So. This was going to be the usual once-a-month "please come to the London Varieties show" type blog post, and while it's still certainly that - in that I would very much like you to come to the June 14th show (Details of which are in the video above) - something small but rather lovely happened this morning between uploading the video and writing this post.
I got up, put together the promo video, uploaded it to YouTube and then, as you'll know if you've ever uploaded anything, you have to wait a while while YouTube digests and lists the video. So off I went to the laundrette to pick up some duvet covers (showbiz life, kids.) and stopped off at the cafe on the way back to get a nice breakfast.
And it was on my way home, washing in one hand, breakfast in the other, that I saw her. An old lady - in her 80's at least - stooping, looking at the window of one of the shops near my house, staring at the poster for last months Varieties. As I passed, she spoke slowly to her herself as she read it, "Variety? Bethnal Green Working Men's Club?"
So I stopped, and with a cheery smile, told her, yes, variety, and yes, Bethnal Green Working Mens Club. She told me she lived in Hackney, but didn't know where the working mens club was, I told her, and admitted that the poster was for my show. By this time her daughter had arrived.
"Is this really a variety show? Like the old variety shows?", the old lady asked me. I told her yes. Exactly like that. The next show is on June the 14th, I told her. "Oooh", she said, "what kind of things are in the show?"
So I told her. "really funny acrobats, a former world champion magician, one of the country's funniest comedy speciality acts, and me - I'm a juggler and I'll be doing lots of tricks, and there's always some secret surprise guests..", and her eyes fucking lit up.
Putting on this show is wayyy more work than I thought it would be, and although every show night is just about as happy as I ever get, in the last few days the stress has been winning and I kinda lost my love for it a little. But my god, the grin that spread across that old girl's face when I told her about the people in the next show. She took my heart right out of my chest, gave it a spit and polish, and threw it back in there.
Her daughter was standing by a car - they were going to the cemetery to visit the old lady's late husband. She asked for a card and I gave her one. Then she got in her car and I went home. Both happier.
I really hope she comes to the show.
I really hope you do too.. and if you do, here's what you'll see...
Our headliner is one of the funniest and craziest comedy acts in the country.
It's a pleasure to welcome the hilarious Noel Britten to the varieties.
LORDS OF STRUT
They are coming all the way from Ireland to play The Varieties!
Arms only with the powers of dance, circus and spandex unitards..
A former world champion of close-up magic, one of Derren Browns co-writers and a man who
has performed his act privately for The Queen five times.
Richard is quite simply one of the most exquisite slight-of-hand artists you will ever see.
A very special surprise guest in conversation
Lots of new tricks and stand-up from your host
Rare archive variety footage
"GUARANTEED ENTERTAINMENT!" - ThissCabaret.com
"EXHILARATING! YOU NEED TO GO!" - ToMaxTalks.com
June 14th, doors 7pm, show 8pm, Tickets £10
See you there!