Monday, 13 September 2010

blackadder goes forth

it must be odd. it must be odd walking from a stage in a prominent theatrical venue with thousands of applauders thanking you for an hour and a half of your time, and an hour and a half of excerpts from a book you have penned about your own life. the level of egotistical spurnings should be debilitating. it should elevate your sense of self-worth to that of a smirking x-factor victim facing a seven digit viewing figure for the first time.
it must be odd.

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.
and thanks.

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