Monthly Archives: May 2010

The Collected Tweets of Brandon Cummerbund – Part 6

Another tranche of the pertinent observations, daily vicissitudes and culinary intake of Bloomsbury-based bon viveur, amateur sage and bouffant beardie Brandon Cummerbund. (This time in order of appearance)

Pass the gorgonzola, there's a good chap

Cook has crocheted an omelette. I say crocheted as there is clearly a yarn-like substance involved. I say omelette advisedly. Forensics!

Tweezers have been stolen. Mongoose on case, wearing deerstalker. Boot boy has magnifying glass. Botley looking shifty. Something’s afoot

Tweezers located – Botley had used them for cleaning galoshes. Put on half rations and extra hoeing duties. Mongoose rewarded with lemon

House a hive of activity – full of bees. No idea how they got in. Botley claims he was giving them directions and they refused to leave. Pah

Early Brandon tweets will shortly be available in a droll new format you can print out for your own amusement. Shall advise further shortly

Siblings flocking back to homestead for celebration of Mrs C motheringness. Happy days. Botley marking Blithering Sunday. Man’s a witterer

@artistsmakers Gad is old Ullswater still knocking around? Made best banana syllabub this side of Hilary Stretchtwinkle. Give him regards

@artistsmakers Kirkby and I no longer on speaking terms after the mustard and cress incident

Botley in trowel crisis. Boot boy in towel crisis. Mrs C in harmonica crisis (lost). It’s crises Tuesday. Still, sun’s out. Brekkie: muffins

Harmonica fanfare: Cummerbundery: Collected Tweets Vol 1 http://bit.ly/b5ESsg Print and fold your own – spiffing little item via @bookleteer

Cook started collecting engraved ladles. Botley has walls of shed decorated with unusual roadkill. Means well but mad as a whelk sandwich

Artisans of the law called to announce boot boy arrested for malingering. Have engaged arch lawyer Hon. Fandango Battersby. Breakfast: mango

Appears boot boy was trying to add to his shoelace collection. Battersby confident we can get him off on a technicality. Crowd were barefoot

Battersby buys off local custodians. Boot boy sent to Coventry (Aunt Spagbol will sort him out). Botley on decorative hedge clipping course

Temp boot boy being put through paces by Mrs C. Botley has clipped front hedge into Dali’s Last Supper. He says. Can’t see it meself

BC Classifieds: Tannadyce Celeriacs, specialist Scottish grocers, renowned for tatties and turnips. 10% off with the right tartan. Your risk

Unbelievable amount of fluff in the house. Mrs C has been reading chicklit again. Temp boot boy at work on coal scuttle. Cheese: gorgonzola

Mrs C complaint: too much testosterone in house. Cook instructed to use mayonnaise instead. Not sure it will work as a deodorant. Baffling

@artistsmakers Wcster sauce, raw egg, juice of lemon, dash of Tabasco. Whatever you do, don’t drink the blighter. Mixing it should be enough

Tendentious Plug dropped in to borrow some Vietnamese Beaver Cheese. We’d run out. Valet made gazebo out of Sunday papers. Odd talent.

BC Classifieds: Botley Weed Removals, experienced horticulturalists, occasional use of flamethrower notwithstanding. Best you’re insured

Cravat of the day: Paisley. Cheese of the Day: Emmental. Darts throw of day: treble 13. Lunch: Quotidian of flan, Belgian style. Needs must

Botley battening down hatches due to gale. Actually, hadn’t realised we had any hatches. Valet on roof, securing weather vane. Last I looked

Preparing for church en masse. Not Catholic, mind. Mongoose insisting on coming. Could be interesting after last year. Botley muzzled too.

Hullabaloo at Cummerbund Towers: Mrs C playing O Happy Day on the harmonica, bootboy on spoons, valet on string bass, Botley in string vest

Madcap inventor Isoceles Trolleybus popping round for tea with new invention. Quite excited but radiation suits issued to all staff. H&S eh?

Radiation suits justified. Trolleybus proffered portable personal BBQ, which equalled short course in self-immolation. Man’s a menace

Bday shenanigans at BC Towers: cook preparing haddock kebab, bootboy composing spoons concerto, Mrs C dancing with flags. Fearful fuss

Botley clipping hedge into shape of mongoose. Mongoose plotting. Maid sewing commemorative doily. Valet ironing spats. Street party ahoy!

Bongo Twitchbasket has popped round with a bottle of Moet. So we’re all partaking of the fizz. Cheers!

Sound of sizzling bacon and mushrooms a true joy. Not currently experienced however so off to rouse cook with loudhailer and dinner gong

Boot boy discovered yodelling. Botley discovered pickaxe in shed. Mrs C intervened with gag to ensure nature didn’t take its course. Pip pip

Valet has started humming. Sounds like bee in a blanket. Have installed small electric shock delivery system in trouser press to curtail it.

#mybreakfast Devilled kidneys, kidneyed devills, hash browns, brown hash, kedgeree, eggs – poached, scrambled, fried, omeletted, Darjeeling

Election news: Botley preparing to stand on bus ticket (they always leave when he appears), waving sign: ‘gardeners against weeding’. *sigh*

Boot boy offering self as monster raving bootboy candidate; Botley rallying gardeners in shed (all trowels and wellies). It’s getting silly

Spiffy swears he’ll abstain. Can’t think why, it’s not Lent. Doesn’t the blighter know chaps died so he could vote for the wrong fella? Pah

Should have acted on plan to take whole household to Riviera in an airship, impervious to ash. Cook’s curry might have downed it, mind

Taken straw poll of staff: 1 voting for Botley (Botley), 3 unaware election is on, 1 underage (bootboy), cook will vote for 1 with best hair

Cook’s syllabub exploded, leaving deposits of fruit, spices + old newspaper everywhere. Travel from kitchen hazardous. Low trolley service

BC Classifieds: EasyBarrow Travel Service (Proprietor: Botley Snr) – travel by wheelbarrow. Planet friendly, quite clean, hand luggage only

Mrs C in mad spring-clean. Botley EasyBarrow service in cash crisis (wheels fallen off barrow). Bootboy has lost brushes. Normal service!

Jazz of the day: Dixieland. Chosen cheese: Wensleydale. Red wine: Cabernet Sauvignon. Shaving gel: Palmolive. Polish: Brasso. What ho chaps

Valet off to Spat Ironers Convention. Mrs C busking in Hyde Park (1812 Overture for harmonica). Plan to read paper in pose of studied élan

Fact of the day: dozen tedious chaps at my club invented the 12-bore shotgun. Valet in spat ironing mode, inspired by convention. Tiddly pom

BC Classifieds: Bootboy Pocket Detritus – fluffy sweets, bus tickets, buttons, useless coins, collar studs, nuts, 30p a bag. If you must

Polished my kneecaps; gargled with jelly; tickled a Chelsea Pensioner; saluted a tramp; sauteed an artichoke #ThingsIAintDoneYet

Holy mackerel! Cook has gone the whole hog and reinvented herself as a woman. Bootboy needed smelling salts. Restraining order on Botley

Birthday hallooo to Wokwok Tahoomey, Ickly Toastbangle, Moravia Chisel Blowpatch Mudsprocket, Beluga Crouchgarter, and Baloney Trouserquiz

Whole household has voted and decreed bootboy Postmaster General, Botley Environmental Gofer, valet Home Secretary (ironing) – secret ballot

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Brandon Cummerbund

Mark Watson: funny stuff that makes you think

Brighton Festival Fringe, Royal Albion Hotel: Mark Watson

It was a rare treat – and unbelievable value – to catch comedian Mark Watson in action road-testing new material for his forthcoming Do I Know You? tour at the Five Pound Fringe.

Mark Watson: thinking out loud for our entertainment. Photo: Dan Thompson

Watson’s late inclusion didn’t make the festival programme and was publicised mainly via social networking sites, but even so it was a surprise there were some empty seats in the intimate room at the Royal Albion for a real comic off the telly.

The lanky Bristolian’s stock in trade is self-deprecating insecurity, and his observations on fatherhood, making your life count for something, and the ups and downs of life as a touring comedian kept the crowd highly entertained during his 60-minute show.

He’s a fast talker, and at times his material could have done with a little less pace but I suspect it’s partly the nervousness of a man still working with his material, coupled with a brain that is always thinking furiously, while his delivery tries to catch up.

Watson’s comedy is intelligent and questioning, always probing behind the way we behave as human beings, and looking for answers as well as humour. His honest assessment of his TV ad campaign with Magners – and the flak he received from fans – showed the pressures and expectations of a working comedian trying to earn a living, but was a hoot as well.

A veteran of more than a dozen Edinburgh Festival shows, Watson at 30 is fast becoming one of our most inventive and entertaining observational stand-ups – I’d strongly recommend catching him when he’s back in Brighton at The Dome on 20 October (tickets are available at http://www.brightondome.org/)

You’ll also find more on Mark at www.markwatsonthecomedian.com and book tickets for comedy for just a fiver at www.fivepoundfringe.com

Leave a comment

Filed under reviews

Signs that made me smile

An occasional series – daft signs pictured on my travels …

Sometimes fruit and vegetable shop owners get a bit confused ...

Loved this one from Horse Guards Parade in Whitehall, London. It's the combination of a rather British threat warning ("Danger! You may be about to be attacked!") with everyday politeness ("Thank you - do carry on with your business"). Classic.

Leave a comment

Filed under musings

Jus’ Like That – Tommy Cooper show does the trick

The Hawth, Crawley: Jus’ Like That with Clive Mantle and Carla Mendonca

It took a while to get the audience going in this warm-hearted tribute show to comedy legend Tommy Cooper, but by the end Clive Mantle had them where he wanted them – laughing uproariously.

Clive Mantle as Tommy Cooper

Mantle is best known for his role as Simon Horton in The Vicar of Dibley, as well as regular appearance sin Casualty and Holby City.

When he first walked on, after the usual ‘business’ finding his way through the timeless red velvet curtain, my first reaction to his take on the bumbling conjuror was ‘that’s not him’. But by the end of the show, I was simply watching Tommy.

The mannerisms, the bumbling patter, those sudden elegant balletic gestures, and that infectious chuckle were all spot on and reminded us of a character who really didn’t need to do much to get a laugh – he simply was funny in himself.

Part one of the show was Tommy’s stage act, complete with highly skilled tricks made to look fluffed (Mantle was coached by magician Geoffrey Durham, aka The Great Soprendo), the usual stream of daft one-liners (including a few pinched rather knowingly from contemporary stand-up Tim Vine) and constant whispered conversations with backstage staff.

After the interval, Mantle and Carla Mendonca (playing his mistress and stage manager Mary) took us backstage to get an insight into the tears of a clown: the often lugubrious Cooper with a drink problem and a handful of pills to get him through. Post war he was doing 52 shows a week at The Windmill Theatre but still suffered with terrible stage fright.

His final appearance – a live TV show entitled Live From Her Majesty’s – was re-enacted (Cooper died from a heart attack in the middle of his act) and the final section had a bemused but Tommy arriving in heaven clad in a white tuxedo for a playful finale around a white piano with Carla Mendonca as his angelic accompanist.

It’s a great show (written by John Fisher and directed by Patrick Ryecart) that recaptures both the magic of one of Britain’s legendary funny men – and the price he had to pay to achieve it. See it.

Jus’ Like That is touring all over the UK until mid-June, including Worthing Pavilion on 21 May. Full details are at http://juslikethat.co.uk

Leave a comment

Filed under reviews