Hexham, Kendal, Coventry


Day 15 - Hexham
Showime. I.m standing back stage composing myself and staring at the curtains. The curtain stare back. It is a tiny bat staring back at me. I signal the stage manager, who is about to give me the green light to go on and we pause briefly while he fetches a small box and we trap the bat and take it outside. The show then begins and it's great. It's only a couple of month since I previewed my show here, but they are a fresh audience and well up for it. Nice to actually have time to walk round the town too, even if it has just a had a flash flood. I manage a whistle stop visit to my folks, and am adamant I will visit them again properly soon. I don't seen them enough and it makes me sad.

Day 16 - Kendal
Down the M6 to the Lake District, and it's a Saturday too which mean the market is on and I buy some nice cheese and a couple of balls of wool as a pressent for the missus. Again you can tell the average age of the towns occupants by the number of charity shops around. I do like a bit of charity shop spending, but I'm a but concerned by some of the advertising I've seen in some of the on the tour. Adverts saying 'We urgently need your donations', stressing the urgency of the message in big underlined letters. I've donated to shops in Chorlton and still do when I have a clear out. I'm not having a pop at charity shops as the all do good work, but to use an assertive approach to their marketing when I'm effectively giving them my stuff isn't quite an ernest message. I overhear a conversation between the shop assistant and a customer, she blames Ebay for the slow turnover in their stock, fair point.
Wandering round the charity shops with Charlie, I'm wearing my duffle to do on the fly video diary. I'm stopped by a young girl who recognises Danny Pensive and is a fan, we get a photo and chat and she is made up. This gives me a little lift too.
I manage to work the panorama setting on my new phone camera app and take some nice photos.
A great show and after we go for drinks, sample many ciders and meet a couple of local lads in Dickie Doodle's late rock bar who saw the show and chat and drink some more.
The next morning I have a bogging headache and am totally not with it but argee to Erin, our tech mananger's plan to wander up a big hill and see Kendal Castle. I didn't even know Kendal had a castle, and from the lack of signage neither do a lot of people.

Day 17 & 18
Break for admin and domestic related activity. Phone calls in the bath, etc.

Day 19 - Coventry
Refreshed we head for Coventry and the Belgrave theatre. The staff are nice and we are all issued with door fobs to get in and out. The show is an odd one, I try to up the energy in the room, and there's laugh's, but they're not really buying what I'm selling tonight and the banter is all a bit cynical. Charlie has a great one, after all it's his show they've come to see. My old mate Tom is in the audience too, and I#ve not seen him in a while so this makes it a bit more uncomfortable for me. Saying that it's great have a big old catch up session and a pint later.
The ABC motel has windows that open all the way. Respect.

John Cooper
Comedian & Improv coach
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