Friday 16th February
Reading time 4 minutes 49 seconds (approximately)
According to the lads I watch football with I’m quite posh. Most of you will find this unbelievable, and amusing, and until this week I didn’t believe them myself. However I’ve been performing at the Leicester comedy festival this week and I’ve discovered there may actually be some truth in their mocking tone (the kids call it bantz).
I should say that I find Leicester to be my favourite city in England. My mate Paresh doesn’t agree. There are 4 reasons for this;
1. I once won a comedy competition here
2. See number 1
3. The people are super friendly
4. See numbers 1 and 2
For those that don’t know The Leicester Comedy Festival is a Comedy Festival based in Leicester and it has been running for 25 years. It’s a place where comedians come to try out their shows before slightly bigger events, such as The Edinburgh Fringe Festival (EFF) or where they come to perform their perfected show. It is a truly great place to watch comedians in intimate venues and in that respect it is perfect for stand-up comedy.
The show that I am lucky to be a part of is;
The Extraordinary Time travelling adventures of Baron Munchhausen.
It has become an Improv show for children but it started its life as an adult only show. This changed at last year’s EFF where the time slot had to be switched to midday which meant all of the unnecessary swearing had to be removed. By default it became a kids show.
Anyway….I arrived in Leicester on Tuesday morning, dumped my bag at my digs and went to the venue to perform. Until this point in my life I have never used the term “digs” before but I am desperately shallow and I thought it would somehow help me get into Thespian speak with my colleagues.
As I said the shows format is Improvisation. The children in the audience become a part of the show as they shout out ideas which we incorporate into fantastical stories. It is chaotic, anarchic and fun.
The crowds have been what I can only describe as nuts and in some weird way it’s almost as if all of the kids had taken some hallucinogenic drugs hours before hand and the drugs had just started to kick in as their collective imaginations were amazing.
We had Squid Goats, Inter dimensional toasters, Pavement based fried eggs, a 6 year old who believed the solution to all situations was to kill everybody and a 7 year old who proudly stood up to announce he had a pun. He did this 6 times and if it wasn’t for the child labour laws he would be writing for Tim Vine.
My favourite moment was when we asked what other androgynous names there were for men and women like Lesley or Terry and a 7 year old shouted out “Doctor Who”. Which is quite simply brilliant!
The performers laughed a lot as did the grown-ups in the audience. The kids screamed, giggled, and seemed to have a thoroughly good time. I loved it.
Afterwards I returned to my digs. Which I really didn’t dig. Here’s why;
There was pubic hair on the bathroom wall spelling out the initials HT.
There was poo on the toilet seat. Yes on.
There was at least 3 years of grease on the potato masher.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs state that to survive, humans need some fundamental things [he may of put it in more scientific terms] but I’m quite sure Mr Maslow had never been discussed in shared student accommodation in Leicester.
I could accept the pubic hair, even the poo, but what’s with the build-up of grease on a kitchen implement? I find it disgusting and frankly there is no need for it. I had complaints from my fellow house mates about leaving a mess in the kitchen although if it went to court I believe evidence will show that the kitchen had never been so clean after I finished with it.
However I’ve always said that you can’t argue with perception. Especially with people and students online. These are some of the same people who don’t wash potato mashers so your honour the defence rests.
My actual home is in Kent. Despite this it is rather lovely and over the last few years myself, and my Mrs, have invested time energy and money into making our space, calm and peaceful. The digs in Leicester were not calm nor were they peaceful. This meant I was not calm, nor peaceful, and it’s at this moment I realised I might be posh. I’d raised my standard of living and upon stepping down into student accommodation I found myself becoming arrogant and spoilt. How ridiculous? I don’t need soft carpets and 400 thread count Egyptian cotton bed sheets to be content. All I need is my mind to be sound. And of course to be able to mash potatoes cleanly and sleep in a minimum of 200 thread count linen.
To further evidence the posh theory I should mention that I also “borrowed” a drizzle of olive oil to cook some Pak Choi. This elicited the biggest complaint, to which I partially agree with them but look if I’m buying Pak Choi then I really should have some Olive oil to cook it in with some Extra Virgin Olive oil to drizzle over it once it’s cooked.
Oh my God I have become a monster and I really do have Humous pockets in coats……as my mate Kev has always pointed out.
So what did I learn?
Firstly that I’m posh and spoilt compared to Leicester students.
Secondly that I’m an Olive Oil thief.
And lastly that I take my partner and my home very much for granted.
It’s good to get away and it’s true that travel does indeed broaden the mind. It also makes you appreciate what you have. I have it all currently and if I survive my Leicester digs I shall be more grateful of my home and my partner.