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All Art Fiesta
Brighton, UK
Sep 11, 2006

Duncan will be providing ten minutes of craziness as part of a larger set of varied acts at The Prince Albert, 48 Trafalgar Street, Brighton. The show starts at 8:00 pm.

The Prince Albert on MySpace

It's a Monday night.

Post Vitam

When I started to perform, there were about forty people in the small upstairs function room. Apart from me and The Naked Poet, all of the other performers were musicians. There were a lot of ripped cargo pants and dreddlocks in the room and several people were quite drunk. Two bands had performed before me: first an Indie band led by a guy who looked like he spent far too much time preparing his hair and the second led by the organizer, the lovely Luka.

I spent the first five minutes on George Mathieson the Psycho Therapist. I quickly gained the attention of everyone in the audience. A singer-songwriter friend told me recently that I have a very powerful stage presence and I used this to distract people from their chatting and focus on me.

It took a while for people to realize that I was joking and many were beginning to believe that I really was a serial-killing psychopath. Mary, who was in stitches on the back seat of my car a few weeks ago when I was developing George's character, was getting some concerned looks from others when she laughed near the beginning of my apparently completely serious performance.

Mary later confirmed my own perception of my timing and delivery: they were very good. I produced a lot of witty improvisations and, though I don't think that the audience was out-of-control with laughter, there was a continual stream of chuckles.

I could feel the attention of several ladies in the audience, which I love; it seems as though I have them transfixed, their eyes staring unblinkingly at me. A friend of mine named Carol has told me that George is extremely powerful and attractive but also somehow menacing; that's not surprising since he is a psychopath.

During my performance of George, one very drunk man was saying things out loud; not really loud enough to be heckles, just the odd drunken repetition of what I was saying; it was a little irritating and soon one woman who was paying particular attention, a child-of-the-sixties, asked him to be quiet. George rewarded her by moving her to bottom of his hit-list.

George introduced Cranjit and I then came down from the stage and picked a lady to put a flower garland around my neck; I admired her hands and had her stroke my face. I then did Breasts and Money. I got quite a lot of laughs during this, improvised more than with George, and tried out some new ideas.

I was leaning forward and making intense eye contact with various people. The first band that had played was sitting nearest the stage. They had talked amongst each other all through the act that followed them and even completely ignored Luka's repeated requests, using the microphone, to borrow one of their guitars — hers was out of tune. Amazingly, I had managed to hold their attention through George and now, as Cranjit, I found myself making intense eye contact with a girl in their group; the others on that table were beginning to talk again.

A few moments later, that band decided to leave. In hindsight, I had heard their lead singer mentioning at the beginning of the evening, as if talking to himself sarcastically, that The Naked Poet was worth staying to see; perhaps they left before being embarrassed by him stripping off; I subsequently discovered that he would perform after me.

It was quite a challenge for me to be in the middle of a performance and have five people walk out. I think that I handled it quite well by telling them that they were forfeiting heaven, which generated some laughs.

I was doing Cranjit for perhaps five minutes and the last couple of minutes were not as good as they might have been. I suspected that with Cranjit I overdid the sexual aspect a little bit; I think that I was overacting to the people who left. I also think that I was a little bit too intense; I could benefit from giving people a break by stepping back onto the stage and creating a contrast of very loud, shrill intensity, and deep, quiet contemplation.

I spoke with some people afterwards. One woman said that my performance was good and that it was a change from the usual stand-up routines of men talking about masturbation. Another couple of ladies thought that I was funny but that I had pushed the sexual aspect a little bit too far, as I had suspected.

I found it to be an amazing experience and I'm really grateful to Luka for booking me and for encouraging me.


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