Tuesday, June 16, 2009

How I Started To Smoke Again

Cherrypie interviews John Gordillo - He's Single, Y'Know

He's Perrier Award-nominated. He was Eddie Izzard's director and has recently worked with Reginald D. Hunter. He's also standing before me, bare-chested, ironing his shirt.

"Fuckonomics -
that's the title of my new show." Steam dampens the perfectly placed hairs on his chest. I'm rendered dumb. John expounds. "It's about the economics of sex. The whole thing can be analogised by applying certain economic principles. It's an utterly cynical review of a relationship that had disintegrated to little more than a crude bartering system. It's my way of understanding how it fell apart."

I sit down, rather too hastily, like my legs have just buckled beneath me. I remain silent hoping the loud shouts of ‘He’s Single’ stay in my head.

“No matter how much I tried to convince myself that it’s all about intellectual, spiritual, altruistic connections, ultimately it boils down to where I get to stick my dick. It’s me trying to figure out why I lack definition. It’s also about pornography, and my use of porn which is another thing entirely.”

He puts down the iron and aims his deep blue Spanish eyes straight at me. He’s Single. I swallow. Then remember how to speak. I ask him about his return to stand-up after a six year break.

“I started as a comedian in 1996, then left the circuit to host and co-create The Recommended Daily Allowance - RDA, a nightly comedy/talk show for BBC Choice. It infatuated and infuriated BBC bosses in equal measure, and ran until the channel rebranded as BBC Three. I was also directing countless live shows, including Reginald D. Hunter, Ealing Live! and I directed/produced and edited Eddie Izzard’s Unrepeatable and Live At The Ambassadors shows. I did some less interesting stuff for the Beeb, ITV and Channel 4 too.” Right now his hand running through his thick black hair has captured my interest.

John found his way back to the circuit in 2006 and performed his debut solo show, Free John Gordillo at the Edinburgh Free Fringe in 2007 with one five-star reviewer saying: “The most expensive comedy this year is Ricky Gervais at £37.50. I can honestly say John Gordillo is of the same calibre and he’s free.”

“It was well received and I enjoyed doing it but it wasn’t joined up.” The following year Divide and Conga became one of the most acclaimed shows of Edinburgh 2008, receiving four and five star reviews across the board. I witnessed its first ever performance in a dim club in Scarborough (I’d forgotten the stage lights and had to improvise with a couple of Tesco torches). I’d been struck by his easy intelligence, articulation, broad shoulders, chiselled jaw…

“I really wrestled with that show. There was a serious part in the middle of it that I was struggling with but I needed it to bring the two concepts of the show together. Once I managed to filter out my ego, it all came together.” Yes. Yes, John.

Gordillo is an inspiration, a consummate performer with an amazing talent, passion and intellect. If you are after cheap, silly laughs avoid, but if you want intelligent, moving comedy with a point, then you cannot afford to miss it – Chortle - *****

Superlative. Wonderfully intelligent and insightful – Time Out *****

Brilliant. Heartfelt and hilarious…he’s dynamite – The Times *****

Fit as Fuckonomics – Cherrypie 2009 xxxxx