Have you ever had a go at stand-up comedy?? – It’s one of the most nerve-wracking things I’ve ever done in my life!
I was really delighted, recently, to be asked to produce some packages for BBC Radio Manchester, to introduce the listeners to a host of Mancunian volunteers who had bravely agreed to partake in a stand up comedy evening to raise money for Comic Relief. I have to admit my thoughts were hazy at first on how to produce these pieces… I decided I’d make a couple of bespoke ‘introductions’ to some of the volunteers – really find out about their lives and get some nice, evocative audio and interviews together to provide a window into their worlds… The other I decided should be a bit of a document for the group’s journey to the comedy night and all the prep that went into the evening.
A few weeks in when the group had begun practising, it was suggested that I get involved with the stand up myself! This would entail me, a Southerner, going on stage in an Irish Club in Fallowfield, Manchester, and telling a load of jokes for a few minutes. It doesn’t sound too daunting… it was.
Wherever you go and it’s a new environment, place names are tricky to get your head around. Hell, you don’t even have to go anyway, for years I was mispronouncing Palmolive hand wash. I decided that with a few place name gags done and dusted, that I would regale the story of my turkish bath in Bulgaria.
On our lads holiday, my mate and I decided to haggle the prices down at the Spa round the corner. It was a rock’n'roll lads holiday, for sure. We managed to get some decent rates and I booked in a Turkish Bath. Oh my word, I’ve had them before, and done properly they are incredible.
I was excited.
I arrived and was met by a Turkish Bath Giver (what do you call them?…) and instructed to take a small plastic bag to a changing cubicle and don its contents. Alas, I removed my clothes and stark naked in a Bulgarian 3* Spa, I removed the outer packaging of a paper G-string…which I had to poke my head out of the cubicle to confirm which way round to wear…
I assumed I’d have the audience in fits of laughter and I’d go home having stole the show… let’s say the tale of the posh Southerner having a spa on a lads holiday was more ridiculously amusing than the thong incident itself. Still, despite my worries, I didn’t forget my lines and I didn’t wee my pants.
I was delighted with the audio too. One of the volunteers was John Consterdine, so I thought it would be a good idea to join him doing a Parkrun and find out more about him to introduce the audience to him!
Another of the volunteers was Sam Smith, this was a package I produced with her to introduce any listeners to her prior to the comedy night!
This was a package intended to document the journey the 10 Mancunian volunteers had been on to prepare for the Stand Up evening