First preview for 2015 done

I had my first preview last night of How To Win A Pub Quiz II: Advanced Edition. As I am out of practice with the format, there was a lot of stuff I needed to remember to prepare.

Thinking that I had another crucial five minutes to get stuff ready, it would be a rush but I thought I should have been just about ready to go. However, just as I was trying to remember and find exactly what I needed, I was called to the stage. I was still trying to locate stuff at the bottom of my bag, so had to ask for a few more minutes.

By the time I eventually got onto the stage, I was ill-prepared and couldn’t find the sheet of new material I’d printed earlier in the day.

It could have been a disaster, but fortunately I was in the Hollybush in Cradley Heath. It is one of the friendliest and most forgiving rooms there is in comedy.

I thought I would try something different with the show format. Last year, the first half of the show was stand-up and the second half was the quiz. Last night, I thought I would split that up as well. So I would start off doing 15 minutes of material at the start, then the first part of the quiz, followed by another 15 minutes of stand-up and then the final part of the quiz.

The first part of the show went well, with material that I have honed over several months. But things fell apart in the second half when I couldn’t remember exactly what I wanted to say as I had lost my new material notes. Some of the new stuff about music went well, but the stuff on sport tanked and I didn’t end up having enough time or confidence in attempting to remember the new film stuff.

It could have gone much better, although it’s actually good for stuff to go wrong in previews as it forces you to improve. Despite this, the 15 or so people there seemed to enjoy most of it.

I don’t think I’ll be trying this revised format again, because the one I had last year worked really well. And if you’ve got the audience tuned out of listening to stand-up, it can be difficult to tune them back in again.

With the first preview done, I have just over a month to get the show up to scratch. There is still time, but I’ll be cutting it pretty finely this year.

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