Wearing in new material

Last night, I tried out four minutes of new material, which I’m hoping will be the centrepiece of my Edinburgh set.

It is the story of how unrequited love led to me driving 100 miles and I ended up breaking my ankle in a ridiculous set of circumstances, which I won’t go into here for fear of legal proceedings.

However, from the material’s first outing, it is clear that there is a lot more work to do before it resembles anything comedic. Although, when you are performing to 12 other comics and one genuine audience member, you are never going to get the best gauge on whether or not something actually works.

Appropriately for an ankle-breaking story, I think it has legs. So I will toil away at it for the next month or so; the difficulty is trying to work on a ten minute routine in sets that are only five minutes. Last night, I learnt that just talking really quickly doesn’t actually help.

I always describe trying out new material as being similar to trying out a new pair of shoes. It is rare that it feels perfect first time; there is often initial discomfort and sometimes pain. It takes time to properly wear until it feels comfortable. Then, you have to see which other bits in your existing set you can tie it together with and hope it doesn’t trip you up.

But unlike shoes, if you are unhappy with it then you can’t take it back to the shop and get a refund, or even put it in one of those large bins in supermarket car parks, which claims to be sending it to overseas but really just sells onto people in this country for a profit.

It is now four-day the Easter weekend and I have three gigs along with days off to write, so I’m hoping that it will be a comedically productive few days.

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