It’s rare for a sitcom to reach it’s 11th, and final, season and for it to be still as funny as it was in it’s first season. But Modern Family is. Is it too early to start campaigning to bring it back before it has even finished?
There’s been various reasons in 2019 I haven’t managed to write this blog as frequently as I would’ve liked. Finding the time was one of those reasons. If I had found some, I would’ve liked to mention some of the shows I was lucky enough to be involved in, which included a special show with Improbotics in Sweden as part of Improfest Gothenburg. I would’ve also written briefly about my regular trip to Broadstairs Folk Week (quite wet, outward train delayed by 2 hours, but I heard some great music), and of a trip to Kingsdown and the White Cliffs of Dover one weekend in the summer. But I didn’t find time, so this short summary and the photos below will have to suffice.
There’s already shows confirmed in 2020 I can tell you about: City Impro have a spot at the Phoenix Remix Live in January. Then in March, I’ll be performing with Improbotics as part of the Edinburgh International Improv Festival on Sunday 1st (tickets). And in May, City Impro have two shows running at the Brighton Fringe: Improv Deathmatch and Laugh Island.
As I’ve mentioned I’ve some shows coming up. These require promotion on my part. I’ve always felt uncomfortable promoting shows at work above all. I’ve kept it to a minimum – promoting to a few at work but not through work. I know others who can do it without the awkwardness – and I’m not saying you shouldn’t promote shows at work – but it’s just whenever I do, I sense the spectre of David Brent hanging over me; and as I hand out flyers, to colleagues who’ve yet to tell me what they’re up to outside of work and then ask me if I would like to come along for a small fee, I hear Brent saying, ‘I’m an entertainer first and a boss second.’ So, I present to you the David Brent Syndrome. ‘Go and get the guitar’
I’ve a bunch of shows coming up and I’ve put them in a list:
- Sun 28th July: Today! Nursery House Party @ The Nursery Training Centre, 5:30pm – performing as part of The Nursery’s student ensemble Something Entirely Quenching;
- Sat 3rd August: Improbotics: Artificial Intelligence Improvisation @ Hen and Chickens, 9pm (Camden Fringe) – there’s a show on the Friday night too which I can’t make;
- Fri 9th, Sat 10th, Sun 11th August: City Impro: Laugh Island @ Canal Cafe Theatre, 7:30pm (Camden Fringe);
- Fri 16 August: Punderfest 2019, Hoopla @ The Miller, London Bridge, 7:30pm;
- Fri 9th, Sat 10, Fri 16, Sat 17 August: City Impro: Improv DeathMatch @ Aces and Eights, 10:15pm.
And that is the end of the list. Thanks. Maybe see you at a show.
Had some great shows with City Impro and Improbotics at Brighton Fringe; the majority of shows were sold out so that was an added bonus.
For Laugh Island one night, having been part of the couple who had “won”, we had our picture taken with the audience. The look on my face in the photo (included in those above) has been described as ‘gormlessly happy’ and, slightly less kindly, as having ‘a sad grin on my stupid face’. I’m using ‘being in character’ as my excuse for that expression.
The next bunch of shows are part of Camden Fringe: Improbotics at the Hen and Chickens (Fri 2nd and Sat 3rd August, 9pm); Laugh Island at the Canal Cafe Theatre (Fri 9th to Sun 11th, 7:30pm); and Improv Death Match at Aces and Eights (Fri 9th, Sat 10th and Fri 16th, Sat 17th, 10:15pm).
Reading: The Sellout, Paul Beatty
I have seen Bob Dylan live. I wasn’t sure at first. I remembered seeing him perhaps at Wembley Stadium, because I had a vague memory of talking with my friend Tim as we made our way out of the gig. But I thought this might have been a dream, a false memory. But no, I was there. I found the ticket stub:
For my money, the best satire floats somewhere in the centre – not in a non-committal sense, but a tactical one: positioned between the two sides, you’re capable of lashing out in either direction. The first one to say something ridiculous gets a slap. It’s the rational option. Genuine satire ultimately consists of the outraged application of cold rationality to whoever deserves it the most – Charlie Brooker, Dawn of the Dumb (p. 285).
John Denver – Take Me Home, Country Roads
I watched the last episode of Barry last week. If you can watch the series, do so, it’s superb– funny, dark and moving. Great soundtrack too. John Denver’s ‘Leaving On A Jet Plane’ plays over the end credits of the last episode. This led me to listen to ‘Take Me Home, Country Roads’, which I’ve chosen because it has one of those choruses that country songs do so well. Then, the fact that I was listening to John Denver, led me to remember my friend Andy, who many years ago dressed up as John Denver. The photo of which still pleases me.
Plus Support – the (other) improv group I’m part of – begin our Sunday residency at The Nursery Theatre’s The Carousel today. More details here.