Thursday, 6 December 2007

The single most simple invention 2: TE-DEE

(originally posted on myspace here)


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"The single most simple invention" actually refers to that lengthy and often mardy tangent I was involved in over at Chris Goode's blog, the one I threatened at some point to try and summarize, the one I printed out yesterday that ran to more than fifty pages of A4, the one where Chris writes about "trying to reinvent" theatre and I get shirty and counter with "but it's the single most simple invention known to man" thinking I'm quoting "Restaurant at the End of the Universe" only it turns out I'm not, because the passage I was actually thinking of goes like this:

""What about this wheel thingy? It sounds a terribly interesting project."
"Ah," said the marketing girl, "Well, we're having a little difficulty there."
"Difficulty?" excalimed Ford? "Difficulty? What do you mean, difficulty? It's the single simplest machine in the entire Universe!"
"Alright, Mr Wiseguy, you're so clever, you tell us what colour it should be."

... and finally after two weeks of fractious debate over the nature and definition of fiction, testimony, irony, God and cats, the tangent ends as I said quite cheerily with me going "this is what comedians do, and it's certainly not candour" and then Chris going "Stand-up comics, yes, YES" and then Chris going "the perfect mix of prepared material, technical facility, responsiveness, interaction, topicality, entertainment, liveness" and finally "All we have to do then is: replace the single figure with a group, preferably; lose the microphone; lose the raised stage; lose the necessity of 'being funny'. But heighten and intensify the sense of entertainment... I can see why you would want a drink in your hand."
So sort of like I said, simple.

And now I'm putting the tangent down and I'm walking away from the tangent. I just thought I'd bung a record of it up here on the blog because it's all stuff I've been thinking about in relation to the now-upcoming Jonah show I'll be doing in January... a show which I've often considered trying to pass off as stand-up, but with longeurs, and hymns. I had a very odd dream about it last night in fact (or rather this morning) where my request to move the audience about and have the run of Shunt's lobby and lift were sniffily rejected on, of all things, ARTISTIC grounds. And then I thought, oh this'll make an interesting post. And then I woke up. They were rejected in my dream by a man called Mischa Twitchin who I've never known be anything other than totally supportive of anything I've ever done... Except maybe the Primo Levi sketch - Maybe that's what the dream was actually about now I come to think of it. That wee fear. Mischa makes a lot of pieces about literature relating to the Holocaust, and I've just written a sketch where Primo Levi goes "Te-dee!" a lot and has his sleeping-pill-powered, imploding gin bagpipes confiscated by the landlady. That's real. I'm back to talking about real life now.

But clearly I've left the writing of these posts long enough for them to start acting like dreams, in other words too long, because: A) They do seem quite confused and boring in hindsight, for which I apologize, but also B) You think you've been concentrating on one thing and then you start writing and it turns out something completely different floats to the surface, like a dead polar bear in a film star's pool where you were expecting William Holden. "Oh Primo!" was finally recorded on Monday night, after I called Nigel to say yes. Apparently the producer recorded himself in the bath for one of the sound effects. Isn't that lovely. It's one of three sketches I have so far got round to writing for Laurence and Gus, and I'm very very pleased with how they've been going. And that's all I'll say for now... I'm not going to complain again about how corridory Broadcasting House is. Although it IS awful. It's awful. Like a check-in desk. You can't take plastic cups in, you've got to pour the BEER BACK INTO THE BOTTLE! And there are only two urinals! That's not liminal! Unless a huge queue of men hanging round the door of the gents - the GENTS! - at half time can be considered liminal because it means "threshold"... So I'll leave it. A friend of mine got married at the weekend. It was lovely. That's what I'll write about next...

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P.S. Anyone whose interest was piqued by yesterday's garbled post about David Rosenberg might find a visit to his website both useful and illuminating (heh-heh-heh).

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