A thought popped into my mind the other day and it amused me: it was the idea of Tim Minchin being the Hansel character in the famous fairy tale 'Hansel and Gretel', in the sense of him laying a trail of breadcrumbs (or pebbles) for me to follow. In the early part of the story, the trail of pebbles leads the children from attempted abandonment in the wood to safety whereas the trail of breadcrumbs subsequently fails because it is eaten by birds (and it's after that, while lost in the woods, that they become trapped by the witch in the gingerbread house). Granted, the analogy isn't all that great, but 'following a trail of breadcrumbs' has become a well-enough known image in its own right, denoting the attractiveness of some kind of a treat leading you from one morsel to the next, and so on. Certainly the Tim Minchin trail I've been following has led to many wonderful and magical things, some of them away from home and some of them initially scarey.
. . . . . .First and foremost along the trail I discovered the wonderful Duke Special. I found my countryman Duke while trawling through all the Minchin clips I could find on Youtube. The clip in question features a duet by Duke and Tim of the fabulous Duke song 'Our Love goes deeper than this'. Since making this discovery I have bought lots of Duke's music on itunes and have managed to see him playing live at the Shaw Theatre, performing his 'Silent world of Hector Mann' and 'Mother Courage' material. It was fab!. . . . .
. . . . . Further along the path, I made some lovely new friends - Jooles, Emma & Vikki (I first met all 3 of these, and other friendly 'Angry Feeters', at the Australian film festival - attended because Tim was introducing the 2 films that evening). . . . . .
. . . . . And, just round the corner, that same day at the Barbican, I found the beguiling and enchanting art installation in the Curve, featuring free-flying finches plucking electric guitars. . . . .
. . . . . . . On we go, and next I found Mark Watson (discovered because Tim had been involved in 'Mark Watson Makes the World Substantially Better' in the 1st series (made for radio 4) - so I bought the audiobook of that series online, to listen to Tim's bits, and then started following Mark himself on twitter, reading his blog and finally - very significantly - became drawn in to the whole TYSIC thing!) This has in turn influenced the routes I've been exploring, leading me into even more interesting territories . . . . .
. . . . . . Tim next led me to the Big Libel Gig and there I discovered just how good Marcus Brigstock is as a stand-up (I definitely hope to see him do a full-length gig someday and (although less of a surprise) I also re-confirmed that Dara O'Briain is one of my favourite stand-ups (I've now booked to see him in September). In fact, the Big Libel Gig was a big turning point in many ways, showing me that going to live stand-up comedy shows - something I hadn't done for years, if ever, was something I really enjoyed and wanted to do more . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . Along the road, some considerable distance away, I discovered 'The Hay Festival'. As with all the stops along this trail, Tim was the 'draw', but once more the side-benefits were terrific. Not only did it involve my lovely new friends Emma and Vikki, the event itself was a revelation! Having seen the pleasures to be had, I'm definitely planning to go back next year - hopefully with my husband this time - and to stay longer so that we can go to lots of the talks and events, and explore the town and surrounding area a bit more. . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . Continuing down the Timmy-trail, the next 'find' was at the Reprieve gig when Tim was headlining. My favourite side-benefit that night was getting to see Phil Jupitus doing stand-up (and singing!): I'd only previously seen his TV panel-game work. He was terrific - another I'd like to see do a full-length show. His accompanying group of acapella singers called (I think) 'The La de Das' were also fantastic!. . . . .
. . . . .And so we reach the current 'trail-head', a spot to which Tim's tweeted plugs, and my new friends' encouragement took me - reached after travelling way down south, alone by tube and through the streets of Stockwell, to find a bit of back-room comedy and small-venue music in a pub: 'The Junior Ministers' . . . . . . and Jukebox Collective. . . . . . Excellent stuff - made all the more enjoyable by further friendly mingling with new friends, many of them now twitter-mates. . . . . . .
. . . . . . .No idea where I'm heading next - looking forward to spotting the next bread-crumb, whenever and where-ever it may appear.