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Day 7: Thursday 25th August

I'm super late getting this one done, now I'm packing in as many shows to see as I can and I'm not alone as much. But this show was lovely. I knew I had family coming and a few prebooks, but I was still a bit worried about numbers because I hadn't flyered the day before. I ended dup with 16 in. I have been so lucky with the numbers and quality of audiences while I've been up here. A lot of that has to do with how brilliant Counting House has been as a venue and performance hub. I'm fighting for this timeslot again next year.

I missed my slot at Political Breakfast this morning which I'm annoyed about. It's a 9:30am show which is insane, but it does give me a good chance to get some actual quality flyering done before my show which I never manage. I'm doing it again on Saturday, wish me luck.

So the gig was really lovely. Such a warm, fun crowd. I actually did too much adlib stuff at the start and cut 52 motorheads later on. I had a heckler in the loosest sense of the word- a guy on the front row who knew Iron Maiden facts and was chipping in. I had to shut him down but it really wasn't malicious, it was lovely- he wanted a chat like we were at the pub. I really think the crowd work buoyed up the audience, a willing chatter always does. It brought the room together. This is not an invitation to heckle, the show has grown and I don't have time x

Right at the start of the show, after the trigger warning announcement and during the Kate Bush lipsync, a mother came in with her approx 12-year-old son. I motioned for them to sit in the empty third row, still lipsyncing to Kate Bush, but they refused and sat in the back row. I showed them the baby and then worked my way forward. As I reached the front, I saw them bolt from the room. I struggled to keep it together I wanted the laugh so hard. Absolutely fair enough. You go to a comedy show, a woman lipsyncing Kate Bush shows you a Homer Simpson doll, you know what you're in for. Bless them for leaving, knowing it wasn't for them, rather than sitting grumpily the whole way through. I kept giggling about it during the show when I was supposed to be sad about stuff.

One big problem- Dmitri is leaking, I think. I pump him up to full fullness and he is squishy by the end. I have a backup, but he's from Ann Summers and is, ahem, intact. And I don't have trousers for him.

My girlfriend bought me a toy armadillo as a gift with 4 custom Armadillo jokes:

"Thou art a coward like this Dawdling Helmet, this World War 2 Turtle,

this Plant Pot with Ears, this snail with Freudian Insecurities!"

I love them. I said them with the toy Armadillo after the main one, with the above explanation. SHe got an applause break. I didn't. Bitch.

The best bit though, and the reason I put it in the show, is that she wanted to, as a bit, buy me some medium size plastic cows BUT SHE COULDN'T FIND ANYWHERE TO BUY THEM. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA VINDICATION

One thing that I need to add is that I haven't said my availability for the people after the show, and people have been leaving crying. The crying isn't a problem, it's never a problem. It's the people who have connected with the show the most, it's beautiful. But that is what I'm there for, if only for that day, or that hour after the show where I'm downstairs or standing outside the show. Brian on the barrel told me that a guy came rushing out because he "couldn't cry anymore" and "couldn't hold a conversation". And like, I get it. But there's no shame, never any shame. It is such an honour and a privilege to hold people and talk to people after my shows. I have heard a suicide story most days this run, either their own or relatives or friends. It is only fair, it is the love and support. I am an entertainer and an artist, my material is divorced enough from my life that it is now in a form that is funny, cathartic, and safe for public consumption. But I have shared, and that is best when it's both ways. If my work does move you during the show, it's okay. I will hug you and grab a drink and we'll hang out for a bit. Also, I can't have people running crying from my comedy show, it makes me look bad.

I saw Elf Lyons Raven. I'm still in shock at how brilliant this show is, it was such an astonishing piece of comedy and theatre. Elf switches between characters, physicality, and straight stand-up like magic. I couldn't believe it was just one person on a stage with no props until the end. it was all so real and horrifying.

Swan was my favourite thing I'd ever seen, and maybe it was funnier. I was taken by Andrew O'Neill and we clung to each other contorted we couldn't laugh any harder. But the heart of this was terrifying and gothic and ugly and monstrous. I loved it so much. It's been the only thing this year I've seen which has grabbed my soul and told me something new is possible. I want to be Elf Lyons when I grow up.

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