Edinburgh Fringe 2019 – Day 5

Just before last night’s show started, my tech warned me about that three very lively Northern Irish ladies sitting at the front on stage-right could be the night’s troublemakers. It turned out that they had some competition, not just from their equally loud Scottish boyfriends.

However, it was another group that arrived slightly later ended up taking the arseholes of the night award.

While the group of six on stage-right were indeed disruptive and interjecting, they were crucially engaged in the show. Even if the three lads were often away at the bar, outside having a smoke, or going to the toilet.

The group at the back on stage-left were talking frequently throughout the first part of the show. I would pull them up on it a few times. This, combined with the lively Celts on stage-right, meant it was difficult to get into any sort of rhythm throughout the show.

Yet it was when the quiz began that the night’s true bellend emerged. He was sitting in the middle of the group on stage-left and was mostly quiet for the first part of the show. He would interrupt the quiz, disputing the validity of certain questions or the phrasing, and was generally being an unwelcome presence.

He said that he’d paid £11 to see the show, implying that he could do what he want. I told him I had his money. He tried to protest the questions and answers by claiming that we live in a democracy. I said that this show in fact operates as a dictatorship and I set the rules.

I deducted him two points for being a dick. He didn’t appreciate this, even if he deserved it.

In the end, we agreed that his team would get their two points that had been deducted back if he left.

Shortly after this, he got up and started walking towards the stage. I thought he was going to try and square up to me. Fortunately, he veered off towards the bar and his departure was cheered on by the rest of the audience.

I somehow dragged the show through three rounds. It was a hard slog. When he left and the rest of his team did shortly afterwards, the atmosphere improved immediately.

I’ve performed variants of the show now for five years, more than hundred times in front of thousands of people around the world. There’s never been a show quite like this one, which isn’t meant as a positive thing to say.

But then this is Edinburgh Fringe late at night. And if you combine dickheads and alcohol, it doesn’t always end well. I was just relieved that it did end.

I have two more late-night shows, before a two-night break and then the final two late ones of the Fringe. Tonight has to be better. If it’s not, then at least I’m now prepared for the worst.

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