Well, what an interesting show I had tonight.
It all started with a woman in the front row, who was in the process of removing her red jacket as I took to the stage. From my perspective, however, it looked as though she was flashing a red cloak in front of me, like a bullfighter before a comedy, um, bull.
I began chatting to her and her husband, and somehow ended up watching my sign interpreter Catherine make the BSL sign for “Brazilian” (the grooming technique, not the nationality)
Of course, being a shameless audience-pleaser before a Scottish crowd, I also brought up the topic of Andy Murray winning gold at the Olympics. I wasn’t sure if the local audience would show any enthusiasm for one of their own doing anything good, but they went against the “dour Scots” stereotype and gave him a massive cheer.
It was a cheer I needed to call upon a few times in the show mainly due to the late arrival of an exceedingly well-dressed man called Alisdair and his lady friend Sheila. As an Australian, I was tickled by the idea of getting a photo taken with a bona fide “Sheila”, but Alisdair was having none of it.
“You can have a photo,” he said “but no more conversation”
I thought he was kidding.
“I mean it. We’ve paid to see you, not be part of the show. You’ve had your fun, now move onto someone else” were Alisdair’s approximate words, and as you can imagine it brought the momentum in the room to a screeching halt.
I did point out to Alisdair he had paid to see a show that is described in every bit of Fringe literature as being “based around the audience” so technically, he had paid to be part of the show, but I refrained from, as they say, “ripping him a new one”. I later found out from the venue staff that he had been quite rude to a few of them during the day, and had arrived late to a previous show as well. If only I had known, I’d still be on stage now, kicking the comedic shit out of him.
Thankfully a few people on twitter did it for me after the show.
The upside of it all was that I headed back to the couple in the front row and stumbled upon their son Geoffrey – dressed proudly in a Team GB tracksuit top. I decided that I would use Geoffrey to help me get some energy back in the room by leading the audience in an Olympics chant. I also decided to include Hector in the act.
Hector is the stuffed toy made for me by an audience member called Fiona, a toy that is now the face of a new campaign to raise money for The Sick Kids for the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh. He has his own Just Giving page, and I urge you to donate to it here:
I filmed it, and although it went well – Geoffrey simply held Hector aloft and yelled “Andy Murray!” – I missed filming the lady in the third row who seemed to flash her breasts at me. It turns out that 1) she was flashing a Team GB shirt under her jumper 2) she was Canadian and 3) her name was Constance 4) she had no idea who Andy Murray was.
Constance had also never tried Irn Bru, so as in my first show a few nights ago, I filmed Constance taking her first taste of Irn Bru. I think it would make a great ad for Irn Bru, with the tagline “Drink it. It’ll make Scottish people cheer”, and you can see it here:
Finally, it came time for Geoffrey, Constance and Hector to film their contribution to Team GB’s 2012 efforts. Here it is:
I realised afterwards that the sound is a little dodgy, but thankfully Geoffrey agreed to come back again in a few nights to keep the Scottish spirits up during the Games. I will film another version then.
I will also update you on the fundraising efforts of Hector. Still not sure what form they will take, but I’m sure they will become apparent over the next day or so.
For now though, thanks to tonight’s crowd for being great value and for going with me on my random journey of ad-libbing – and if you see Alisdair around, well, best not to engage him in conversation.
More to come tomorrow
I brought her onstage and decided I would film the whole thing as a promo video for Team GB halfway through the Olympics.