The Freewheeling John Dowie

By John Dowie

A memoir about cycling and stand-up comedy

Monday, 15 August 2016

Update Four

The unimaginable (to me, anyway) has happened. Thanks to old mate David Olrod I have been dragged, blushing and simpering, into the 21st Century and the world of social media, i.e., Twitter (which I quite like) and Facebook (not so keen). Old friends have sprung from the Facebook woodwork, not the least of whom is musician Jim Bates, former drummer in my "comedy rock band" the Big Girls Blouse, and the only musician to have ever reduced me to helpless giggles. We were onstage at The Melkweg Theatre in Amsterdam, performing a show in collaboration with Al Beach, Geoff Amos and Tim Seely, members of 1970's performance arts group John Bull Puncture Repair Kit. The show was badly conceived, poorly written and under rehearsed, its performance not helped by some members of the cast (all right, me) having overindulged in some of Amsterdam's herbal offerings. As I stood on stage, dreamingly drinking in the audience’s baffled silence, it suddenly occurred to me that I was meant to be off it (the stage, not my face). Indeed, a glowering Al Beach was standing in the wings, hissing instructions to me to that very effect. There had been a rehearsed cue I was meant to say at this point, but darned if I could remember what it was. Instead, I ad-libbed something brilliant along the lines of, “I think I’ll go and have a shower now”, then wandered off, passing Jim at his drum kit and hearing him say (in a voice that only I could hear), “Don’t take all the hot water.”

Thanks for the memory, Jim. One of many. All lovely.






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Shirley Brown
 Shirley Brown says:

Ah the wonderful Melkweg, where many years ago the audience were allowed to smoke during the performances. While presenting his one-man show Kemp's Jig there in the 1970s, my friend Chris Harris found the smoke distracting, so when the interval came, he asked the full-house audience if they would mind not smoking during the second half. Only one person came back to see the rest of the show. Unfazed, Chris adapted his performance to suit - and took the chap out for dinner afterwards.

posted 17th August 2016

John Dowie
 John Dowie says:

Another gig never to be forgotten. Thanks for that. JD

posted 17th August 2016

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