'It would be cruel for me to leave the stage' | Wendy Wason recalls her most memorable gigs

'It would be cruel for me to leave the stage'

Wendy Wason recalls her most memorable gigs

 My first gig

This was after I’d done a comedy course with the Amused Moose. There were ten of us doing the showcase and we did ten minutes each. I invited a bunch of mates and they really enjoyed the show. The only problem was, after my set, they all barrelled out, leaving quite a significant chunk of the audience missing for the rest of the show. It was quite obvious they were with me, so we had to have a chat about respecting the other acts. It was a good night though. I actually thought: ‘I might be OK at this.’  

Best gig

I always have a wonderful time at The Stand comedy clubs. It’s one of the few places I over-run. I believe if you’re doing well, stay on, if it’s not going so well, get off and stick to your time. At The Stand in Glasgow one night, my time was up and in my head I’m going: ‘I can’t leave. They love me. It would be cruel to leave the stage.’ I got off though. I love Scottish audiences. They are so up for it.  

Most unusual location

I had the immense pleasure of compering a fundraising gig for the Tower of London. They were raising money for restoration costs. That night there were loads of different musical theatre stars doing numbers from all the shows:  Now That’s What I Call Musicals. We met Beefeaters and heard ghost stories. We also had to keep the audience in the room between 21.52 and 22.00 for the ceremony of the keys, where they essentially lock everything up.  

 Worst journey to a gig

I’d been gigging about six months and I was living in Hastings. I was driving to Brighton and as I came along the A21, the car in front of me’s exhaust flew off. I tried to swerve to avoid it and drove over it, puncturing the two front tyres. The coffee I was holding spilt over my lap and scalded me. I texted my ex and said: ‘The two front tires have punctured but I’m OK’. He texted back: ‘You’ve spelled “Tire” wrong.’ I got home at 2am after a five hour wait for the AA. I missed the gig.  

 Worst gig

I did a gig in a holiday camp near Bournemouth. It was exactly like Hi-Di-Hi. I walked in and the audience were all in their 70s. There was a massive stage and then a dancefloor and the audience were seated behind that. We were on in between the bingo and the ballroom dancing. I already had a feeling of dread before I went on. The compere introduced me and looked a little anxious himself. I performed to utter silence. It was the loudest silence I’ve never heard.

Wendy Wason: Tiny Me is on at Gilded Balloon Teviot, 18:45

Published: 22 Aug 2016

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