1PM Tuesday 12 November 2013 Nunhead Heights
John Fleming, the comedy blogger, sent me an interesting link this morning.
The Daily Telegraph critic Dominic Cavendish stormed out of Stewart Lee’s new show ‘Much A-Stew About Nothing’ at the Leicester Square Theatre (where I play Sundays in ‘Lewis Schaffer: American in London).
How could you walk out on Stewart Lee?
No matter how poorly you thought it was going, no matter how horrific Stewart was being, wouldn’t you want to see how it turned out?
Isn’t it Dominic Cavendish’s job, as a critic and/or reviewer, to report what happens at the show? How could he do that if he walked out halfway?
Maybe Stewart Lee wasn’t having a bad gig?
Maybe it was one big wind up? Maybe it was Stewart Lee’s way of getting motivated for the second half or having the first half as a set up for the second half? Maybe it was just a blip? Maybe he wanted the Telegraph to leave and Dominic took the bait? (Maybe I should stop making statements in the form of questions?)
We will never know.
We will never know because Dominic (and I call him Dominic even though I’ve met him only once and he has never reviewed any of my shows) had a hissy-fit and walked out and wrote about it in The Telegraph.
I took Dominic’s walkout to heart.
Most of my really bad reviews come from people who have walked out halfway – and almost all of my best reviews come from people who stayed to the end of shows where people who have walked out. You can read them here on Time Out.
I can understand how my audience could walk out of my shows, especially at my Free until Famous shows at the Source Below – Tuesdays and Wednesdays in Soho.
I am not famous. They don’t know me. They haven’t heard of me. They don’t know what I do. They can be excused for thinking that the second half will be as dire, shambolic, or awkward as the first and do a runner.
But Stewart Lee?
How can you walk out of Stewart Lee’s show?
His shows are like Christmas dinners. The turkey may be overcooked but you stay til the pudding has been eaten. And it is the company you go for.
See the video of me at the Bloomsbury Theatre – 7 minutes – with a bit of Stewart Lee. Remember, it is a video and only slightly captures our comedy essences.