It's Groundhog Day all over again
Triumphant return; dates for January
Not a great start to the year. My first attempt to do a gig was stymied by the promoter totally failing to warn us that we would need Covid passports, meaning I wasted a couple of hours waiting outside in the cold for nothing. It’s not even that hard to set up the Covid passport app, I just never got round to it.
When I eventually did a gig, I made some unforced errors which stemmed from trying way too much new material at once. Oh well.
Upcoming dates I am doing stand-up
I’m taking next week off to have a long hard think about the hurtful things I’ve said. I’m going to see Stewart Lee (hoping it’ll be undisrupted by people angry about his lists) and Tim Dillon. But I do have some gigs for the second half of January.
Monday 17 January 7pm - Gap Tooth Comedy, Pimlico
Intimate room (so try to get there promptly to grab a seat); great set of acts the last time I did this.
The Constitution, 42 Churton St, London SW1V 2LP
BRINGER: Sunday 23 January 7:30pm (doors 6:30pm) - Sunday Shtick, Kentish Town
I haven’t done this before but I have done a different night at this venue, and it’s a nice room in a lovely pub. MC Craig Smalls will be good. This is a bringer so you know the drill - if you’re interested in coming to this, let me know in advance!
£2 to reserve a seat or free if you just chance it and show up.
Rose & Crown, 71-73 Torriano Ave, London NW5 2SG
Monday 24 January 7:30pm - Nice N Spiky, Islington
Downstairs at a nice pub, tasty food.
The Regent, 201 Liverpool Rd Islington, London N1 1LX
Thursday 27 January 8pm (doors 7pm) - Monkey Business, Camden
Looks like a good line-up. Venue has nice cocktails.
Tickets £7.50 from https://www.wegottickets.com/event/534313.
All About Eve, 31 Jamestown Road, NW1 7DB
Monday 31 January - Pegasus Comedy, Kentish Town(?)
Details TBC but I think it’s in the same pub as Sunday Shtick.
REMINDER: Double-check all the above venue addresses and times with the official site for the night, if you can find it.
Videogame recommendation corner
Time loops have been a big theme in entertainment over the last few years. There was a time loop novel, The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle. There have been time loop films like Edge of Tomorrow, Palm Springs, Boss Level and Free Guy (the latter not strictly a time loop, but time loop adjacent). And there have been time loop games like Deathloop, 12 Minutes and Outer Wilds. But the game The Forgotten City has maybe the best use of the time loop concept I’ve ever seen.
The set-up is that you’re someone from the modern day who gets trapped in a Roman city where everyone is cursed to obey the ‘Golden Rule’ - a range of sins, from killing to stealing to trespass, will result in everyone in the city being turned into a golden statue, like the statues which litter the city. As you play, you quickly find out what this has to do with the time loop, and more gradually find out the secrets behind each character and the city itself, while exploring morality (what exactly counts as a sin) and ancient mythology. Unusually for a videogame, the writing is excellent, so although it’s dialogue-heavy, that’s a delight, not a chore like it usually is.
Unlike most time loop fiction, looping doesn’t involve dying and waking up at the start of the day. If you die, it’s game over. The looping mechanic is different and original - I’m not going to spoil it, but it means you can keep all the possessions in your inventory through each loop. So once you find a key, or persuade someone to give it to you, you can keep it through subsequent loops, even though the rest of the world is reset through looping, which means that the original key is still out there somewhere in the world after you loop. Yes, this means that you can end up with multiple copies of each item if you pick them up on subsequent loops. This sounds like it could be confusing, but the game gives you clear objectives and steady progression. (I recommend disabling hints in settings, the puzzles are so well designed you don’t need them.)
You can play this on pretty much any current console. Even if you’re not a gamer, I urge you to try this. It’s easy to play for the most part, although later on there are a few combat and exploration elements where you will need some precision control. You could bully some nerd into playing the game for you while you tell them what to do.
Game of the year, 10/10.
Confidential to comedians