Displacement.

I’m sunk into the middle of my bed in my reasonably warm studio (flat, not workroom) on the Welsh border, writing this rather than packing/tidying. 

On Wednesday, at 8.40, I head off from Manchester Airport to Mumbai (via Abu Dhabi, 6-hour stopover fans!) to perform my show Pretty Fly. It’s looking in good shape, and with a few mid-air tweaks should be ready to go on Thursday evening, with 5 shows between then and Sunday. It’s a privilege and a thrill to be performing a run as far away as India, and I’m looking forward to meeting the people and comedians of Mumbai, as well as picking up some conveniently timed duty free on the way back. 

It’s been a week of travelling, arriving back from a show in Barcelona on Wednesday morning; Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evenings spent in Reading, doing Christmas shows at Highlight; Thursday daytime was two gigs in London, and Friday daytime in Cardiff for a lunchtime booking. Saturday was more relaxed, watching football before heading to London for a private do. In this little patch of calm (excluding a swift jaunt down to London and back tomorrow evening for a Racing Minds show), it’s nice to reflect on how busy I’ve been of late, and how the next few months are shaping up in a similar fashion, with shows, private events and the run up to Edinburgh 2014 all looming large, but in a friendly way.

For the last four years I’ve been to the Richmond pantomime at Christmas, with three out of those four productions featuring the excellent Tim Vine. Tim’s a brilliant comedian who makes for a tremendously funny Buttons/Dandini etc., and it was always a childish joy to watch him. Not being able to go this year (missing out on Henry Winkler, AKA The Fonz, AKA Barry Zuckercorn) makes me feel slightly melancholy, and my sub-continental sojourn is also stealing precious days of the Christmas build-up (I return home on the 24th December, flights permitting) resulting in a reduced time to enjoy the holiday season. I bloody love Christmas, and it’s sad to miss most of it. Still, 30 degrees celsius in Mumbai sounds preferable to here.

I’ve been enjoying Nils Frahm’s new album, Spaces – have a google and a listen if you’re a piano fan. I’ve just booked tickets to see him at the Barbican on 29th October next year. God, that’s far away.

Still, anything to keep me from packing. 

 

 

 

Jetsetting.

INDIA! NEW YORK! AUSTRALIA! 

Listen up, international players – I’m coming for you.

I’ll be performing my solo show ‘Pretty Fly’ at the Canvas Laugh Factory in Mumbai, India from the 19th-22nd December. Details here: http://tomcourse.com/canvaslaughfactory/international/

New York, New York! I’m there from the 1st-8th January, and shall be doing a few gigs about the place, further details of venues/times to follow.

In February and March I’ll be fleeing the cold of the UK for the warm climes of Australia, performing in Perth and Adelaide as part of Fringe World (5th-23rd February) and Adelaide Fringe (26th February-9th March). There will be some more dates added around Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane for East-Coasters. 

If you’re a resident of any of these places, drop me a message on here – it would be lovely to make your acquaintance on my visits. 

In the meantime, head to https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/the-wireless-podcast/id566846622 and listen to my improv group’s (Racing Minds) 1950s style radio podcast – it’s free!

That’s all for now!
Chris x

How do you sleep at night? The results.

A couple of days ago I posted a poll to find out what side of the bed people sleep on. Here’s a breakdown of the 22 responses I received:

Male, sharing with female (14):

Sleep on left side: 50% (7)
Sleep on right side: 50% (7)
Furthest from door: ~64% (9)
Nearest door: ~36% (5)

When they have the bed to themselves:

Sleep on same side: ~43% (6)
Sleep on other side: ~7% (1)
Sleep in middle: 50% (7)

Female, sharing with Male (8):

Sleep on left side: 50% (4)
Sleep on right side: 50% (4)
Furthest from door: 50% (4)
Nearest door: 50% (4)

When they have the bed to themselves:

Sleep on same side: 25% (2)
Sleep on other side: 25% (2)
Sleep in middle: 50% (4)

Clearly, 22 responses is nowhere near a big enough sample to draw valid and meaningful conclusions from (extrapolation of this data would conclude that same-sex couples don’t: read my blog/respond to polls about sleeping habits/sleep in double beds [delete as applicable]), but they have thrown up some cute points.

When alone in bed, one guy and two girls swap places to sleep on their partner’s usual side. I sleep on the right hand side of the bed, and don’t swap or move to the middle when my partner’s not there (although at my family home, or in hotels, I tend to sleep in the centre of the bed), but sometimes I’ll place a pillow against my back, as if she was still in the bed. Practically, this stops me sprawling out across the mattress, as I have long limbs and am rather adept at stealing bed space when sharing, so this clamps down on that particular sleep habit for when she is there (also, it’s comforting to feel like she’s still there, but THAT IS DEFINITELY NOT THE MAIN REASON, I’M A MANLY MAN RAAAAARGH!).

Two responses shared an IP address, and the answers matched up, so I shall assume they are a couple, with the gentleman moving to the middle when alone in bed, while the lady stays on her side when sleeping solo.

Choice of left or right was equal for both sexes, with a greater percentage of women sleeping nearer the door than men, although without further questions – mainly, a) Do you have an infant child who constantly wakes you? and b) Do you have the bladder of an infant child that constantly wakes you?, there’s little that can be read into that. A more thorough post from BlogHer about Which side? can be found here, discussing wall placement, children and ninjas.

So thank you to those who responded, and apologies for the lack of anthropological insight. Speaking of which, I will be on Dutch TV (specifically RTL4) this evening at 10pm (Dutch Time), where, edit-permitting, I will jovially dismiss my degree before discussing British weather, sarcasm and drinking habits. For those of you who aren’t in the Netherlands, I’ll post a clip up here when it’s available.

I’ll be on stage at the Preston Frog and Bucket, and then driving back home to London when it’s airing, so will be unable to watch, yet have hubristically scheduled a Facebook page updatefor after it finishes, saying how lovely it was. It went well on the night, but a lot can be lost in translation – let’s hope the individual doing the subtitles for my segment GOT OUT OF THE RIGHT SIDE OF BED THAT MORNING.

Who needs anthropological insight when you’ve got callbacks?

Doing a wee on the floor.

Ginglik’s mosaic.

Last night was the final Laugh show at Shepherd’s Bush-based-club Ginglik before it changes hands and undergoes a revamp. It’s undecided whether comedy will return to the venue once it reopens, but I hope it does.

It’s a cute little club, situated in the old public toilets under Shepherd’s Bush Green, and is surprisingly spacious and and clean given that description. For me, it’s always sad to see a long-established club close its doors (Laugh had 9 years under its belt, with line ups that featured pretty much every major act in the country, and a certain Mr Robin Williams on one occasion), not just because it’s one less gig to play and earn from, but because with its closure, it seems that a chapter of comedy history is closed.

The entrance to Ginglik

Not that a chapter ending is a bad thing, but when you remodel a room, remove a stage, wallpaper the green room, you’re altering the place where careers were made, stories gained and audiences entertained. In my university thesis, I argued for a listings system applicable to cultural landmarks similar to that seen in the field of architecture, with buildings given Grade I or Grade II status, preventing substantial development or alteration of/to them. Abbey Road studios was listed, in one of the major example of protecting a site for reasons of art over architecture.

I’m not suggesting that Ginglik had an impact similar to the Studios, or to The Red Rose, one of London’s first comedy clubs, which my thesis was centred on (it was closed after 20+ years and completely redeveloped – although I haven’t visited recently, it had planning permission for flats to be built on the site); I’m not even sure how strongly I feel about the situation – perhaps one of the many reasons my thesis received a Third class mark (41, so only just) – but I do hope comedy will continue there.

The main room (for comedy, it’s set up cabaret-style).

Being a no-longer-functioning toilet, it stirred up a memory – one from no more than two months ago, that I’d intended to blog about before forgetting, as I have a terrible memory for things other than jokes and trivia – and it goes like this:

I’m at a pub in East London, Stratford specifically, having a burger with three friends after an afternoon jamming improv games in the park. My friend Sophie is eating fish and chips, and they’re not very nice. My burger is good, and I’ve got a free pint of Czech lager Kozel thanks to an app-based promotion. This is my third pint, and I need a wee.

We’re competing in a pub quiz. Not intentionally, we just sat down in the area where it was going to be on, and when the landlord, Quizmaster D (short for Dave) turned on the mic and announced that it was quiz time, we were waiting for our food and so were trapped, forced to compete. Plus, it’s £1 a team and as a group of recent graduates, we fancy our chances.

There’s an interval in the pub quiz – unnecessary, as there’s a 3-7 minute break between each of the 20 questions where Quizmaster D plays a song. The 7 minute one was so he could have a fag break. Still, I take the interval as a chance for a much-needed toilet break, so head off to the gents. The one near the quiz room is occupied, so I head to the loos in the lounge, where a painted arrow shows their location.

Upon entering, the floor is wet and the one cubicle is locked. There are two urinals, one with a plastic bag in it, and one with a plastic bag under it. Upon using the one without a bag in it, it becomes apparent that it is out of order, due to a leak underneath it. This means that wee is going all over the floor, as the bowl fills and the piss percolates down and through the gaps in the washer-less pipe beneath. Still, I had really needed a wee, and the only way I can potentially solve the situation is to stop mid-flow and transfer to the sink, which just seems weird, and disrespectful to the landlord. Unlike indirectly pissing all over the floor.

At this moment, in walks Quizmaster D.

“For fuck’s sake” he exclaims, using the full version of the popular internet acronym. “Did you not see the bag?”, implying that I did, but had fished the pissy plastic bag from the bowl and gone anyway. All the while, I continue to micturate. “I can’t really stop, you see”, I lie, inching back to keep my shoes away from the growing pool.

Quizmaster D bangs on the cubicle door. “Hurry up, we’re pissing on the floor out here” – he hadn’t joined in, but I suppose it gave his request more emphasis. A minute later, the man in the cubicle exits, and leaves without looking at us or washing his hands, which strikes me as unhygienic, until I shuffle backwards to escape yet more puddling piss, and bump into Quizmaster D, who is weeing in the sink.

We win the quiz.

There you go.

I now have a facebook page which you can ‘like’ if you wish to be updated with things like pictures, videos, jokes and gig updates. I’d be flattered if you did.

https://www.facebook.com/christurnercomedy

Also, there’s a day left to answer 5 questions about your sleeping habits if you share a double bed. Click here to do so.

Ta ra fa na.

How do you sleep at night?

I’m an anthropologist (according to my degree). I mention it on stage, but not many people believe me.

Sometimes, rather than work thoughts into jokes, I put them in my anthropology brain-space. This is one of them. If it applies to you, it would be wonderful if you could click the five boxes below. It’s anonymous, and doesn’t need your email address.

If you share a double bed, what side do you sleep on, and do you change when not sharing?

(For orientation purposes, positions are taken as if you were standing at the foot of the bed with the pillows furthest away from you.)

The poll is now closed. Results are here.

Get these in your rods and cones.

Hello! It’s time for a quick bank holiday update, with a pair of pictures and a pair of videos.

On the 21st May, I recorded a set for RTL4’s The Comedy Factory – it was a bundle of fun, and will be broadcast this Saturday. I shall post my set soon after. Here are some photos courtesy of Danny van den Berg.

Me, on stage, doing a face.

Me, on stage, doing a face.

Me, Rajko Disseldorp, Najib Amhali, Tammy Pescatelli, Alex Agnew

Me, Rajko Disseldorp, Najib Amhali, Tammy Pescatelli, Alex Agnew

Last weekend I was at the Brighton Komedia, and had a lovely time (I even got a hat) with Addy van der Borgh, Rory O’Hanlon, Simon Evans, Stephen Grant and Russell Kane. Here is the video of Saturday’s shorter set:

 

Also, for the next few days, you can watch Romesh Ranganathan’s stand up on Russell Howard (from 27 mins in), and when I say can, I mean should. It’s great.

Ta ra fa na.

 

Look at me now! (Illegally)

When you’re bullied as a child, you might dream of one day becoming famous, and being able to give a big ‘Piss you!’ (that was probably the rudest word I knew in primary school) to all the people who picked on you; to appearing on TV, winning the lottery, curing cancer, and raising two fingers to those who thought you were nothing.

When I skipped a year of school, moving up to Year 6 from Year 4, a few of the 10 year olds didn’t like having a 9 year old in their class, wearing glasses and answering questions like some annoying Hermione Granger/Harry Potter hybrid (though not smart enough to realise that it’s not pronounced Her-mee-own), and took it upon themselves to make fun of me, and/or push me around. The stupid thing was, being born on September 12th, I turned 10 after a few days, and was already taller than most of the year, so it never got too bad, and when, one day, the ‘ringleader’ forgot his consent form for a Year 6 trip (which I wasn’t allowed to attend, technically being a Year 5), I kicked him in the cock and told him that if he or his friends bullied me again, I’d kick him in the other one. This anatomically-inaccurate, yet anatomically accurate and unprovoked attack got me 10 minutes of hard wall-facing, but the teasing stopped. RESULT.

But now, bully-who-had-such-an-impact-on-my-life-that-I’ve-forgotten-your-name, get ready to be kicked in the other one good and proper…

I’M GOING TO BE ON TV!

That is right. Admittedly, you won’t be able to watch it unless you’re living in the Netherlands or Luxembourg, but even so…TV!

On Monday I’m off to record 15 minutes for The Comedy Factory, a stand-up show featuring 4 acts, hosted by Najib Amhali (one of the biggest selling Dutch comics) and broadcast on RTL 4, the most-watched channel over there. The show ran from 1999-2006 and had an amazing line-up of comics, both Dutch and International, and is now back for a new series, so it’s wonderful to be asked to take part.

It’s being broadcast in June, so I’ll have a clip to post here soon after, although I’m sure there is a clever way to watch online or via catch-up, but as I don’t yet know what it is, or whether it’s legal, I shall reserve comment.

If you happen to be in Rotterdam, tickets for the show (and for the warm-up gigs on Monday) are available here and here – it would be lovely to see you.

I’m now off to choose my walk-on music and try on my new suit. Let’s hope they fit.

Stay fly,

Chris x