REVIEW: Janette Mason featuring David McAlmont – Pizza Express High Holborn, 25th June 2021

David McAlmont is a star regardless of whether he’s walking down Streatham Hill, or dropping off a mattress at the local tip, or on stage in front of thousands of adoring fans. And he’s also a star in front of a socially distanced audience in the basement of a Pizza Express in central London, muchingContinue reading “REVIEW: Janette Mason featuring David McAlmont – Pizza Express High Holborn, 25th June 2021”

Review: Hotel Michelle at Museum of Comedy, Holborn

Banana. Spatula. Improv exists via audience suggestions, and sometimes audiences aren’t very imaginative. Still, it was a surprise to see a Tuesday night audience at the Museum of Comedy in Holborn transmogrify into an Edinburgh Fringe midnight audience. In came the predictable shouts for strippers, nuns, and sex dungeons. But like all good improvisation groups,Continue reading “Review: Hotel Michelle at Museum of Comedy, Holborn”

Film Review: Limbo, starring Amir El-Masry and Vikash Bhai

This film opens with two middle aged Scottish TEFL teachers doing a sexy dance to teach “consent 101” to a bunch of bemused asylum seekers. The scene is beautifully and starkly framed; these woolly liberals grabbing butt, not those seeking a better life, are the butt of the joke. But as the camera cut fromContinue reading “Film Review: Limbo, starring Amir El-Masry and Vikash Bhai”

“It is lumber, man – all lumber!”

Today I had a book returned to me by an old friend. I lent it to her in 2006; she took it back to Canada with her, where it languished in storage for many years. Then it was found in a clear-out, brought back to England, and finally, eventually, unexpectedly, fell back into my possession.Continue reading ““It is lumber, man – all lumber!””

Singing into the void / Sex Ghostbusters

A productive day today, after a couple of days struggling somewhat with depression and generally not being able to get my brain to do what I wanted it to, as though it was a poorly designed 1980s video game and I was a shit joystick. I spent a couple of hours writing sketches in theContinue reading “Singing into the void / Sex Ghostbusters”

Comedy Virgins at Cavendish Arms, Stockwell

I think tonight was technically my first ever stand up show*? It didn’t feel like it, because I’ve been compering and doing character comedy at factually inaccurate, and of course sketch comedy and hosting before that. But the nerves were certainly real – exaggerated by initially being left off the scheduled line-up – and byContinue reading “Comedy Virgins at Cavendish Arms, Stockwell”

Dawn Foster: In Memoriam

I’m struggling to find words to write about the death of Dawn Foster, but writing something seems important. We were close friends in the early to medium days of our Guardian careers, when we were both attempting to navigate the bullshit, insincerity and toxicity of modern liberal journalism, and largely failing to do so. Dawn,Continue reading “Dawn Foster: In Memoriam”

Throwing banana skins in front of myself on purpose

Why do we write? Some people write because they have to; they have this restless twisting beast in their belly that tells them they have to, just as other people seek power, or revenge, or being the best at tiddlywinks. I don’t have that, but I do respond well to a deadline. So I feelContinue reading “Throwing banana skins in front of myself on purpose”

Waitrose New Malden Car Park

My family has lived directly behind this car park for decades, being woken by the revving of early morning delivery HGVs and breathing in the polluted air of the many idling SUVs that make their way down from Coombe to queue, engines always on, along the residential, suburban streets. I know companies make it hardContinue reading “Waitrose New Malden Car Park”