Left Bournemouth and said goodbye to Cheryl. Here we are: me, Cheryl, Bagel and Rob:


And after a long drive, where I pretty much slept the whole way and left Coops to smoke fags and hum, we arrived in Nottingham yesterday afternoon. None of us had had more than a few hours’ sleep the night before, so crew energy was quite low.

The show, however, was great: best so far. The differences would only be noted by those of us who know the show well: even a night that might seem a little flat to me (audiences differ geographically; different weeknights bring in different moods and levels of rowdiness; my own level of concentration, enjoyment and energy will naturally fluctuate) will hopefully be enjoyed by the audience to roughly the same extent as a night I think was a triumph. But last night felt very good, and the response at the end was amazing. I hope tonight will have a similar feel: the set-out of the auditorium means it’s tricky for people to get up on stage quickly. The danger is in such places that the overall pace can slip a bit if we’re having to routinely wait for people to get up on stage. In the Royal Concert Hall where I’m playing, it can take people two minutes to get down from upstairs – these are the things I have to check before the performance starts. Two minutes is an eternity to wait during a show. There are times when such a wait holds: there’s a lot that has to be balanced to keep the spirit of the show bouncing along in all the right places, and for the darker, slower sequences to not feel interminable.

The people after the show were as lovely as ever: the stage door at the RCH opens into the street, so this is one venue where there’s a tendency for signings to last for hours as passers-by attach themselves to the outer reaches of the friendly gathered crowd. I had to be a little more hurried than usual last night as we had to make a dinner reservation, but thank you all of you who gathered there, and apologies again that I was rushed.

It’s a rainy morning in Nottingham, and having packed nothing suitable for wet weather, I may have to postpone the bits of shopping I need to do for myself and the show. Yesterday managed to make it to Debenhams here before early Sunday closing: just in time to have a very sweet member of staff at the till recognise me in a blushy, lovely way, while I knew I had to then pay for a bunch of pants I’d just bought. I considered just stealing them to avoid the embarrassment, but imagine the scandal if I was caught. Like a cheap Winona Ryder. At least she’d have been caught in House of Fraser.