This week, I received some bad news. My Edinburgh show partner, Paul Christopher Stephen Langton Esquire, has dropped out of this year’s Fringe.
Logic, finances and real-life have got the better of him. Fortunately, I have learnt to switch off the rational part of my brain when it comes to doing comedy.
I will miss Paul this year, particularly during the inevitable lows and for someone to blame when things go wrong. I have had his company at every Fringe I have been to, including three Brightons, so it will seem very strange without him.
We treated Edinburgh as being us against the world. I knew I could always rely on him, even if his on-stage form was patchy by his own admission last year.
For me, not doing Edinburgh was never an option. So, I was faced with a choice. Either I find someone else to do a show with, or I do one on my own. This didn’t take me too long to decide and I can announce that I will be doing a solo show at this year’s Fringe.
It will all be massively different. But when I was thinking about this year’s show before Paul dropped out, I did feel that doing another two-hander for the third year with the same person would not really be pushing myself.
A solo show will definitely push me outside my comfort zone, which is something I have always tried to do with Edinburgh. In 2011, it was about doing 15 minutes longer than I was used to. Then last year, it was about telling stories, as I am not a natural storyteller. And now it will be me on my own.
Stand-up comedy is very much a solo journey and I am looking forward to the new experience, even if it is a pretty daunting prospect.