I left the office today, feeling happy with how my show's shaping up.
I'm under no illusions that Thursday's work-in-progress set won't be rough around the edges. I'm also fully aware that the show I take to Brighton next week will be markedly different from what I take to Edinburgh...but that's okay. It's all part of the process. I'm looking forward to having a four-night run next week to play with the material and see what works, safe in the knowledge that I still have two months after Brighton to chop and change what I've got, to tailor it to Edinburgh. The results in the meantime should at least be entertaining, as they were when I performed 'Work in (Hope of) Progress' in Bath.
One positive upshot of putting together my set is I enjoy performing the material so much more than last year's show, even at this early stage. The content is a lot more playful than '...and Ephgrave' and takes in a greater variety of subjects. I've also released myself from my bizarre self-imposed rule to avoid using excessive projection out of concern that the results would be 'too Doggett & Ephgrave'. I now realise doing this is ridiculous, as it's the style I'm most familiar with and is probably what I do best. I like having something to work off of - be it a slideshow, a guitar, or performing with my double act partner. It gives me strength and a spark of energy that drives things along. Also, why avoid referencing something that 50% me, that people aren't even aware of on a wider level? To do so is to work against yourself and create unnecessary barriers. Doing stand-up alone is still relatively new to me, but I might as well use the experience I've had of working with other people - like my band and Glyn - than try too hard to avoid what's essentially myself. To quote a song by my favourite scouser: " I go back so far, I'm in front of me"; I'm not even referring to Paul Hollywood.