Audiences are absolutely vital for a comedy gig to go ahead; but as with most natural of the world’s natural resources there is a shortage, particularly on the London open mic circuit.
It certainly makes you appreciate a larger audience all the more when you do get one; it is something to be grateful for and not take for granted. Unfortunately, I can’t say that last night’s gig had a big audience, because if I did then I would be lying.
It was supposed to be an Edinburgh preview for the second show I am doing with Gwilum Argos, which will run for the final week of the Fringe. But it ended up being an express version of the show.
The night was supposed to have six or so acts doing 5-10 spots in the first half and then our preview would follow the interval.
However, it was looking almost definite that had we called an interval, then the five audience members would leave and there would be no second half. So we ran straight through and compressed our show into two ten minute sets with a brief interlude in between.
This brief interlude took the form of a sketch Gwilum has been intent on trying, which I have been vehemently opposing, as I think there is very little more excruciating for an audience to sit through than a bad comedy sketch, apart from perhaps bad improv. But luckily for Gwilum, when we had a read through before the gig, it didn’t actually make me want to kill myself and was actually better than I thought. So we tried it, and it went okay. Or as okay as something can go in front of an audience of five tired and hot people, which isn’t really the best gauge for material.
Tomorrow I have another Dirty Laundry preview, with Gwilum opening the show and giving a chance to give his sketch another go. I’m hoping there will be an audience.