Tales From... The Archive

The Theatre Daaaaarling!

I saw a play last night and I have to reluctantly admit that I enjoyed it. In fact I think I may have had a good time…who knew? I’m going to sound like a philistine, but generally I find the theatre pretty dull. In fact the whole experience leaves me cold.

For a start I can never get comfortable I always have too many bags and a huge coat and then I have to figure out how to stuff them under my seat and while I’m doing this several hundred people have to squeeze past me to get to their seats, or to get to the loo, or to get on my nerves! Then the play starts and….I’M BORED! The amount of times I’ve found myself sneaking a look at my watch 3 minutes in to the performance. Sometimes I’m so bored I find myself crying, people think I’m really connecting with the play, but actually I’m panicking that my inertia is so acute I might flat line before the intermission. How fast can an ambulance make it to Shaftsbury Avenue? Have you seen the traffic?

I also have a tiny bladder, which means that I need the loo as soon as I arrive at the theatre so I go,  but by the time I’ve climbed over 40 people to get to my seat my bladder is telling me I need to pee again. Yes I know it’s psychological, I know I don’t really need the toilet, but then that’s all I can think about! You’d think the performance would distract me! It’s then that I experience the real problem with going to see ‘plays’, they’re just so….theatrical. God if I know you’re acting how can I believe the story? Halfway through I want to shout, “I DON’T BELIEVE YOU!” There’s only ever one person in the play that can actually act, the rest of the cast look like they’ve been taught to act by the cast of Hollyoaks. “Oh darling I can’t believe what’s happening, I’m ever so sad…” REALLY? Tell your face then! Maybe it’s the botox, if you’re an actor why would you botox your face? Surely having more than one facial expression is essential to ‘act.’ You don’t see cricketers botoxing their arms, “I was getting flabby arms, I can’t be seen at Lords with bat wings! So I botoxed them…yes I’ll admit I can’t bowl, catch or bat but look how good my triceps look?” Not bloody likely.

So, I think I’ve discovered the new clutured me, I do like the theatre I just don’t like theatres…or I do like the theatre I just don’t like bad actors…or I do like the theatre but I just need a catheta. I can’t wait to start liking art…


Posted on 28th January 2010

Tales From... The Archive

Drink anyone…?

I seem to spend most of my life either bored or excruciatingly embarrassed. My embarrassment is nearly always associated with alcohol.

I go out, I get drunk and then I wake up with this feeling of dread. I always wake up feeling guilty – as if I accidentally pooed in someone’s pint glass when they turned their back. What did I say? What did I do ? Did I shout at that cab driver? It only seems to be getting worse as I get older. Sometimes this guilt wakes me up in the middle of the night! It’s like I’ve got someone leering over my bed whispering paranoid thoughts in my ear while I try and sleep. I try to rationalise it, “I didn’t do anything wrong, apart from getting my sister in law in a headlock…” The voice in my ear is going, “She’ll never speak to you again, everyone in the room was looking at you like you were mental. No one likes you, not even your Mum. She told everyone that she thinks your hair looks like a hat and that your forehead is abnormally large!” Whatever actually happened on the night has now been replayed so many times in my head that I am now convinced that I must have stripped naked at the dinner table and force fed every guest rice pudding from my arse crack. I can’t sleep now. How many apologetic text messages will I need to send in the morning? I probably won’t have any friends left, my family will have disowned me. I WILL SPEND THE REST OF MY LIFE ALONE! So far these feelings of dread, depression, anxiety and paranoia haven’t stopped me drinking. I’m either mentally ill or extremely British…


Posted on 27th January 2010

Tales From... The Archive


I have just got back from a snowboarding holiday. I say holiday beacuse I wasn’t working.

I suspect that most people wouldn’t consider continually falling on their backside and face with a board attached to both feet as fun. They’d be right.

There are some things that you do cause you know you’re going to enjoy them and there are others that you do because someone tells you you’re going to enjoy them.  Snowboarding is a sport that only people who can actually snowboard will enjoy. If you’re like me and you’re average bordering on utter rubbish then every trip down the mountain will be punctuated by several falls. These falls will either be extremely painful eg.  attempting to turn on sheet ice only to land heavily on your right knee causing an agonising bolt of pain to shoot up your leg straight through your body and out of your nose and eyes culminating in a 34 year old woman weeping, dribbling and snotting herself on a mountain while attempting not to be run over by a wall of German skiiers shouting pigeon French to get out the way. Good times I hear you cry! No. The other type of fall may not hurt as much but it will be spectacular,  it involves something like a somersault. It’s likely that you will be in a heap and awake to find your head next to your backside and your arms wrapped round your neck. Whilst extricating yourself from your yogic position you will be humiliated by a 6 year old on skis who will race past you at 100 miles an hour spraying snow in your face whilst singing along to the Black Eyed Peas. Yeah “I gotta feeling” too and that is if I hear that song again it’s going to make me punch someone in the face… not the 6 year old obviously…ok maybe the 6 year old.

The truth is when you go skiing or snowboarding, you’re not going on a skiing holiday ‘with’ people because essentially no one else is on your skis or board apart from you.  So, while they may be having the time of their lives carving up the black slopes and really connecting with the mountain man! You may well find yourself connecting with the mountain, but on your face.  So whilst I wasn’t having the time of my life, my girlfriend was having a whale of a time speeding down on her skis.  As a good and supportive partner I obviously thought, “Hey at least she’s having a good time, that’s the most important thing..?. Right? What are you stupid? OF COURSE IT ISN’T!! If I’m having a crap time, she has to have a crap time too. Those are the rules, I don’t make them up but I’m sure as hell going to follow them!  I found myself willing her to fall as she shot by me ” Fall for God’s sake…FALL!!!” Is it bad that I set up three booby traps? Don’t panic! She missed all of them, the six year old on the other hand…I’m kidding! Jeez.

I think there are lessons to be learned from any new experience and the lesson I learned above everything else is that the next holiday I go on has to be doing something that I’m brilliant at and my girfriend hates. Who said ‘petty?’  It’s the natural order of things and it’s time to redress the balance!

Posted on 26th January 2010

Tales From... The Archive

The Edinburgh Aftermath

I think the Edinburgh Festival is like child birth and here’s why… There is always an element of excitement and anticipation before arriving, possibly an air of optimism.

 (ha ha optimism…ha ha…oh dear)  For the first few days the sun is shining,  you’re eating healthy, you’re not drinking this year, this is a fresh new Festival and you’re going to enjoy every day. You enthusiastically start saying yes to performing several other gigs a day other than the shows you’re already in. The first week goes by and you start to tire a bit, hang on there’s 3 more weeks to go! You decide it’s ok to start drinking now, just a couple for heaven’s sake! You have one too many conversations in the bar with people you barely know, you wake up paranoid, did you really tell that woman you had no idea that she’d lost her personality as a child and never rediscovered it. You’re hungover, the shows don’t go so well over the next few days. You start the day with a berocca, a fried egg sandwich and a gallon of coffee, sod being healthy you’re hungover after all. On the way to your show you bump into another comic, “heard about your show last night”  “Really?”     ” Yeah…never mind mate…”  “What…?”  “Got a Four star review in the Times, have a good show!”  Who was that? You’ve agreed to do another 4 gigs on top of the two shows you’re already doing, why did you do that? It’s 2am you’ve finished your last show of the day, just a cheeky pint before bed, you wake up with a kebab on your chest and a half chewed berocca foaming in your mouth. Two weeks to go, for the love of God why did you agree to do a live ‘chat show’ at 12pm, no one knows who you are, you look hungover. You’re asked not to swear, you swear three time in the first two minutes, people groan, you have no peripheral vision, you just get through it and stagger back home. It starts raining and you get soaked through to the skin, someone bumps into you they tell you how much they loved your show you feel good for a second till you realise they think your someone else. You feel a cold sore forming on your top lip and you find yourself wanting to punch the chugger in the face just for smiling at you, twenty five people try to flyer you down Nicolson Street, you pretend to be on your mobile, they’re all feigning energy and optimism, everyone looks cloudy behind the eyes but that could be your hangover. Numbers have dropped and audiences  have gone from 150 to 30, you can feel the tumbleweed as you walk on stage, why is that man looking at you like he wants to hurt you? One more week to go, you’ve stopped replying to friends text messages telling you they can’t wait to hear about Edinburgh, you haven’t cooked for yourself in over a week. You buy yourself a Dominos pizza and eat it in bed in your underwear whilst watching Battlestar Galactica on your laptop. Shouldn’t this Festival have finished a week ago and there’s still a week to go, you’re out every night to keep sane you tell yourself, you really have nothing to say to approximately 80% of the people in this bar, you keep drinking and avoid anyone that is more upbeat than you, why are you still here? The last few days are painful, the nominations are out and everyone has lost the will to live, the countdown begins, you’re onstage but your care factor about the audiences enjoyment has dropped to below zero, so what if they don’t like me,  I don’t like them! Ha! Seriously though…please love me…the last Monday arrives, the Festival feels like it finished last Wednesday and has just dragged on, everyone you know had their final show on Sunday, you’re the only one with a show at 10.45pm on Monday night, dear Lord… the show is surprisingly fun, you enjoy it, that wasn’t so bad, you get to the bar and start drinking, you’re going home tomorrow and you can’t wait, you chat to your friends who are equally exhausted, equally elated. Will I be back next year? Hell yeah! it wasn’t that painful was it?

Posted on 9th September 2009