Well, it’s all done.
My UK tour of “Inflatable” is all done. And I can’t think of a better way to have ended it than Sunday night’s show in Portsmouth.
I started the show by reading an email I received during the week from a lady called Claire at Domino’s Pizzas. See, Claire had read of my exploits in Andover the week before, when I arrived at the theatre having not eaten all day and ordered pizza for myself and the audience.
Claire offered to supply more pizzas for my final show, and I said that we might need more than the four I bought in Andover. She replied that twelve pizzas would arrive at the Wedgwood Rooms in Portsmouth at 10pm, courtesy of Dominos. The cheer that news received makes me think I might start all my shows that way from now on, as it seems to really put the audience in a good mood.
Well, not all the audience. In particular, not the lady on the front row who told me she had a phobia of cheese. Not an allergy, not an aversion – a phobia. I then asked who else had weird phobias and immediately found another lady who had a phobia of both pregnant women and moths. I assumed she was even more scared of pregnant moths, or women who were impregnated by moths.
Continuing, there was a guy who was scared of cotton wool, and a girl who burst into tears at the sight of Cliff Richard. I prompted the audience to sing “Mistletoe and Wine” and found out her phobia was real. I promised to use the interval to send out a twitter request for people’s weird phobias. I also promised that the second half would feature a lad called Tom.
Tom was a latecomer at my Reading show, who managed to get more laughs than me in the time we spoke. In fact, it was suggested by the Reading audience that Tom and I should be a double act. I challenged Tom to come to my final show in Portsmouth and join me on stage, and he accepted.
So, when the second half started, I read out the tweets of weird phobias, which included – wrists, frogs, peacocks, Sting, and buttons. There were a few that suggested a fear of Cliff Richard was actually quite normal, and more that said they had a fear of artificial limbs. Very droll.
My favourites were – the lady who had a fear of single baked beans, and whose boyfriend once cleared her toast of all but one bean, so she threw the plate at him. The lady who was scared of tunnels so she drove through them with her eyes closed. The woman who has a phobia of tights because when she was younger she got her braces caught in her own tights while trying to taste them.
Then Tom came to the stage.
I’ll be honest – I wasn’t sure how Tom was going to go down. And neither was he. But what the hell, I thought, we’ll give it a shot.He. Was. Hilarious.
Seriously, Tom ripped off some of the funniest lines I have seen on stage, to the rapturous applause of the crowd. Of course I took a photo:
Then my manager called.
I saw the call come up on my phone, and said “Shit, my Australian manager is on the phone” to which Tom said “I’ll take it” and grabbed the phone. For the next ten minutes Tom had the audience, and my manager in stitches as he declared his intention to “go global” and started planning our new show together for the Melbourne Comedy Festival.
I say together, I think the final show title was “Tom Flood Live (with Adam Hills)”
After a half-hour second half, that revolved entirely around tweets and Tom, the doors to the venue opened and two Dominos Pizzas staff arrived with twelve Dominos Pizzas. I then called a second interval as the audience helped themselves to the offerings of the pizza gods. Thanks Claire and everyone at Dominos – it was a lovely gesture that was appreciated by all, especially me.
Eventually I took to the stage to try to wrap up the show and the tour, for what became the third half. To the audience’s credit, they stayed with me right to the end – except for a lovely lady called Mimi who had to get back to Exeter. I offered to pay for a taxi, but she said she had to go, so Mimi wherever you are, I’m sorry I banged on for so long.
Here is the crowd (minus Mimi):
I also apologise to the venue staff, who were amazingly generous with their time, and allowed me to perform a three-interval, two-and-a-half hour show. The Wedgwood Rooms have always been on of my favourite venues in the UK, and Sunday night confirmed that.
At this point I’d like to thank everyone that has been involved with “Inflatable” this year, both in Australia and the UK. From stage hands, tour managers, publicists, box office staff… you have all been a joy to work with.
To those of you that have come to the shows, sent tweets, and contributed to the blogs – thank you so very much. You have become a massively important part of the show.
Finally, to my three inflatable friends to whom the show was dedicated – I think about you guys every time I do the show, and will always be inflated by you.
I have a free week now in London, before heading up to Blackpool to perform alongside Whoopi Goldberg, Bette Midler, Michael Buble and Lady Gaga at the Royal Variety Performance for Her Majesty The Queen.
Then it’s back to Australia to film the Christmas episode of Spicks and Specks, and then another series.
As for Tom, well, we agreed to have a few days of cooling off, before discussing how big a part he will play in my next show. Or how big a part I will play in his next show.
That’s all for now, my blogs will probably be a little less frequent now, but I’ll keep you updated of stuff when I can.