An Actor's Life


The Happy Couple
May 13, 2011, 10:41 am
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Allow me to tell you about The Happy Couple; it’s the next full-length show from New Old Friends. I’m about half-way through writing it and I’m pretty excited about where it is at. Lots of gags in there. It centres around two people, MAN and WOMAN, imaginative names huh? They’re a couple, a happy couple, and they don’t cheat on each other, beat each other, leave each other, kill each other, they love each other. That is the challenge I’ve set myself and its pretty difficult to drive a narrative without any conflict, I mean they bicker obviously, but 90 minutes watching two people bicker isn’t really going to cut the mustard is it? I’m no Beckett, by the way. Although our first show, Mate, was described under the headline “Better than Beckett” by Bath Life magazine once. We were so embarrassed by the claim we never actually used it on any publicity settling for the slightly more believable “full of witty one-liners you’ll be using for weeks.” Sorry I’ve gone all self aggrandising haven’t I? I’m supposed to be telling you about The Happy Couple. I wrote a while ago that it previews at The Rondo, Bath June 22nd. I lied. It previews at The Rondo, Bath Fri June 24th, tickets £5 from 01225 463362 or www.bathboxoffice.org.uk/7484 

Tickets are only a fiver because it will still be in the work-in-progress stage. We’ll have it as polished as we can but realistically it’ll be scruffy around the edges. I can confirm that all the usual N.O.F. tropes are in there, we have daft wordplay, daft songs, daft slapstick, daft conversations, daft characters, daft dancing and some truly wonderful ‘groaners’. A groaner is a gag that is so bad it makes you groan, bad but you love them. We do. It wasn’t until I read over The Happy Couple that I realised I had a recognizable style, but there is a clear line through all the work I’ve produced. I originally wanted to be a very clever Radio 4 style wit, but I’m happy to have settled in to a purveyor of a slightly naughty blend of whimsy and wordplay. The first song of The Happy Couple contains one of my all-time favourite joke rhymes I’ve ever written; Mum I know you’re listening, that bit about the drug taking, is entirely fictitious, I’ve no way of knowing that heroin is delicious. You have to work a bit to make it scan, but Heather performs it with brilliant aplomb, in fact she absolutely nails the entire song and that alone is worth the measly £5 admission.

In other news, our second Pick & Mix is looking to be a real stunner, line up announced very soon. More info and booking details for that here. We loved the last one, and all of you who came seemed to too, so hopefully this time around will be like the Peugot and go from strength to strength. It’s June 4th at 8pm still at The Rondo, Bath. Be great to see you there. In fact if you contact my on twitter @thisactorslife with a topic you would like to see rendered in comic sketch form we will oblige you.



Sketchy at Best

So people have been heeding the call. The submissions are getting funnier, or at least they’re aiming that way. We’ve had age-based laments, wonderful wordplay and…well penis fingers. It sounds gross, and it is, but it’s gross in a really quite good way. A sort of head made of smeg or covered in smeg situation really. Have no fear though, the more vulgar aspects of our comedy we’ll save in reserve for Anti-Panto, Sketchy at Best is going to be largely family friendly. I mean I’d stick a PG-13 rating on it, but we’re staying away from full on STI gags  this time.