I have done nothing.
Not the best start to a blog but it is a cold, hard fact. I am at the world’s biggest arts festival in a beautiful city full of excitement and I have done nothing. I wake up at noon, shuffle around to find a vegan breakfast (a cup of hot water that someone stirred with their finger), do the Angry show then at 3pm I swear blind that I won’t have any booze, normally while drinking beer, until after Gutted. Gutted (which is just getting better and better) comes and goes and then I fight like a gladiator to destroy my brain with alcohol while listening to actors sing Happy Birthday (along with embarrassing harmonies) at a member of their troupe of young, beautiful, permanently-fucking starlets in a late night performers bar. At about 5am my brain admits defeat and my carcass stomps to bed. This is not how a festival of arts is supposed to be.
I should be seeing shows, eating in interesting cafes and reading in courtyards. I will see a show today. I will. I really, really will. I nearly saw a show yesterday but it sold out. Which was a great relief. I mean, shows are an hour long. AN HOUR! In a box, oozing sweat and being dripped on by condensation with a comedian doing way better than I am showing off. I get enough of that in Pointless Anger. I don’t think I’m exaggerating at all when I say that I would rather be shot dead in the face and have my head shoved up my arse and my corpse posted to a German cannibal who would then eat me and all that would be left of me at all would be his excrement washing it’s way down a sewer than watch a quality hour of comedy. Maybe I’m in the wrong place.
I have got shows that I do want to see and I will get round to them soon. Just not yet. It’s too early. Plus all publicity for every single show puts me right off it. Whether it’s some cunt with more stilts than dignity flyering me to see a one-man play about global overpopulation or a comedian bragging that someone with pointless fame and no credentials likes them (“Great stuff” – Peter Shilton), it just makes me cringe.
Look, the main thing is this: I have nothing to complain about. Shows are going well and I’m having fun. It’s been very nice hanging out with The Gentleman’s Review over the past couple of days, I’ve found a little (mostly) vegan shop near my flat and it’s the most pressure-free Edinburgh I’ve ever had. I died doing a stand-up gig on Sunday night here and even that was quite nice. I just stopped doing my routine that the audience sat silently throughout and then said “Do you mind if I go?” The audience were totally cool and said “Yeah. No problem”.
And that’s why I haven’t blogged even though I said I would. It’s just too dull. Every day is quite pleasant and no-one wants to hear that. But nothing that brilliant is happening either. Until today. Just half an hour ago.
I can’t think of a more wrong thing that has ever happened to me. At today’s Pointless Anger, where I went red in the face screaming about Clare fucking Balding (you’ll have to see the show to find out why I hate her), there were three men in their 50’s who had all come to see me. They are big Michael Legge fans and have been for a long time. They came with autograph books, postcards for me to sign, scripts for me to sign, theatre programmes for me to sign and photographs for me to sign. Photographs of Michael Legge. The actor in Angela’s Ashes.
And I signed them all, reminiscing about when the photos were taken and confirming that Michael Gambon is really nice, with a completely straight face. I think my favourite thing that I was asked to sign was a photo of “me” and James Corden. Now, that’s good irony.
We had pictures taken together and talked about my films. All of which they loved. They love my films and my acting, they just have no clue what I look like. Even when I’m standing next to a photo of “me” they just don’t seem to see the difference. You would have thought one of them might have noticed that I’m 15 years older and incredibly less handsome than Michael Legge but they didn’t. Perhaps that’s the mark of a good actor. I played the part of Michael Legge from Angela’s Ashes so convincingly that even his biggest fans were convinced I was him. I bet even Michael Legge from Angela’s Ashes couldn’t do that.
Of course, the thing is, I enjoyed being Michael Legge from Angela’s Ashes for those few minutes. He has fans that love him no matter how much he’s rapidly aged and he has a career to be envied. Well, he did have.
“Michael, what work have you got lined up for after the festival?”, asked Tony, a huge Michael Legge fan.
“Doing Highlight in Watford” said Michael Legge.
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