My first week at The Edinburgh Fringe
15 August 2008 - ScotsGay Magazine
I am performing in the most camp venue in Edinburgh. It resembles a gentleman's toilet with eighty seats- enough for an orgy.
Comedians always talk about being outsiders. I am an outsider in a world of outsiders.
When I'm performing in the gents every night, my parents think I'm in the library.
Gay people have always supported me in my comedy career. Through death threats, unfunny jokes, and Primark clothing, the gays have stood by me. So it gives me great pleasure and makes me feel at home, when I notice gay security men at the Edinburgh Festival. A couple of days into the festival I spotted a man with a vast moustache, coffitured beautifully at the ends- which put mine to shame, mammoth sized muscles and huge hands, he could have crushed any trouble in the Pleasance Courtyard, with one finger nail. I call him Mr. Holmes Place. He's clean, athletic and has all the most useful equipment. He was the first man to smile at me this festival and when I see him outside my venue, I know there won't be any fighting in my toilet.
I love it when gay people come to my show. I stand behind the curtain and listen to them moaning about the furniture. "Ooh these chairs are so uncomfortable, but I suppose once you've seen a few of these fringe shows, your arse gets used to them. The only problem is, they don't really go with the curtains do they Malcolm?' This is riveting conversation to hear before I go on stage; it really does put me at ease and provides a Coronation street like atmosphere.
Sometimes I get really nervous before my show, so I go on stage with no knickers on. It makes you feel like you have power over the audience. This is the most useful thing Gerri Halliwell ever taught me. I often peep through the curtains and check out the audience, if I see some glamour, I go into my suitcase and pull out some fake diamonds which I bought from Claire's accessories, shove them on and flash them about so I don't look out of place, but most of the time people in my shed look like they're at Glastonbury so I wear flip flops or hiking boots sometimes one of each on either foot.
My first week in Edinburgh has been pleasurable. I walk to my show in a flowery cagool, talking my show through out loud; I perform, leave through the back entrance avoiding any people, buy a big greasy fish on the way home then dry my clothes when I get in.
I feel like Hilda Ogden doing a bit of stand up in between daily chores.
I always fear bumping into other comedians on my way to the show incase they screw up my mind. There will always be some tactless idiot who says the wrong thing, "Hi, I haven't seen you for ages, but I saw a really shit review about you God how are you coping? If I were you I'd kill myself, the shame you must be feeling, poor you."
The best way to exist is in a cocoon. Except when performing of course or if you see someone really famous then just stalk them. I keep dreaming about Joan Rivers, then when I'm out I think I keep seeing her, I swear I saw her in the kebab shop the other night, I nearly fell on a skewer. When the woman spoke I realized it wasn't Joan, it was just a woman called Barbara from Glasgow. Edinburgh is full of disappointments.