Tonight I had a moment of solidarity when I looked up on the tube to see Stewart Lee sat opposite me, looking through his notes on his way to do a show in the same venue, but in the other space.
It’s times like that when you briefly put into perspective what you’re doing and the privileged position you’re in. There were only three people performing at Leicester Square Theatre tonight: Stewart Lee, Jason Byrne and me - and while I’m under no illusions about my position is in the comedy food chain, it’s nice to be a part of that scene and to acknowledge the achievement, however small it may be.
I obviously knew he was going to be at the venue tonight and that I might bump into him, but there was something pleasingly coincidental about winding up in the same tube carriage to both be looking through our notes. I’m more than aware of how much of a grafter he is - much like his former comedy partner Richard Herring - but it was still lovely to see him methodically going through his script, still taking it seriously while being so many dates in.
I decided to do the British thing and pretend I hadn’t spotted him, rather than put us both in the awkward position of having to acknowledge each other to walk to the venue together. The carriage was packed anyway, so I would only have drawn attention to him. I think he clocked me, but whether he could place me out of context is a whole other thing; still, it was nice to see him actively caring about what he was about to do; he’s that perfect balance of being a truly exceptional comic and a really nice man; I truly admire him for that.