|I Laughed, I Cried: Chortle Comedy Book Festival at Ealing Town Hall|
Comedian Viv Groskop performs on Tuesday 26th Nov
On the surface the book is a diary of 100 gigs in 100 consecutive nights. Not very far beneath the surface, it’s a not-so-slow-motion mid-life crisis. I was (and still am) a BBC Radio 4 arts reviewer (Front Row), literary editor (Red magazine) and journalist (Guardian, Observer). But what I really wanted to be was a stand-up. My mission took me to venues legendary and louche across the country. I was booed at the Comedy Store (where I lasted 52 seconds against the brutal Gong). I was cheered at Lily Savage’s alma mater The Royal Vauxhall Tavern. And I narrowly avoided injury after a close encounter with a razor at the Leicester Square Theatre. From Brighton, Broadstairs and Cambridge to Lincoln, Sheffield and Truro, plus dozens of open mic shows across London and the Home Counties and an unexpected 72 hours in Atlanta, Georgia, where I was hailed as the natural successor to Hyacinth Bucket, I laughed, I cried and I tried to figure out if I could cut it as a stand-up comic.
It’s the story of a painful, exhilarating and amazing time, told through the eyes of a jaded, confused but hopeful middle-aged woman with too many children (three) and an exasperated husband who despairs of his wife’s “directionless comedy binge.” I started stand-up because it was the childhood dream I’d been too scared to follow. I did the 100 gigs because I needed to know if I could actually do comedy. I wrote the book because when I wanted to change my life in my late thirties, I couldn’t find anything that talked about what it’s like to start all over again – and not know if you’re going to succeed or fail.
Most exciting thing? First time performing in Ealing Town Hall. Bring it on.
BBC Radio 4's Viv Groskop’s I Laughed, I Cried is at Ealing Town Hall at 9.30pm on Tuesday 26 Nov. Tickets £7. Book here: http://www.comedybookfest.com/#!viv-groskop/c1idg
21 November 2013