Five reasons not to come to my show

Lloyd Langford tries to put punters off..

My show this year is about things that give me the blues. With that in mind I’m getting frustrated by the number of tedious questionnaires I’ve been asked to fill in wanting me to give them ‘Five reasons for people to come and see your show’ or ‘Sell us your show’ or to ‘Pitch your show in a haiku that doesn’t contain any vowels’.

I’m not sure I want as many people as possible to come and see my show. For a start, I only have a limited capacity. In terms of audience I favour quality over quantity and so this article is a possibly very misguided attempt to whittle down the list of prospective punters for my hour.

In short, below are reasons not to come and see my show. Maybe you’ll pop along. But hopefully not if you answer yes to any of the following questions.

(1) Are you below the age of 16?

The age limit for my show this year is 16. This is because there is a bit of swearing and discussion of adult themes. This feels a bit like a DVD warning now. Suffice to say, unless the gig goes badly wrong there will be no sexual nudity or scenes of sustained peril.

On my first show last year, I had a baby in the audience who was impeccably well behaved. Even if the little one was guilty of a dirty protest then at least it had the decency not to draw any attention to it. However, I’ve seen plenty of people in gigs who were older than 16 and turned out to be massive bell ends. There is no hard and fast rule.

I guess what I’m saying is, to take the age limit as a general guide. If you are older than 16 but your mental age, alcohol tolerance level or taste in music falls below that of the average 16 year old then you should probably give this a miss. Go and see some juggling instead.

(2)Are you celebrating anything?

If it’s your birthday and you decide to go and see a show, then it’s worth bearing in mind that while it might be a big deal for you, for the majority of the audience it will be of little or no importance whatsoever.

I did a preview in July that was constantly interrupted by a group of people who were celebrating a 21st and saw no reason why they should stop chatting. I tried to reason with them but attempting to talk sense with the birthday girl’s auntie was like arguing with a robot that had been corrupted by its malfunctioning mechanical vagina and a misplaced sense of importance.

In the very same preview I met an audience member afterwards and I found out that it was their birthday too. This person’s behaviour had been sterling throughout. So it’s a tough call. I guess the easiest way to do it is to say people celebrating their birthday are advised against coming, people whose birthday it is are most welcome.

(3) Are you a member of a stag or hen do?

I don’t care that you’re getting married. Please take your fancy dress costume or dildo-based headgear elsewhere. No, seriously, I don’t want you. I hear that the al fresco catching of multi-coloured clubs is particularly fine around Hunter Square this time of year.

(4) Are you queasy about certain words?

I guess you could say my show is lightly seasoned with profanity. However, if you are particularly troubled by cussing and can put down a compelling argument then you may want to consider the following proposition: if I receive advanced written notification outlining your stance and also sufficient warning of the date you are coming along then I will be willing to substitute all swearwords in the show for a mixture of fruit and/or vegetables or words that may contain a hidden swearword if examined closely e.g. Scunthorpe.

(5) Are you a critic who arrives late?

I went to see John Gordillo’s show last year. About ten minutes after the start a young lady came in, sat down next to me, got out a notepad and started critiquing the show. I thought this was bad form. Unless of course she prefaced her review with a note explaining she’d missed a good fifth of the show.

If you are critic who has an issue with punctuality then please don’t think I’m suggesting you miss out on the Fringe altogether. No, I recommend that you go and see some juggling. Arriving late to discover that the juggler is currently maintaining five balls in the air, you can safely assume they were previously doing it with three and then four up until the point at which you eventually arrived. You can confidently write about the events you have not witnessed, maybe even adding in a ‘dropper’ to ratchet up the tension.

Lloyd Langford: Every Day I Have The Blues is at the Pleasance Courtyard, 21.45

Published: 4 Aug 2009

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