SHOW 9: 10TH AUGUST
I have an open sore on my face that isn’t healing.
I have reworked ‘Rebound’ today
I realise I am having to de abstract the material, gradually personalising it more and putting myself at the centre of it. Trying to make it sillier and more playful.
Before the show, a woman tries to convince me that I may have ADHD. I have never met her before. I am sort of sitting not doing anything. I am not doing anything ADHDish.
Today’s show is like wading through a thick broth of goodwill: warm, nourishing, wholesome but essentially slow and laden. A very pleasant trudge up hill to a place that looks very similar to the place you started at.
As they file in the audience seem to be very theatre for a Friday afternoon but also a bit boozy and chatty – invariably a good sign.
There is a very good mood in the room as I take to the stage (there is possibly only a good mood in my brain who knows?) it feels like a proper fringe crowd- whatever the hell that is.
There is a sluggish benevolence in the room right from the off, and though it takes on different forms throughout the show, that essential mixture of supportive/warmth/engaged/low energy never shifts. I never really work them out. Try as I might I can never move them into a higher gear for long. I try slowing the pace, speeding up the pace, making the delivery more naturalistic, taking it more heightened. It never works for long. Everything does/doesn’t work. They always fall back into their groove. Maybe they are drunk, maybe they are hot, maybe they are foreign, maybe thats the way they are, maybe it is me, maybe this is them at max? They laugh in odd places too. Often enjoying set ups more than punchlines. Often cooking nicely to fall way at the climax. The stronger routines don’t necessarily get the most and yet other lines that I have struggled to make work in this run get their best response today. It is nigh on impossible to tell them where to laugh. They seem to have their own ideas of what is funny. Don’t get me wrong I would happily take this audience any day of the fringe but there is never going to be fireworks. In some ways I cannot believe an audience this on board are so belligerent about being taken to the next level. At one point I convinced myself it must be too hot. Even as a woman pulls on a jumper to protect herself from the chill of the air condition so I psychosomatically break out in a sweat at the fictional heat.
Occasionally I do manage to punch through and raise the whole energy and it threatens to catch fire but this is just a mirage it doesn’t last. This usually happens where I am adlibbing or doing a newer bit, so something less polished. So perhaps my rhythm is off in some way?
Lots of eye contact today, lots of smiles from the audience, nobody leaves. I command the room, it really feels like my own, it feels like I can do what I want. I take my time (I over run by 5 minutes tut tut), the show goes fast (good sign). Probably the first time I forget nothing. Save for a new bit I worked on today but that is too new to really count.
A sustained round of applause at the end and a few whoops and cheers. Quite a high rate of overseas people in the audience so perhaps language issues? I keep thinking I wasn’t maximising the potential but maybe that was the potential. They seemed satisfied and generous bucket.