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Henry Blofeld On His New Show With John Bly

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When I played in the Edinburgh Festival for the first time last year with my one-man show, ’An Evening With Blowers’ I was a little bit on edge. I had heard so much about the Fringe without ever expecting to be a part of it and yet here I was. Unfortunately I got off to a bad start. I left a suit and a coat in the luggage rack on the train from London which continued on its energetic way to Glasgow. Something approaching a dozen telephone calls to the appropriate authorities in Glasgow produced an astonishing, constant and consistent bureaucratic jobs worth’s disinclination to attempt to track down the blessed garments. So I arrived naked in more than one sense!!

But that was the last item on the debit side of the ledger. For three days I had the most wonderful time. I played two shows at around lunchtime at the IECC, a wonderfully organised theatre. I enjoyed my shows hugely. I told a couple of marginal Noel Coward stories and one distinctly naughty piece of Coward verse and the audience loved it- at least they didn’t throw things at me. I have regrettably to say they were not the biggest audiences of my life but we all have to start somewhere and we got along a treat. The George Hotel proved to be an exemplary watering hole as well as good basis for operations. I was able to take in two or three other shows in the evenings which was great.

This year I am thrilled to bits to have been asked back to perform the two-man show John Bly and I have put together. The Antiques RoadShow and Test Match Special have formed a happy and highly amusing coalition - which seems to be the word of the moment. The shows are virtually adlibbed and both of us bring in many wonderful stories about the above two shows - and one or two are delightfully and unthinkingly on the edge! As the title says, we are: Blowers and Bly - Bald, Bold and Belligerent, nothing is too sacred to avoid our eagle eyes, or maybe I should say our talons! Political correctness and our old friends ‘Elf an Safety’ don’t half get a bloody nose. Also, Blowers and Bly are constantly and irreverently taking the piss out of each other. But as he’s only knee-high to a grasshopper I have to be kind to him when he is not wearing the shoes with the inflatable soles. In fact John shines as a fountain of knowledge in the seventy minutes of our three shows on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings at 7.40pm at the IECC, where it is terrific to be back and I can’t wait to meet all my old friends again. Our packed (I hope) audiences will leave wiser people than they were when they entered the auditorium. And, believe it or not, I have got one or two new stories tucked up my sleeve. What fun it will be to be back.


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