

And if you're one of the new people following me on twitter or reading this, perhaps you've wound up here after reading Teller's tweet, or you're seduced into googling my name by the heady excitment of an insurance advert, then HELLO! I am nothing like that bloke on telly. I wear nicer suits, am considerably swearier, and make very good sandwiches. That being said, welcome, you can find out more about what I do on my website, or keep an eye on my twitter for upcoming gigs. Get in touch, I'm nice.

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