Eric Mutch: I broke my ankle but not my spirit

Just finished a run of 3 preview shows at Exeter Fringe Festival.

I have had a fantastic time, what a journey!!

Went through the usual “feeling like an outsider”, “I don’t fit in here” b*ll*cks, at the beginning. Played the first show to 7 people, didn’t think it went well, forgot to start the camcorder as well, so couldnt evaluate it properly after either.

2 people really enjoyed it and bought me a drink and chatted away for a good hour in the bar afterwards. They were pharmacists and came partly expecting to see a “real” schizophrenic, who just hadn’t taken his medication for a few days and was experimenting to see what happens.

Great feedback from them, wanting me to be “even more mad”.

Of the other 5 I’d say 2 of them half enjoyed it, and their feedback was “be even more vulnerable, because you’re funnier when you’re like that”

2 others just looked perplexed, and finally there was, sat in the centre of the front row, the most critical looking person I have seen in a long long while, giving me daggers whenever I looked at her. I’d say she probably hated it…..and me.

The next day, feeling very low on confidence before I went on, I produced the best show I have ever done. A show that means I am now ready for Edinburgh, absolutely ready to storm it!!

Then the “piece de resistance”……………..I broke my ankle, 5 minutes before the start of the third and final show of the run.

I did it in my warm up,  dancing up and down 4 flights of steps at the back of the stage….backwards.

I went over on it a full 90 degrees, heard a loud pop, and promptly had a purple melon sized ball grow before my very eyes, on the side of my left ankle.

What a fool. I still did the whole 1 hour show though, sat centre stage, leg up on a chair, with ice pack attached. The show was great again, very well received, one woman admitted later that she actually wet herself a bit while laughing.

I then shot off to A&E to discover it wasn’t actually broken, just very badly sprained, but I couldn’t walk on it and the train journey home the next day, was a nightmare.

Still can’t walk now 3 days later, but it wont stop me, you see I know magic, and I can guarantee, not only will I be at Edinburgh, but I will have fully recovered, and if you want to know what magic did it, come see the show and ask me.


PS one of the “perplexed” audience members at the first show, came up to me after the third show ( yes she’d come back to see me again ) to tell me ” I want to apologise, but when I come to the theatre I usually look very serious and therefore critical, but I really enjoyed the first show and you were great again tonight” 🙂

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