Monday, August 21, 2006

Bussmann's holiday

If anyone's up in Edinburgh this year (I'm not, the whole concept revolts me***), they have to go and see Bussmann's Holiday, which has got fantastic reviews (update: some in this very comments thread - thanks Swiv). Jane herself talks about the show here.

The other reason people have to go and see it is because when I was but a fledgling new-born comedy writer, begging people to find space to squeeze sketches onto Smack The Pony (the 'not quite kissing on the doorstep/that's it that's the whole bag of tricks' one was in the recent 'Best British 50 Comedy Sketches of All Time' show, but I don't want to go on about it*), Jane and her then writing partner David Quantick were kind enough to take me out for a pint after one rehearsal/workshop thing and talk to me about the world of comedy, people I should probably try and have meetings with, and people I probably shouldn't try and have meetings with.

Of course I woke up in the same pub an hour later with a thick feeling in my head, a very dry mouth and a wallet down, but they left my library card, and for that I will always regard them with a certain fondness. I took it as a mark of respect, a salute, if you will, from two wordsmiths to another of their tribe, and repaid the favour a week later by burning down their moped.

DQ by the way, popularized the phrase 'not got past the aardvark stage**' as a description for comedy writers who still think random lists of items from either the London Zoo spotters' guide or the Argos catalogue count as an actual script, and for that he will always have the thanks of a grateful nation.



* Apparently it was though.

** Also described as 'monkey whimsy'.

*** sorry Marsha - I'm guilty of using 'Edinburgh' as shorthand for the 'Edinburgh Fringe Festival', which means I've become exactly the sort of ghastly person I'd be worried about bumping into if I were to go up there oh no this sentence doesn't make sense.

I know loads of people who are either going up there this year, or even putting on a show. Those people are all lovely and talented and gorgeous. But the idea of spending a week dodging one million shit stand-ups or Cheltenham Ladies' College doing their production of 'Reservoir Dogs' fills me with the nasty shudders. Of course it might be a wonderful experience, I wouldn't know, I'm never going.

Anyway, if you are going, make sure you see Jane Bussmann's show. Was my point.


UPDATE: Actually, now I've realised how many people I know (even if only from comments on this blog) are going, I kind of wish I was going too. I AM SO FICKLE. I hope everyone who's going has a great time. Apart from Cheltenham Ladies' College. I HATE THEM SO MUCH.

31 comments:

Marsha Klein said...

The concept of Edinburgh revolts you?? Please tell me it's the concept of the Edinburgh FESTIVAL which revolts you - I could just about live with that!

Heather said...

As someone who lived in Edinburgh for several studenty years I can agree with your dislike of the festival. However it's the tourists holding up buses and generally mucking up day to day life that bothered me.
Strangely now that I no longer live there the festival actually seems quite appealing.

Swiv said...

Don't go for a week. Stay somewhere nice and quiet outside Edinburgh. Have a holiday driving round bits of Scotland. And go for a day. That way it's fun and doesn't drive you mad.
*is EIFF and Fringe-bound tomorrow*

Marsha Klein said...

Phew! Having lived in or very near Edinburgh all my life, I guess I'm just immune to the more irritating aspects of the Fringe. Although, now you come to mention it, certain parts of the city ARE currently occupied by higher concentrations of over-confident, RP/American accented youngsters than this average Edinburgher feels comfortable with.
I must be getting old...

P.S I'm not sure ANY of this comment makes sense.

cello said...

The Fringe is full of idiots and wankers, 'tis true. But then so is the rest of life, and it doesn't all take place in such beautiful surroundings.

I'm off to Edinburgh on Wednesday and will be meeting up with Marsha and Heather for tea and scones. Swiv, if you are within spitting distance of the Sheraton on Thursday afternoon, let us know.

And I'm going to see Jane Bussmann on Saturday night. So there, Mr Grumpy.

realdoc said...

I went to the fringe a couple of years ago and I have to say I enjoyed it and saw some interesting shows but then
1. I do live in Ballykissarse where the level of cultural entertainment doesn't rise above evangelical prayer meetings and local dramatic society productions of Guys and Dolls.
2. I had an informed insider giving me recommendations.

P.S aren't your *** in the wrong order?

Heather said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Heather said...

Marsha, it's when the bus journey to work that usually lasts 15 minutes suddenly expands to last an hour. The delay being caused by the multitudes of tourists taking an eternity to get on. Oh and the French woman who emptied an entire suitcase on the floor of the bus to find her day ticket only to realise that it was a one way ticket after all.

However, the joys of the festival far outweigh its annoyances. Last year I met Joss Whedon, this year I shall meet Cello and Marsha, how lovely.

Marsha Klein said...

Heather, yeah I've had a few bus journeys like that in the last few days or when the bus is half an hour late or just doesn't appear at all. Mind you, that DOES also happen outwith Festival time...

Looking forward to meeting you and cello on Thursday.

james henry said...

My ***'s are in the wrong order because of Marsha. Blame her.

I knew you'd be at the Festival cello, that's why I didn't want to be too condemning of it. Do give a report on Bussman's Holiday, it genuinely sounds very good.

Marsha Klein said...

Blame for wrongly ordered ***s duly shouldered.
I'm just glad that:
(a) James doesn't hate Edinburgh.
(b) The Festival gives me the opportunity to meet cello and Heather.

Hamilton's Brain said...

Annoyingly we missed Jane's London shows. Did you ever hear Bussmann & Quantick Kingsize? The sketches about Melvyn Bragg and Ike Turner being a couple ("No Ike, don't use your heat!") are a wonder. If memory serves it was criticised at the time because the audience enjoyed it too much. DQ's Blaggers' Guide on Radio 2 pleases me - it's his first own show for ages, and he really seems to be having fun with it. It occasionally misses, but generally makes me feel all warm and bouncy.

...but for every (early) TV Burp there's a Parson's and Naylor's Pullout Section. Let's not dwell...

Speaking of Edinburgh, TGLH and I spent some time taking far too much notice of the development of Lloyd Cole Knew My Father, the show David did with Collins and Maconie. You haven't lived 'til you've seen music journalists literally dancing about architecture.

And I always preferred the "I'm not gay" sketch. And the English as a Foreign Language one. And the one where that production company distributed the series abroad, but never gave the talent a penny.

james henry said...

My favourite Jane Bussmann quote, and annoyingly I can't remember which show it came from, was when they were talking about Paul Gascoine, and she broke in 'but to be fair to the bloated, wife-beating alcoholic... '

Hamilton's Brain said...

Astounding fact: In real life David Quantick is married to Karen, the sex columnist from Sky Magazine. (She has done other things).

james henry said...

Yes, he's done well for a simple Plymouth lad. Remind me to high-five and shout 'Woo!' next time I see him.

skeadugenga said...

I'm just going to be honest and admit that I'm deeply envious of those who are there this year, since I'm very fond of Scots, whisky, bagpipes, Edinburgh and whisky. I hope you all have a great time.

Swiv said...

Tea and scones sound lovely, Cello. But it turns out that there's only so much skiving you can do in August as as Postgraduate before it all catches up with you and you have to chain yourself to your desk to finish a dissertation.
I shall have to restrict myself to imaginary scones this year.

But I do have tickets for Jane Bussman's show tomorrow, which makes me feel better.

Lofty said...

As bad as the festival crowd are, surely the tattoo crowd are even more prone to blocking as they move slower (due to older demographic). Admit bias as was up there the other week for the festival, but have come up against tattoo crowds on both sides (one lot leaving other lot going for 2nd show) and it was scary... think the films where baddies come up on either side blocking the hero in only much slower moving and greyer!!

Terri Nixon said...

The follow up to An Evening With Gary Lineker is supposed to be there this year, I'd hoped to see it, especially since I've now met the guy directing it (who's been an idol of mine for some years.) I even maintain his official web presence for him so hoped for interviews/photos. Still, t'was not to be. If anyone sees it, let me know what you think?
Plymouth has spawned one or two rather well known people I believe. The atrociously Emma Pierson is one of the more recent so I discovered.

Hamilton's Brain said...

Well, hey. Ian and I are definitly going next year on account of it being the centenary of Lee & Herring, or something. Shall we get a posse together? (Dream On style cut to Tony Robinson dressed as the Sheriff of Nottingham: "No, a posse, Graham.")

james henry said...

Let's go in mob-handed and sort the wheat from the chaff.

I don't know what that actually means, mind.

Tim Footman said...

Next time you see Quantick, please tell him I really like that book he wrote about The White Album, and am bigging it up greatly in my book about OK Computer (out next year).

The word verification is "tbbdyuig", which is the best rendition of the sound a ruler makes when you hold one end on a tabletop and twang the other end.

Terri Nixon said...

I've just re-read my comment and I HAVE to set the record straight and say that the phrase I used was "atrociously PRETTY" Emma Pierson!. Good grief I need to be careful with my highlighting/editing.
Tim - Just tried it to make sure, and you're absolutely right.

patroclus said...

Lee & Herring, sigh, they were great. Also Stewart Lee is apparently a big fan of Giant Sand, which makes him even greater, in my book.

Hamilton's Brain said...

Eek! A Boring Kite reference, on Not Today Thank You? Now that's obscure...

hwwuwk - the last bit of sick left.

Jools said...

Cheltenham ladies College suck the big cheese... just don't get me started on the filty lil f******.......

*apologies to anyone who actually attended I'm sure you're really lovely, not a snob and are not called Penella

Billy said...

I don't have an anecdote about Cheltenham Ladies' College (even the name annoys me) but I used to work opposite Clifton Girls' School.

The only good thing about that was saying to the bus driver, "Return to the girls' school, mate" and then raising a suggestive* eyebrow.

*actually I didn't do that, but I wish I had.

Hamilton's Brain said...

In Canterbury, of course, there is Simon Langton Girls School. Can you guess what attendant girls are nicknamed?

Ugvrb - a part of speech from the Neanderthal era.

james henry said...

*suddenly aware that at least two people I worked with went to SLGS*

They're called lovely, well-brought-up young ladies, that's what they're called.

Think I got away with that.

Swiv said...

quick debriefing: Bussman's Holiday very very funny. Muchly enjoyed. More recommendations for next year appreciated.

james henry said...

Excellent, thanks Swivvy!