Jul 20, 2020

Fat Roland at the Garden Fringe — at a distance

Fat Roland at the Garden Fringe

On Saturday, I took some crack. Some sweet, sweet crack. 

At least, that's what it felt like. I performed 20 minutes of comedy at the first Garden Fringe event. It's a new post-lockdown project where people put on shows in socially-distanced back gardens.

We were in a suburban garden (location only known to ticket-holders). There was a garden bar and shed toilets and it was all kinds of fun. I was on a bill with comedians Danny Sutcliffe, Allyson June Smith, who I thought included the overlooking neighbours brilliantly, and compere Dave Williams. 

My last performance had been at Leeds Lit Fest for Tales of Whatever in March, which seems like forever ago. I'd forgotten how much I need to perform. Big emphasis on the word NEED: there was a wild look in my eyes as I typed that. Although my knowledge of crack is limited to its usage by characters in 1990s postmodern fiction and the television comedy Peep Show, I'd image this is what crack addiction feels like. It's very "moreish," as that bloke in Peep Show said.

And the gig was a sell-out too! Admittedly, the limited capacity helped to achieve that, as we all still had leave enough space for the virus not to attack us. But it quickly became clear that, with a lack of shows around at the moment, audiences are really keen for local, safe entertainment. I suspect there will be many more shows like this.

As a matter of record, here's some notes for my set, which is all a bit coded, and it's really for me to look back on this first post-corona gig at some point in the future.

My set: Eel-vis Presley, socially-distanced pop stars, put on the hat, gay nose, record shop prices, pop star envelopes, more nose, pop music maths, knight meets dragon, puppy competition, even more nose, book of friendship, eggs, last bit of nose. (Gig also contained a dig at Daft Punk about which I am thoroughly ashamed.)

Loads of people have got in touch with the Garden Fringe already, and you should too if you have I have a suitable show, a suitable garden, or would like to attend events. It's a good crack.

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