On The Outsider

Score one for being super organised. for months I've had a ticket stuck on my fridge door... and after all that time I nearly forgot about it. It's all very well being really organised but it does help if you remember when you're actually going!

So Saturday saw me taking a trip to Colston Hall in Bristol to see Sarah Millican's show Outsider. It's a lovely venue and I'll definitely be booking tickets to see something else there. There's nothing quite like being serenaded by a three piece band when you walk in the door.

The crowd was what you'd expect... I'm not being judgemental, after all I'm about to tar myself with this brush too... barely anyone under the age of 30, groups of women or couples and small clusters of gay men. My kind of people. We're not rowdy, we don't do raucous behaviour... we generally only do laughing until we're worried we might pee a little. Although there was an anecdote about one of her crowds getting unruly because of the theatre running out of ice cream... definitely my kind of people. I feel like rioting every time I go to the supermarket and Häagen-Dazs isn't on offer.

All those months ago when I booked my ticket I remember being pained that I might miss out. Luckily I don't mind going to these things on my own... I'd have had trouble if this wasn't the case as there were only three individual seats left scattered across the place. I got a fairly decent seat in the middle and luckily whoever had booked the seat next to me had decided not to come. Swish! Extra leg room for me.

I always wonder what goes through someone's mind when they pick their seats... I mean come on, who are these people that want to sit in the front row? The first five rows to me are for a special kind of person... those weirdos who don't get embarrassed by anything. You do get the arc effect though, so those who choose the outside edge seats get a pass as most of the time a comedian can't get round that far... but still, it's the danger-zone (sorry, been watching a lot of Archer recently).

There's always a strategy to picking a seat for me. If I can I'll go for an aisle seat... but that means getting up all the time to let people in I hear you say. Yes it does, but it also means I have the easiest position as I can just take one step out and not have to do that contortionist move of scrunching my legs up trying to make people think you're making an effort to let them by when all the time you're wishing they'd gone round or had the decency (like yourself) to get there early to claim their inconvenient seat. It also makes me ten steps ahead of a lot of people when making my escape at the end of the show. I usually go for a seat that's around the M or N section. I feel comfortable enough that I'm away from any possibility of being called on for anything but still close enough that I've got a good view of facial expressions on stage.

But anyway, listen to me waffling! You want to hear about the show.

I love Sarah Millican's humour. There's always a joke/bit that you remember for every comedian, and the one that always comes to mind is... I couldn't get you any avocados, so I got you pork pies instead... where do I find a guy like this? Improvising the shopping list doesn't strike me as something many men are good at! I think my dream man would have to substitute in one of the following to be truly amazing: Chicago Town deep dish pepperoni mini pizzas, above mentioned ice cream... vanilla (don't mess with perfection!) or a packet of cheese twists. I know it sounds like I'm still waffling but really I'm just getting to the highlights of the show for me... honest, that's totally what I'm doing!

The first thing that amused me was a bit of audience participation, and also something I like to use as an ice breaker on dates... what is the best thing you've seen in nature? There were some good ones from the audience, ladybird sex, a lion orgy... you know, all those normal things you see. My favourite thing was just the other day, and only in Bristol could this have happened. I was in my work car park and there were a group of people playing boules in the corner (yes in a car park... no there wasn't any grass). I would have been annoyed if it wasn't for the fact that they were having to shoo away a seagull who was trying to swoop in and steal the jack. Mainly I was happy that he was messing with them rather than shitting on my car.

Sarah is also full of wonderful tips, I think over the years I've picked up the odd recipe tip, well... eating tips maybe, I've developed a good cake shelf technique. Love life advice, positive thinking. There have been a lot of things that make you chuckle but also give you something to think about later.

Two things sprang to mind from Outsider, and one of those was the email she reads out from a woman who used to be a bit of a bully at school. There will always be people in your life you don't bring good memories out, and it's difficult to know how to deal with them, but I think her message of "I don't remember you fondly" does what it needs to. Sometimes you don't need to worry about things from the past. The other thing from the show it a lot less "deep" (well depending on how you look at it) and much more practical... if you sing "eeeeeeeeee" it stops the gag reflex... use that information however you need to.

I laughed until my sides hurt, and then laughed until I thought I'd lost my voice. It was a great night and I'm really glad I remembered I had a ticket! Plus at the end of the show on the way out there were free badges... can't say no to a free gift!

Now excuse me while I go and re-watch her DVDs and see if I can pick up any other words of wisdom I may have forgotten!

One last thing... I can't ever hear this phrase now without hearing it in my head with her accent...


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