Saturday, November 29, 2008

Dill and Moron

I was so excited when, two months ago, I booked the best seats available at the Colston Hall (Bristol’s answer to the Apollo) to see Ireland’s finest, Dylan Moran play his new gig ‘What It Is’.

It was to be an early birthday present for Gareth and I was very excited by the prospect of an excuse for dinner at the nearby Thai restaurant which we’ve frequented many times and at which I have never strayed far from the Thai green curry. Occasionally I push the boat out and ask for pineapple in my Thai green curry, but I’m not about to go wasting the opportunity to have Thai green curry on some sort of silly noodle dish.

Dinner was great. We quickly necked a bottle of wine, like the truly romantic couple that we are, and then raced over to the hall. Oh how exciting, the balcony, I gushed, looking at our tickets. Last time we came here, with my mum and sister, we were in the pits for Lee Evans, (my fault, I thought he was still funny) and I fell asleep. At least in the balcony we might have a better view.

How wrong I was.

The porter man guided us up to our seats. ‘Over there. Back row.’ Back row? BACK ROW? The wine had kicked in. Gareth waited patiently at the side while I tried to wager better seats at a sold out gig. But seriously, back row? I booked ‘best seats available’ bloody ages ago, how can the back row of the balcony EVER be the best seats? We could not have been further away from Dylan.

I eventually gave up on the porter and we took our seats. What are the odds of Gareth spotting someone on the same row who he knew…or thought he knew.

Hey, Tom! He shouts.

Tom shouts back.

How’s Sarah? How’s the baby? Gareth calls as he mimes a big baby bump.

‘Tom’ mimes the baby bump back, a frown upon his brow.

Baby? he asks.

Nevermind! smiles Gareth, slumping back in his seat.

Who was that? I ask.

I don’t know.

An amazing stroke of luck, although he’d got the wrong person, both of the people, the wrong person and the person he actually was, were called Tom, so he got away with that much. It was just the baby bit that scuppered his chances of walking away looking cool.

Dylan was about the size of a pencil from where we were sitting and too far away to see any of his mannerisms or gestures.

I had no choice but to fall asleep.

And on Gareth’s other side, a dreadlocked nutjob who was also a little sleepy. Except he’d clearly consumed some hallucinogenic drugs before coming, as he, according to Gareth, I was asleep at the time, kept trying to catch things in his sleep and awoke with a look of complete surprise and confusion on his face.

So the highlight of our evening was not the part we paid £50 for. And Dylan Moran has gone down in my estimations for being too far away. Not exactly his fault, but I realised I don’t like big comedy venues. I miss Ginglik, the cosiness, the intimacy. I miss being on the front row. I miss Simon Amstel grilling me about my career, Jimmy Carr taking the piss out of my friends, I miss the comedians being so close I could, and often did, touch them.

I was irate when my mum told me she was recently at Ginglik for the Lenny Henry night and who should pop along to warm the audience up but Robin Williams.

I’m almost certain I wouldn’t sleep through that. Almost.


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