Tuesday, 15 July 2008

A Warm Goodnight


So last night saw sketches being tried out at the Drill Hall, where all the radio shows used to take place. I think Bleak Expectations was the last thing I'd seen there or maybe it was Zombie Poppins. Nowadays of course everything's recorded in front of the wrought-iron griffins at Portland Place, behind catch-phrases etched into bullet-proof glass. The Drill Hall meanwhile was having to take a collection for itself. I don't think it's going to survive, which is odd. 

My Linden Tree sketch went down well. I had been hoping to see David play Queen Victoria, but was otherwise very pleased as the idea had only come to me in the bath at 2am the previous morning, once I'd finally got round to the sleep-defeating, procrastinated re-writes of that Tesla sketch and something called "Hankl's Flank-pat". The warm response to "Linden Trees" rather confirms my suspicion however that when I do manage to run off something useful in an evening, it's only ever as the coda to a ream of joyless, week-long sessions staring at stuff that's muddy, overwritten and unusable. It is in fact this suspicion that leads to my initial and then self-perpetuating procrastination, because what's the point in sitting down and trying to write something that's going to be Work? If it's going to be Work it probably isn't going to be funny. Hence the baths and the walks. 

A lot of stuff's felt like Work recently, which given the tiny amount of actual work I'm doing is shattering. And shattered I headed back after the try-outs last night and made the mistake of settling down in front of youtube. It was only at four in the morning, eighty minutes into The Unknown Tony Hancock (I think it was called, it's excellent) that I finally thought "No hang on this won't do" and went looking for a warm goodnight instead. And see, I then found all these lovely people to set beside my bed:

Okay that last one was a bit weird. Of course it was, it was the BBC. Here's Tom Edwards filling another thirty seconds. It's good to see Tom's face again. And his tiny tiny body:

And then I dreamt this...

(Alright I didn't. It's somebody's silent home movies of the BBC at Alexandra Palace in 1938, just before the War, which makes the sudden unambiguous show of military strength about four minutes in particularly interesting. The overall effect is sort of hypnotically horrible, at least when set against the Hollywood here being imitated, but a fitting accompaniment perhaps to Des O'Connor's cover of "Drive"):
[Since I posted  this on myspace that video's been taken down, so here's something else. Gah.]

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