This isn’t everything, but it’s everything I care to mention.
Pure Riddy 4
Another fine installment of Meadhbh Boyd’s teen diary-reading nights. This time we did it as part of the main Glasgow comedy festival over two nights. I was there doing my fauxward thing. Solid walls of pure lady laughter. Ace.
Humorists: Their Four Uses
In October 2015, I took a performancy talk to Glasgow’s Project Cafe, as part of a social enterprise called MyBookcase. I talked a little about humour writing, read from the work of my favourite dead humorists and from my own book, A Loose Egg. I’d like to do a bit more of this sort of thing. Read more.
On May 21st 2015, I dusted off my childhood and teenage diaries to read at Meadhbh Boyd‘s ace diary-reading night as part of Glasgow’s SouthSide Fringe festival. Excellent, hilarious and shocking readings, mostly from women. Not laughed so much in ages. Some of the old OMG! gang were there too and much merriment was had.
On 10th October 2011, I took part in The Salon for Untitled Projects at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh. The theme for the evening was ‘The Future’ and involved my dressing up in Nineteenth-Century garb and performing my piece, The Escapological Eutopia: Five Dodgy Prophecies. It was a truly incredible evening.
The Sulking Ape and Other Stories
In August 2011, we read sections from New Escapologist at The Voodoo Rooms in Edinburgh. I served as MC and read from my own elegant piece, Meditation on a Toilet. We were accompanied by live Erik Satie music from Wireless Mystery Theatre. Read more.
The Wringham & Godsil Podcast. Live!
We ad-libbed our way through four live versions of our podcast at Peter Buckley Hill’s Free Fringe 2011. We talked about human centipedes, celebrity handshakes, unexploded war bombs and much more. Our entry in the programme read: “Tired of listening to podcasts with only your ears? At last, you can see them with your eyes too!” Read more.
Robert Wringham and the Chrono-Synclastic Infundibulum
Compared by Ian Macpherson, DiScOmBoBuLaTe is a comedic/literary cabaret night in Glasgow that has now seen performances from Arnold Brown, Magi Gibson, Alasdair Gray, Aidan Moffat, Alan Bissett, Iain Heggie, Anneliese Mackintosh, Simon Munnery, Liz Lochead and many other geniuses. With Ian, Magi and Alan, I was a founder member and regular performer.
The Great Escape
Under the banners of our publications, New Escapologist and The Idler, Tom Hodgkinson and I confronted the Anarchists of Glasgow with our ideas on the good life. The night was hosted at the Glasgow Social Centre and concluded with a ukulele sing-along. There’s a promotional micro-site here, a short description of the night here, and an abridged transcript of the main event here.
Fergus Mitchell ran a brilliant diary-reading night at Cafe Offshore in Glasgow. I was probably its most regular performer. It was great fun until its inevitable peak-oil-style demise. Here are some thoughts I had about the night and Neil Scott’s review.
Confabulation / It’s all Talk
Through this, I was a guest on the first show of the surely now-famous It’s all talk with Asaf Gerchak in Montreal. I appeared alongside Asaf himself, Matt Goldberg, DeAnne Smith and burlesque dancer Lady Josephine.
Come Away In
At an event in a house, called ‘Come Away In’, I was asked to do stand-up comedy in the front garden. It didn’t really work and I felt unpleasantly exposed. My second set in the back garden was much better. I decided to perform atop of a step ladder in the middle of the lawn. I introduced myself as a comedian, climbed the ladder and read (for over an hour) from a found book of ‘pub jokes’, dissembling the racism and sexism as I went along. It rained but I carried on. I’d like to do this again somewhere, but provide buckets of fruit for people to throw. Read more.
Club Swallows and Amazons
I redundantly served as MC one night for Club Swallows and Amazons burlesque club. I was fine to begin with, but ended up tripping a guitarist’s patch cable. Nobody seemed to care, but I felt like a div and my ungainliness has troubled me ever since.
I have what I consider two debut performances. My first shot at stand-up as an adult was at The Stand’s ‘Red Raw’ night for beginners in about 2004. I stole out of my flat on the pretense of buying my flatmate a Christmas present, because I couldn’t bear seeing a familiar face in the audience. My performance was okay, if forgettable, but a man at the back of the room kept calling out “Mine’s a double”. A pretty cryptic heckle, and because of my cheating tendency to play arts centres instead of clubs today, it remains the only heckle I’ve ever had.
Before that, my first ever stand-up performance was at the Birmingham Hippodrome after winning a competition (with three other boys) through my school. My material about McDonald’s restaurants was so brilliant that the comedian in charge of the workshop accused me of plagiarism, though he couldn’t specify the source. (I hadn’t stolen it. I was just good at wrapping my pre-prepared material around his thematic exercises, thus providing the illusion of spontaneity – which was a skill too brilliant for a fourteen-year old, apparently). Through this, I eventually had the honor of briefly meeting Josie Lawrence from Whose Line is it Anyway?. The event was sponsored by a carbonated beverage called Fanta and we all had to wear T-Shirts depicting its logo. I wore my leather bikers’ jacket over the shirt because I am a rebel. Our deputy headmaster, Mr. Ashwood, said he saw me on the news, in my leather jacket, shouting the words “Fillet o’ Fish” into an eight-year-old’s face.