The moment you wake May 29th, 2014 by

The moment you wake Is nothing The immense unknowable zero Before the big bang Of self-consciousness Who you are Where you are Who you know What you do   And then What you have to do this day   And what for breakfast? Swing round Slippers on Here we go again

  Nightingale Café January 18, 2014   Maybe I should go inside With all the others I am the only one outside And I am cold   The street is shiny wet Two joggers overtake an old lady The waitress delivers my porridge It is too hot and I am too cold Maybe I should […]

Last summer in a beautiful pub in Devon the barman was telling me how much he loved this picturesque village in which he was born. “But you’re only young,’ I remarked, “don’t you ever long for the bright lights of the city?” He looked at me aghast, “I’ve been to Crediton,” he said, “ It’s […]

PC Syd Smith, London, 1951 In the meantime, life went on. The Festival of Britain took place. One or two events concerned with my job stand out in my mind. I was on night duty and walking on Waterloo Bridge at 2am in the morning. I noticed a young lady looking over the parapet. She […]

The Sun (*) June 24th, 2013 by

The sun (*) A savage review is much more entertaining for the reader than an admiring one; the little misanthrope in each of us relishes the rubbishing of someone else. But however much I enjoy it in others, I find it hard to be a rude critic myself. Even after some bum-murderingly boring play I […]

ARTHUR SMITH SINGS LEONARD COHEN (VOLUME TOO) AT EDINBURGH FRINGE   PLEASANCE CABARET BAR : 3-18 AUGUST 2013 “Smith’s comic timing is always a wonder to behold” The Times (2011) “You are being arrested for breach of the peace and possession of a megaphone” Lothian Police (2001)   Just as Degas felt compelled to return […]

Mrs T April 15th, 2013 by

Friday, November 23rd 1990 – as the Funeral March strikes up I mope slowly to the dimly-lit centre stage of the Hackney Empire and declare, in sepulchral tones, that I have come to bury all the Mrs Thatcher jokes – jokes that no longer serve any purpose following her resignation the previous day. Then I […]

In Memoriam Pete February 5th, 2013 by

  It’s true he could be mean but he was funny and charismatic. I liked Pete. And so I set off to his memorial service in Brighton.   Arriving at Clapham Junction station I see a sign with those 2 dismal words, Bus Replacement. ‘Bus Replacement to Burgess Hill.’ Burgess Hill? That’s 30 fucking miles […]

  I have been gazing into my crystal ball…. but I’m sure you don’t want to know about that so, instead, here are my predictions for the world and for comedy in the coming year – At first, beneath leaden skies, most of the country grinds along the bottom hoping for something – anything – […]

The Christmas cracker January 3rd, 2013 by

is pulled and I pretend to read the joke inside: ‘Why does Noddy wear a bell on his hat?’ A standard beat. “Because he’s a cunt.” My audience is shocked and silent except for the 12-year-old boy I had not seen who is doubled up and laughing harder, I reckon, than he has ever laughed […]