Mess Around UK 2011 – Epsom

Mess Around UK 2011 – Epsom

I’m not entirely sure where to start tonight.

In fact, the best way for me to remember what took place in the Epsom version of Mess Around is to look back at the photos. Let’s see….oh yes.

There are many things you shouldn’t wear if you are sitting in the front row of a comedy gig and want to avoid being a target. This is one of them:


Strangely, this man received very little attention throughout the show. Mainly because he was upstaged by the rest of the audience. Like Graham for instance, who told me he was a restaurant manager. When I asked what type of restaurant, he replied “The kind that serves scorpions and locusts”.

Apparently this restaurant is located in Warren Street in London, and is called Archipelago. Graham was a feature of this show as he 1) demonstrated the James Brown act that spawned the phrase “Go You Big Red Fire Engine” 2) told us that the trick to eating a scorpion without killing yourself is to chew lots before you swallow 3) almost managed to offend his date, a lady called Claire who Graham had been dating for three weeks.


Thankfully they survived the show.

Just before the interval I stumbled upon a dreadlocked man in the front row called Owain. I asked if he was a wizard, and he replied, “No, but I do magic”.

I asked if he could do some magic in the second half of the show. He said he didn’t have any props. I asked if anyone had a pack of cards. Remarkably, no one did. One woman said “I’ve got a white rabbit”. I suggested we might need fresh batteries for that. I’m very funny.

I then tweeted to ask if anyone could bring a pack of cards to Epsom for the second half.

The tweet read:

“Is there anyone in Epsom that can bring a pack of cards to the Epsom Playhouse ASAP? Preferably by nine pm. Thanks.”

A perfectly serviceable tweet I thought. Not according to the audience, who heckled it. Firstly with:

“You don’t need to write Epsom the second time”


“You can’t write as soon as possible and stipulate a time as well”

Most. Pedantic. Audience. Ever.

During the interval I received a tweet from Kirsty saying she would drop in a pack of cards, and she arrived on time as I began the second half.


Kirsty stayed for the rest of the show, but not before running out to the car to let her Dad know to come back later. She needn’t have worried, because her teacher was in the gig and offered to drive her home afterwards.

She wasn’t the only one that brought cards however, as during the break a few people had run to the local poker night and pilfered their own decks.


Owain then took to the stage and performed a trick that he admitted “I’ve never done in public before”. It worked mightily, and the audience applauded, even though I’m pretty sure they were secretly hoping for it to go horribly wrong. This is Owain, and apparently you can see more of him at


Finally we came to Vanessa, who had mentioned earlier that her friend Ashley was living in Perth. This was prompted by the fact that there was a couple in the audience from Perth. I tried to ring Ashley but her phone was disconnected, so Vanessa asked me to prank call her boyfriend Matt instead.

She told me that she and Matt had been together three weeks (high fives from Graham) and that Matt had met her father today, whose name was Graham (more high fives from Graham). So I rang Matt, and left the following message on his phone:

“Matt it’s Graham here, Vanessa’s father. I  just wanted to say it was a pleasure meeting you today. You seem like a smart young man, and good looking too. Listen, if it doesn’t work out with Vanessa, give me a call…”

The audience’s laughter kinda gave the game away at that point. This is Vanessa


And so my Epsom night came to an end; a night that included a scorpion-serving restauranteur, a magician called Owain, a prank call on an eighteen year old, five decks of cards, a white rabbit and an audience member with a target on his shirt. Not to mention the woman who yelled “Go You Big Red Fire Engine” or the Dad who had brought his sixteen year old son along.

Everyone in Epsom was lovely, including all the staff, and I look forward to my next visit.

That is all for now, I will be doing my last show of this tour in Oxford on Thursday, and will post again then.

G’night all



  • Jo Evans

    19.10.2011 at 10:46 Reply

    Can’t wait for Thursday!

  • Julie

    19.10.2011 at 10:53 Reply

    Myself and friend Rachel shouted Go you big red fire engine. And I then had uncontrollable laughter (hyperventilating I think it’s called). Great night as always Mr Hills.

  • Owain (yes, that one)

    19.10.2011 at 19:37 Reply

    Being called Owain’s not the exclusive club it once was, here’s my favourite joke from “Gavin & Stacy”

  • Ulla

    19.10.2011 at 20:34 Reply

    I had a great evening. Thank you. Haven’t laughed that much for a long time 🙂
    What a shame your tour is coming to an end.

  • Ulla

    19.10.2011 at 20:36 Reply

    Forgot to say, I am all for it becoming a BBC 4 radio show 😉

  • Fiona

    19.10.2011 at 21:16 Reply

    Fantastic guy! Fantastic show! Very Happy Audience! We would love to have you back at The Epsom Playhouse again in the future. There is more to Epsom folk than meets the eye!

  • Dom Pardey

    20.10.2011 at 01:39 Reply

    I have been to 4 of your shows over the last few years and as usual it was a very good couple of hours. Usually these photos come out shit but I think you’ll like this one
    I’m glad you didn’t wager me back that £20 I won off you at the Soho theatre while you took apart my mate Nick by phoning his wife Sally.

  • Scott_from_Perth

    20.10.2011 at 05:32 Reply

    We had a great night out. Its refreshing to see some comedy that isn’t based on swearing and ripping in to fat people to get a laugh. I was also genuinely humbled by Adam’s take on how we’re all as interesting as each other. I’m special because Adam told me so (that should be on a t-shirt). And get this brilliance on Radio 4…I don’t own a radio, but I might just buy one if this makes it on air.

  • Gary

    20.10.2011 at 09:37 Reply

    UPSTAGED BY THE WHOLE AUDIENCE????????? Oh the humiliation, the shame, can’t show my face in public again. Everywhere I go they’ll point, “there goes TARGET BOY” they’ll say, “upstaged by the whole audience he was” they’ll say. If only I’d worn the Union Jack jumper like I was going to maybe I wouldn’t have stood out, I might have gone unnoticed, I might have some self-esteem left but it’s too late now. All I’m left with is the knowledge that I was part (a very small part) of a great show, really enjoyed it. Anyway, better go now, got to decide what to wear next time………………..

  • Andy

    20.10.2011 at 16:57 Reply

    A fantastic evening, really enjoyed it and wouldn’t hesitate to go to another one. All I would say is, if you have the chance go as it won’t disappoint.

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