near London bridge
starts at 8pm
come on. support your local idiots.
this is a picture of my new nephew getting christened by my grandpa this weekend. I like them both, they are excellent in very different ways. for example, grandpa is intelligent and witty and selfless. Oscar is the opposite, but really very cute.
“that was the best free show i saw at the fringe, and one of the best shows over all.”of course, i'm only bitter because it was a bad review. i wouldn't have to've spent the last hour collating all those nice things people said into one place if Georgina Evendon (a student reviewer who only likes Dance and Glee shows and simply has to keep mentioning Italia Conti in much of her work, and even if a show is "occasionally stale" or "verges on the pretentious" she'll give it 4/5 if it's dance) had written "this was very slick, inventive and must've taken ages to produce and rehearse due to all the incredibly difficult technical aspects of the piece. audience members around me were commenting on how close the parody of a terrible place to work is, compared to their own working environment. impressive and dedicated work, 4-stars"...
- audience member 22/08/10
"i loved the unashamed geeky references."
- dylan emery of Showstopper!: the improvised musical 28/08/10
“a massive two fingers to the world of suited, booted city slickers. too good to miss.”
- impro-junk 22/08/10
“better than a lot of stuff you have to pay for. very clever, very funny, with excellent timing.”
-mark duqueno 24/08/10
“very slick and humourous.”
- matthew somerville 24/08/10
“original and excellent.” 5-stars
- online audience review 27/08/10
“i thought this was a fantastic show, especially as it's free. a clever script, slick and endearing performances and incredibly creative use of technical wizardry all make for a very funny and very entertaining show.” 5-stars
- online audience review 27/08/10
when I finally move on from my job, my fondest memory will be the warmth I felt while watching boat-cranes and barge-mounted diggers scoop out the riverbed and turn a canal into a dry building site. many a time I've stood staring out of the window at hundreds of little men in fluorescent jackets driving trucks about and moving thousands of tons of earth out from under the water and on to barges. then with glee I'd study every detail of a little tug-boat coming to tow the gunk-filled barge away and replace it with an empty one.
slathering at the lips, I've seen every size and shape of construction plant come and go and bring and take away; slowly and surely turning a little man-made section of the Thames into the underwater foundations of an underground train-station and a seven-level shopping mall.
this bit of my job is awesome.
"(Religion) With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion." - Steven Weinberg
"when push comes to shove, the lovely people believe in God, and they believe that the Pope is God's first chosen representative on Earth. If they didn't, they wouldn't be Catholics.i don't know who said it originally, but this reminded me of a hugely important and concise thing i heard once:
And so, nobody shouts too loudly about their gay friends, or contraception, or child abuse. They just mutter over their cappuccinos, pretend they don't use contraception, keep putting money in the collection box and hope silently that one day it will all change."
the best way for evil to flourish is for good people to stand by and do nothing.quite.
well done folk, well done. I applaud you silently from within an unnamed bank headquarters.
"be funny, Jon"
yup. I'm doing stand-up. Tuesday 28th at 8:00pm at The Miller near London Bridge.
it's a free show.
a whole bunch of us are doing it, all for the first time, so it may well be worth you turning up. you might end up laughing with us, you might end up laughing at us. some routines (certainly mine) will just be laughable, ... but y'know.. screw it. at least you'll be laughing. so that's good.
come along. did I mention the bit where you don't have to pay? and that some of it will be funny?
stephen fry manages to (somehow) withstand that tectonic pressure. despite thousands paying money and making the trip to come and see him, traveling from such distant shores as Newcastle and Gorey (sp?) with the undeniable fan-boy sensibility that can drive people to pay money and travel from distant shores just to watch a man read a book; despite the seismic readings that must occur from that amount of ego polishing, 'Fry Secundus' maintains the warmth, humanity and humility that makes him so deserving of the respect that is offered. Christ alive, that was a long sentence.
I don't do celebrity worship or undeserved gushing as a rule. Michael Schumacher only got a "cheers" when he gave me a Ferrari hat. kanye west was (quite rightly) snubbed and Tony Blair didn't even manage my eye contact. I've got more of a rise for a nice piece of marmite on toast than I got from Cheryl Cole's bare midriff.
yes, there was that unearthly embarrassment I experienced when confronted with Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Lucy Davies and Kate Ashfield staring at me from behind a fold-out table and a handful of marker pens, and the subsequent dumbfounded, starstruck burble that discharged from my quivering gob... but let's not go into that.
I will, however, wax lyrical about Stephen John Fry, a man who is more talented, more erudite, more well-read, more witty and more intelligent than you'll ever be. he is aspirational. he is a devout humanist, but in all the positive aspects of the word and none of the negative. he is passionate and brilliant and masterful, a rare national treasure in a country that seems to worship mediocrity.
above all, and I must come back to this, he is humble. this is what makes him likeable. despite declaring at the end of his gig this evening that part of the reason he does what he does is for the praise and recognition of other humans - he also does it with kindness and generosity, and he does it as your equal.
I make no apology for my disgusting release. the man is excellent.
quite remarkable was the excerpt from his book that he read about the forming of his comedy relationship and friendship with Hugh Laurie, of which he described as "falling in non-romantic, comedy love" with. every word of that section resonated with me and my thoughts over the last 15 years of knowing my friend The Troubadour. and if we were to ignore the path that Fry & Laurie took, if Chris and I ignore the work and achievement of Andrew & The Slides of Chaos and not try to work hard on the next project, and the next, and the one after that; we should regard ourselves as feckless and lazy.
see, he does good work that posh-talking, public school educated fop. carry on, mr. fry.
I considered pissing on his chair and ripping a dick-shaped hole in his Delegate Pack, but then he asked if I "could play YMCA, ha ha!" and I exploded in fury and punched him through the window.
then I found his address from his driving licence - that I'd slyly lifted while my fist was making contact with his wind-pipe - and traveled to his house, where I put fireworks in his dog and touched his daughters inappropriately. his grandma was visiting, so I filled her with heroin and put her in the basement.
then I re-tuned all the channels on his TV so they were in the wrong order and set his sky box to record every episode of X-factor.
now I'm on my way to the primary school where his wife works with a bucket of goldfish and a funnel.
I also have plans to get in touch with his old school bully and get him barred from Sainsburys.
I am not a pricking DJ.
I love it for two reasons:
1. it is a much better route to work when I'm riding my customised motorcycle (what i have called Peggy-Jean). it is warm, less congested than my normal route and - if it's raining - dry.
2. it is intensely boring. it has no exciting features. you don't get that heart-leap that happens in other tunnels. there is no relief when you exit, or a gasp for air. it is unremarkable.
I even looked on wikipedia to see if it had an exciting history.
it is 3689 feet long, and was opened in 1908. nowadays it is serving much more traffic than was intended, when it was designed for horses. the speed limit is 20 miles per hour (32 km/h).
during peak hours it gets very busy, although my work hours have led me to avoid this.
the tunnel has turns at right-angles, which were put in to avoid horses seeing daylight too early and making a bolt for the exit (but the Blackwall Tunnel also has this, so it's hardly unique).
but wait! in 2003 a survey found it to be the tenth most dangerous tunnel in Europe! OMG!
now the adrenalin pumps and I loosen my bowels with the thrill that I might use it again. one day.
watch me tap-dance.
there are only NINE more dangerous tunnels in Europe. holy fucking shit. wow. barf.
the rotherhithe tunnel, ladies and gentlemen. the rotherhithe tunnel.
see it. or something.
highlights included the old london underground trains, from back when they were steam-powered and carved from a single grain of oak. I also planned on buying a vintage bus - to drive around the country spreading improvised comedy to the uninformed masses with a team of impro-genies - after seeing a kelly green 1950's single-decked wonder parked in the main hall.
I'd call it The ImproBus. driving it around dressed in my 1950's bus drivers uniform people will gasp and say things like "wow, he must be the king of all Israel".
but they'd only be half right.
speaking of being half right, the spell check feature on the new iPhone is both brilliant and debilitating. gnnnhhh. although it does recognise the word improv, which is a vast vast improvement on the piece of shit HTC dickhead that I had previously. which reminds me, I was going to make a video of it's demise using my iPhone, but I haven't quite decided the details of the punishment it deserves.
okay, I haven't done a competition for a while. so here's one:
I want to beat the shit out of my old piece-of-sphincter HTC phone and record it. but how should I do it?
and bear in mind, this phone made my life a misery for 18 months; way worse than any flood or famine you've ever seen on TV.
I had thought I'd either set fire to it only to urinate on it, or drive a series of increasingly sized nails into it... but see if you can be even more creative.
go on, you're fine people with imaginations that could fist a dragon.
never fear, though. new projects rear their pretty little heads. I have at least 3 exciting things that are beginning their lives; some improv stuff, some graphic design stuff, other stuff. actually, hang that '3' on the wall and walk away from it tutting. on further thought I have about 6 things. no, seven. whatever. I have a bunch of stuff that I'm going to do.
I can tell you about some of them. others are currently top secret.
one that isn't top secret is a magazine I've been asked to produce. all hand drawn. that's taking up some time, especially as my deadline is the 17th of this month. crokey, I should get on with that or the client will start being a dick or something.
there's talk of an improv podcast. that'll be node. I had an idea to do this a whole while ago, but other stuff happened and I became busy. it's coming back though, with the interest of some bloody great folk.
puppetry-based improv is somewhat something that held my brain at ransom for a while. I might re-loom it in my forethoughts. I already have a name for it. The Improper Tree. I can't explain why I like it, I just fucking do.
there's other stuff. stuff to do with Chicago, the American one. both going to it, and bringing some of it here.
there's an amazing project by a good friend of mine that I'm really bloody shitting excited about, unfortunately that's one of the highly top secret, classified stuffs... so I'm not telling you, so shut-up.
Alan Marriott is coming back to this country. that'll be good.
talking to the remarkable Dylan Emery of Crunchy Frog at Edinburgh, very exciting things are afoot in the Frog-Crunch world.
I'm going to Hoopla tonight, which will be the first time since I started making Andrew. and the masterful Steve "the imp" Roe is teaching tonight, so it will be a muthafucking riot.
so I should stop moaning shouldn't I?
bye bye Edinburgh. hello shiploads of fun-business.
it's not all bad.