Head In A Burrow, August 2007 – The Second Day

The Next Day: Friday

A long breakfast of cereal, then cheese on toast by the tonne, then the tortuous process of deciding what to see – the usual group-think communication nightmare that would benefit from a whiteboard and minutes. Then K, J and moi had lunch at Ecco Vino. I had my usual deli-cafe lunch of cured meats with extra nitrites, antipasto and the European Olive Mountain, all washed down with a very nice bottle of South African Pinotage 2006 selected by K, the resident sommelier.

Edward Aczel – ‘Trust Me There Is No Hope’

This was a free show in the Football Club Social Clubhouse Room Club. We arrived a little bit late, and were admonished by Mr Aczel in his deadpan way. I really enjoyed this. He read his topics off his hand, did a quiz with the audience where he told us the answers in advance, and generally just stood there and sweated. Very funny. “Deconstruction“.

Simon Munnery

I really wanted to see this, as I am a big fan of Mr Munnery, in his previous incarnations as Alan Parker Urban Warrior, and later as The League Against Tedium. I would have loved to have seen Cluub Zarathustra, especially with all the other talent* in there. If I had a bar or venue, that’s the kind of show I’d have on. Oh, but it’s all burlesque at the moment isn’t it, if the Metro is anything to go by.

Anyway, this was much more just straight standup, and pretty funny too for the most part. He asked the audience to write things down, with the intention of discussing them later (always a bit of a cop-out, I feel). Later on he did throw on a white doctors coat and do a great stream of his classic misogynistic one-liners, based on the League Against Tedium’s diktats.

*’talent’ is a word used where you would use ‘resource’ if you were HR director of an engineering firm. ‘People’.

Pool with Simon Munnery

As it turned out, Mr Munnery didn’t have time to discuss the items people had submitted, so he invited us all to accompany him to a local gallery where the second part of the show (‘piece’? ‘act’?) was to be held. Another League Against Tedium concept was the three-part duel, where the combatants fight, play chess and recite poetry at each other. In this case, the fighting was replaced by pool. Munnery and a companion knocked balls and chess pieces around, quoted stuff, and in between moves discussed the audience submissions. It was interesting, but I had to dash off to catch up with the others who had gone ahead to buy tickets for the film…

In The Shadow Of The Moon

This was part of the Edinburgh Film Festival, and the UK premiere of this fantastic documentary about the tiny group of men who have been on the Moon. Great footage, wonderful interviews with nearly all the people who have set foot on the Moon – Neil Armstrong is now a recluse. The filmmaker answered questions from the audience afterwards, including mine and K’s. I asked if it was true that moonshot footage is being lost because of the film decaying. He said it was possible, but there was so much footage in storage that it took ages to find the good bits, so there was little worry about losing stuff.

The theory that the moon landings were faked was covered only as the credits rolled, and was treated with deserved contempt by the astronauts. The basic argument against the theory is that there were so many people involved that it would be impossible to make them all shut up. Oh, but I’m sure there’s a theory about that too.

Greg Fleet

I don’t care what Stewart Lee said, I thought this was rubbish. The film noir-style pun-laden storytelling backed with the double-bass atmospherics was quite good, but when he dropped that and did his regular standup routine, it really wasn’t very good. A couple of quips had the audience actually groaning.

Cheese Sandwich + Milkshake + home in the rain

While drunk and eating cheese, we discussed possible ideas for a show. There seems to be lot of these ___ in 20 minutes shows around, like the Star Wars one we saw, or that tedious Shakespeare one*. Why not try something a little different in this vein? My idea was JG Ballard in 45 minutes. I have no idea how that would work. The last 20 minutes would be easy, you could just repeat the same lines 4 times, just set them first in a towerblock, then the Costa Del Sol or wherever, then Chelsea Marina, you get the picture. You’d need a lot of sand and water for the earlier bits. And an Elizabeth Taylor lookalike.

*hint: never see a show where the poster shows the stars jumping in the air and looking crazy by wearing Converse All-Stars. Similarly, never see a comedy film where the poster shows the stars looking at the camera and looking shocked. John Goodman is particularly guilty of this.