Monday, February 07, 2011

London trip

As I headed down to London on the train from Edinburgh, on two occasions I spontaneously burst out laughing while reading the paper.
I find that when you do this, you can sense the other people in the carriage are putting you on a period of "nutter watch" ; as lone laughers can be unsettling.
The bits that got me going were....
An article in the Guardian on Simon Pegg in which he references political correctness in the 1980s, recalling an anecdote about someone getting fired from a feminist theatre company for saying "Shall I be mother?" when they were pouring the tea.
The other guffaw was caused by the "Q&A" feature on Patrick Stewart.
When asked "What was your most embarrassing moment?".
He mentions shouting out "What trumpets that?" too early (a page too early to be precise) during a speech Eric Porter was making in the role of King Lear in a production staged in Cornwall.
Porter was just pausing.
The kicker is that Stewart did the same thing on two consecutive nights.
I kind of had a giggling fit imagining the look on Eric Porter's face when it happened a second time.
I remember him as a very stern, brooding actor...(certainly, most of the characters he played fitted this description).
Apparently he never forgave Stewart for this.
No matter what line Patrick shouted out, this was still going to be a funny story.
But "What trumpets that?" is just such a ridiculous line, that it really soups up the funny in this tale.
I've almost got a temptation now to actually go and see a production of King Lear and shout out that line in the wrong place as a tribute to Patrick Stewart for making me cackle with laughter on the East Coast Line for a good 10 minutes.
But obviously, that would be wrong.

I had a couple of gigs on Saturday at Sohoho Comedy and the late show at the Comedy Store.
There were 3 hours between the gigs though, so I had quite a bit of time to kill.
It's difficult finding something to do on your tod in the West End of London on a Saturday night.
The pubs and restaurants are jammed, so there's not really anywhere you can just grab a seat and chill out for a couple of hours.
And Piccadilly Circus is total mayhem.
In all seriousness, I felt more isolated wandering around Piccadilly Circus on my own on a Saturday night, than when I
was lost up a mountain on my own overnight last year.
I found it an unremittingly grim experience.
The Sohoho gig was decent and very enjoyable, but I had a real cracker at the Comedy Store, which I celebrated by quaffing a few pints in the immediate aftermath.
This was all fine and dandy ; but crashing out in the hostel and then having to continually get up repeatedly in the middle of the night, and make the journey to the gents to process the late flurry of pints was something of a pain.
It's not all glamour.
I decided to get moving early on Sunday and got to Piccadilly Tube station at 7.30am
Apart from a couple of people coming up the escalator as I headed down, the station was completely deserted.
It was surreal in comparison with the heaving mass of humanity who were there the night before.
As I sat on the empty platform, I saw a mouse scurrying along towards me.
It stopped briefly, acknowledged my presence, and then ran off down the tunnel.
I thought about writing a poem based on this experience but I had a sore head and didn't feel up to it.