Tag Archives: One Man Star Wars

Truro, Scunthorpe, Barnsley

Day 11 – Truro
The Braintree show is hard work, easily my least pleasant of the tour so far and feels like going through the motions to get a response. After an overnight stop in Reading (the hotel room has a microwave – result!) we motor on to Truro. Truro seems to be pretty laid back as a place, the venue is nearly sold out and both me and Charlie have an awesome show. I meet up with a mate who moved down here a few years back, he helps my try and locate some proper scrumpy and we go in a pub which serves Cornish Rattler, one of my favorite beverages, but I can’t imbibe much before a show, curses.


Day 12 – Break
A big drive back to Manchester and a rest. I look forward to a kip in my own bed and a fuss of the cat, but instead fix the cupboard door in the kitchen that’s been bugging me for ages, then take out the bins, as all the people in our block haven’t bothered. Oh how bloody showbiz. I am too tired to be annoyed and drink myself to sleep in front of my computer.

Day 13 – Scunthorpe
Scunthorpe Plowright Theatre is sandwiched between the police station and the fire station, it’s small and old school and the staff are very jolly. Wandering around the place I don’t know if it’s me, the town, the weather or all three – but it’s down and dismal. Loads of Greggs and pound shops, maybe no more than anywhere else, but they stick out more today. I get fish and chips from the BHS cafe. The show is far mare than I expect it to be, the people are well up for it, but not always laughing where I expect.

Day 14 – Barnsley
The clouds part on the way to Glossop and we have a great scenic midday drive to Barnsley listening to Holst’s planet suite. Barnsley Civic theatre is a new theatre and art space, and the facilities are great. I feel really sluggish, and really need to push myself to eat healthily on the road. With some gagrbaldi biscuits and fruit from Morrisons I’m happy enough until showtime. It’s ‘hump day’, we are officially halfway through the tour.
From my dressing room on the third floor I can see some kids hiding behind the waterfall feature, on the front grassy area outoside the theatre. I take photos of them as they appear to take drigs, see me, then quickly dash over a wall.

Chesham, Norwich, Braintree

Day 7 – Chesham
The Ark show in Borehamwood went well, and then on to Chesham to the Elgiva theatre, it’s a pleasant place with a new coat of paint. Their panto posters adorn the backstage walls and I’m keen enough to spot that in 1998 the under-rated ex-Doctor Who producer John Nathan-Turner directed Aladdin – which wouldn’t be the first time. Erin discovers nearly all the techs at the venue are in a band, and after the show we catch the end of an open mike night.
We rock up at the B&B around midnight which is a large old bungalow on broomstick lane, Botley, and can see the owners aren’t best pleased even though we said we would be late. Charlie appeases them by telling the owner exactly how he wants his eggs in the morning. I like these old houses as they remind me of where my gran and grandad lived, sturdy old oak cabinets, dressing tables, with large oval mirrors, pictures on the walls of ships and rural cottages, Patterned wallpaper and a house proud sense of tidiness that has been there for years. The beds are soft and comfy and I’m asleep in minutes.

Day 8 & 9 – Norwich
The theatre in Peterborough has sadly closed it’s doors, we only found out days before, so two days in Norwich then, and to make up for it the prior show here at Norwich Playhouse is already sold out. On the way we stumble across the “World Famous Comfort Cafe” which appears to be a simple cafe services with a cunning name. Sitting drinking coffee and reading the paper is Wes Zaharuk, a great props comic, he’s killing time before heading to Norwich too to play Jongleurs.
Our accom for Norwich feels a bit harsh and seventies, but I’m happy for the room. A hotel & conference centre, the kind of place Reggie Perrin would have stayed before his breakdown, with a brushed silver control panel at the bedside like you’d see on an old ITC spy drama. ‎”Do I need anything to get on your WiFi?” I said to the receptionist, infering a password. “A computer” she said matter of factly, like I’m stupid. I could feel the words “secure connection?” on the tip of my tongue, but they didn’t come out. Upon trying it is a secure connection, in that their network does not let you on it.
The stay is made invaluably better by the arrival of wor lass, who has made the four hour trip from Manchester with some mates to see me on this, probably the only occasion I’m in one place long enough. This is where the showbiz lifestyle is hard, since the end of June we’ve only seen each other a handful of times. Simple pleasures like making my woman egg on toast for breakfast will have to wait till October. Sad face.
The Norwich show is awesome, a real high point so far, and the baer serves Aspalls cider too. I love it.

Day 10 – Braintree
Braintree may have been named after the wallnut tree’s which grow here and look a bit like brains, but that’s just one theory. I’m sick of sandwiches now, take a chance on a microwaveable ready meal hoping the venue has a microwave. Always a risk if they don’t as there may be no fridge either. We arrive at the venue, great room, great wifi, great staff but no microwave or kettle. So… No tea? NO TEA!!?? WTF!…. Yes tea. I have a new supply of evil Typhoo QT instant granules and they have a hot water station. With no water to boil, bag to squeeze or milk to pour I make the quickest cup of tea in the world ever, in 6 seconds. I mourn my microwavable curry as the sealed black plastic tray slowly expands in the warmth and break out the instant mash for lunch instead.