Culture Magazine

An Average Day with Red Bastard, Rants & a Girl with Crisp Packets on Her Breasts

By Thejohnfleming @thejohnfleming
Adam Taffler in Square this week

Red showman Adam Taffler in Soho Square

Yesterday morning, I got an email from showman Adam Taffler aka Adam Oliver aka Adamotions, whose slogan is Cultivating Hilarity and Humanity. He is promoting Red Bastard’s current appearances at the Pleasance Theatre in London. Red Bastard’s shows involve a lot of audience participation and daring the audience to do what they really want to do.

“Tickets are selling faster than chihuahuas in Miami,” Adam told me.

I have no idea what this means, but it sounds unsettlingly sexual. Perhaps it is best not to know some things.

Bob Slayer, a Red Bastard cut-out and Zuma Puma this week

Red Bastard oddly impersonates Bob Slayer with Zuma Puma

“In attendance last night,” Adam continued, “were some of the MalcolmHardeearti – most notaby the Bob Slayer monster who sat next to someone who told Red Bastard he wanted to stop drinking but did not love himself enough. Bob did not like that too much.

“After the show Bob and I went to the train station together arguing about different producing models (in a friendly manner). Arguing with Bob is difficult as, any time you try to say something, he cuts you off and says But you haven’t listened to what I said, before ranting on some more.”

In 2011 I presented Bob with his Malcolm Hardee Award

A 2011 discussion with Bob Slayer (left) about him winning one of my increasingly prestigious Malcolm Hardee Awards

Having been the object of some Bob Slayer rants, I know this to be true. If you want to see fireworks, do not wait until 5th November, just say to Bob Slayer - I think the big pay venues at the Edinburgh Fringe are often unfairly criticised. They have to pay their overheads and they are themselves being screwed by Edinburgh University - then stand well back and have some tea and biscuits ready while he has a lengthy rant.

“Last night,” Adam continued, “we met a couple of girls at the station who had been at the show (one of whom told Red Bastard she wanted to be the president of Ukraine and got a round of applause for it). They got on a train with Bob and a handful of ‘dare cards’ from Red Bastard. They must have had an interesting journey home.”

Last night in my own life (if you can call it that), I went to a one-off Doodle-a-thon-edy show at Goldsmiths College, which was billed as “a mad and unique fusion of comedy, doodling, clowning, theater and alcohol”.

The girl with crisp packets on her breasts

The girl who had crisp packets on her breasts

It was hosted by Phil Kay (so was guaranteed to be an unrepeatable one-off) and paper plates and pens were handed out on entry so the audience could draw the show on their plates (or on themselves or on the girl with crisp packets on her breasts) as it went along – all of this while Peter Morey, The Live Scriber, did his increasingly widespread thing of drawing the show’s highlights on a giant white sheet of paper.

I understand Peter is going to be artist-in-residence at Bob Slayer’s new Bookshop venue at the Edinburgh Fringe (as well as roaming round drawing other live shows).

The results of last night’s show – drawn and photographic – are going to be posted on The Live Scriber’s Facebook page.

My plate - yours at a reasonable rate

My paper plate – yours to buy for a mere £573.84p upwards

My own paper plate is available for purchase at bids starting at over £573.84p.

I have to live and Mars Bars are not getting any cheaper.

When I got home after the show last night, there were two emails waiting for me from Anna Smith, this blog’s occasional Canadian correspondent.

She updated me on Arty The Clown, about whom I perhaps foolishly asked.

Arty sports a bow tie in Vancouver

Arty sports a bow tie and vocation for jestering

“I usually just bump into him while shopping,” she told me, “and when I am exhausted. His story involves his twin brothers, a car accident and head injuries to both him and a brother. His father maybe has dementia and the whole family is infuriated that Arty insists on continuing with his vocation of being a jester. Arty also produces ink drawings outside of the Vancouver Aquarium most days. He wonders why people have to be so critical about the way he dresses. He often wears his underwear on top of his trousers.”

I was slightly confused by this message, but I realised confusion is comparative when I read Anna’s second message:

Anna Smith in the Vancouver bookshop

Self-effacing Anna Smith Vancouver bookshop

“I have been unpacking a hellish amount of mostly junk from cardboard boxes,” it started. She continued: “I found a picture (which she did not include) of my last actual performance doing comedy. It was a benefit performance at the student union building for The Global Association Against Traffic in Women, I did a character called Simone de Boudoir.

“The funds raised were used to return a young Russian woman (who had answered a lonely hearts ad and ended up ensnared by a deranged farmer on a farm in the wilderness outside of Prince George, which is in itself a kind of wilderness) back to Saint Petersburg in Russia. The benefit also paid for her cat (which she had acquired in Canada) to fly back to Russia and it cost nearly as much to send the cat as it did to send her.”

Anna is currently working at a bookshop in Vancouver.

“The book store continues in its erratic way,” she told me. “A sixty year old man was looking for Joan Collins for his decrepit Chileans just off the boat from Yokohama.”

I have no idea what any of that means.

But I refer you to my earlier comment.

Perhaps it is best not to know some things.


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