The Gruff With the Smooth

The Gruff With the Smooth

Hello all

It’s the middle of the UK tour and much as I am enjoying it all, the travel is starting to take its toll. You know you’ve been traveling a lot when you hear yourself say this sentence: “Can you please let the onboard chef know that was the best meal I’ve had in ages”.

The shows however continue to be a ball, as was in evidence last night in Brighton. Sadly the Comedy Festival timeslot meant I only had 70 minutes to play with, and no interval to prepare audience madness. I still managed to find an extremely well-dressed young man in the front row, who even knew the brand names of each item of clothing he was wearing. Although I did notice a pattern. Jumper? All Saints. Jeans? All Saints. Belt? All Saints.

When I dragged his equally well-dressed girlfriend on stage the pattern continued. Turns out she used to work for All Saints and got them both half-price clothes. Nice.

Props also go to Simon who worked for a credit card company. When I gave him a second chance to introduce himself, with a more impressive name and job, he came out with “Dave. I’m a builder”. Aiming for the stars.

Tonight was Taunton, where I immediately found a front row of youngsters from nearby Bridgwater. As seems to be the case this tour, there was some local rivalry between towns, as was suggested to me via twitter yesterday when Greg (from Bridgwater) told me they had a smelly factory and more criminals, but at least they’re not Chard. This got a round of applause for some reason.

I then challenged the front row to give a presentation in the second half extolling the virtues of Bridgwater. I also promised that I would start the second half dressed as The Gruffalo. Why? Well, The Gruffalo was being performed in the theatre every afternoon, and I just happened to find the head and hands backstage. And I am a child.

I did indeed start the second half dressed as The Gruffalo, but was pleasantly surprised to find an envelope on stage with a note from a man called James. James had found a characterful carrot in his local fruit and veg store, and having seen my show “Characterful” (in which I extolled the virtues of weird looking vegetables) thought I’d like it. I did. And here it is:



The “Bridge Over Troubled Water” posse then took to the stage and gave a well-received dissertation on the joys of Bridgwater. From what I could work out – Bridgwater has a camel called Humphrey, a river called Parrot, and they used to have a Splash. Whatever that is. They ended with some interpretive dance, and generally looked like this:


I then had my own photo taken dressed as The Gruffalo –  although someone from the audience suggested I looked like a resident of Chard. That also received a round of applause for some reason.

I called a man called Alex from the audience to stand with me. He was a careworker from Bridgwater, was wearing camouflage pants, had pierced ears, and had long multicoloured dreads all down his back. He held the carrot in front of his groin. Unfortunately the lighting makes it look like he may be a vampire. I’m not sure he wasn’t.


By the way, I have to give a shout out to the cast of The Gruffalo, who were in the audience and kindly let me wear the costume. They did warn me it would smell a bit, but I don’t think I was quite ready for the stench that was in those hands. After 300-odd performances, the amount of sweat that has accumulated in those gloves is actually quite overpowering. It’s an hour since I came off stage, I’ve washed my hands twice, and they still smell like I’ve been massaging a wet cat.

As usual I ended the show selling t shirts for a local charity, tonight it was the Somerset Unit for Radiotherapy Equipment.

I’m now back in my hotel room, wondering how on earth I am gonna get the smell of Gruffalo off my hands. Now how often in life do you get to say that sentence?

Tewkesbury on Friday, and Shrewsbury on Sunday. Rock n Roll!!!



  • Maisie

    22.10.2009 at 09:35 Reply

    Thanks for a great evening!! the show was hillarious. You looked great as the Gruffalo even with the smell!! Thank you for signing my t-shirt :). Would love to see you live again some time. Love Maisie x

  • Rhys Morgan

    22.10.2009 at 09:40 Reply

    I just have to say how much we all enjoyed the show tonight, and that we felt privilaged to share your stage.

    Thanks for the promotion of Bridgwater !

    Rhys (Bridge Over Troubled Water / Bridgwater Posse)


  • Boo

    22.10.2009 at 10:09 Reply

    Great fun tonight – the Bridgy crew had the edge over the Taunton lot.
    Our School had a trip to see the Gruffalo this afternoon, but I bet our version was a whole lot funnier – Check out that Camel (between J24 and 25 M5) – a motorway highlight if ever there was one – check this website
    Could only be Britain ! Cheers again

  • James

    22.10.2009 at 17:17 Reply

    What an awesome night! Really glad you liked the carrot, it made me chuckle.

    Next time you tour in the south west come to plymouth (it’s better than taunton, bridgewater and charred put together, seriously, we rock)

    Also i went through a similar experiance in which i lost a friend a few years ago and would like to reccomend listening to this song, it always inflates me.

  • Alex

    22.10.2009 at 17:34 Reply

    Tiz true , i am a care worker , i do have long dreads and yes as Mr Hills pointed out i am indeed a vampire. Great show, Come back soon.just glad i didnt tell him im a Natralized Aussie citizen…….then he really would of taken the P##S! x

  • Soph

    22.10.2009 at 22:31 Reply

    Absolutely loved your show last nite, also saw you in August at the Edinbugh fringe; still had me in absolute stitches second time around!

    Apologies for the confusion we may have caused you regarding bridgwater/chard/taunton rivalry and humphry the camel, it was a very surreal evening, but then you did dress up as the Gruffalo half way through…

    If you happen to be on a great western train past taunton station, feel free to stop by the brewhouse again, can’t wait to see you live again soon! Soph xx

    P.S hope by now you may have been relieved from eau de Gruffalo!

  • Sally Maki

    23.10.2009 at 00:47 Reply

    Saw you at the Edi Fringe a couple of years ago which was a hoot. You didn’t disappoint last night either. Glad you made it to darkest Somerset. Come again soon and give us another laugh.

  • Greg aka @gisabun

    23.10.2009 at 04:46 Reply

    Great show, made me laugh out loud, a rare event. Felt the audience was at ease and went with the fun. I was impressed with the way you just went with it, no real script, just fun.

    Respect to the Bridgwater Posse. You took Adam’s challenge and triumphed. Well done, you represented Bridgwater, Humphrey and all, in a positive way.

    I left inflated. Thanks

  • charlotte

    23.10.2009 at 05:53 Reply

    I would love to see you back in Taunton again sometime! It was an amazing show! Also well done to the bride over troubled water people good speech on bridewater.

    Thanks for signing my tshirt and hope you washedthe smell of the gruffalow costume away

    Charlotte x

  • Paul Green

    23.10.2009 at 21:48 Reply

    Yeah, I suppose you were funny after all, I laughed once or twice so you must have been good! you see my wife Cathy (bless her) booked the tickets, to be honest I couldn’t remember who you were, but the penny dropped when you did your Heather Mills impression, it was at that point I them remembered you, when you appeared on The Buzzcocks and actually took it off!

    Cathy, my daughter Joanne and I moved here to Taunton from London about 5 years ago, we understood that the people from Bridgwater like to ‘keep it in the family’ so to speak…

    I have a penis in the shape of a carrot, how cool is that!

    See you again when you return to Taunton… you will come back won’t you?


  • sarah

    25.10.2009 at 08:22 Reply

    saw the show on wed we loved it and now sort of proud to live in Bridgwater!!!

  • Dennis Brandrick

    09.11.2009 at 13:10 Reply

    I’m still laughing about that night Adam. Was definitely worth coming and I shall never look at Bridgwater or Gruffalos in the same light again!

    Looking forward to the next time.

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