Posts tagged ‘USA’

October 2, 2018

Allusionist autumn 2018 tour


It’s been an unusual few months for me. I’ll tell you all about it sometime, BUT there’s no time right now, because the Allusionist live tour is under way in the US and Canada!

Q: What is the Allusionist live show?
A: It’s a fun 60-75 minutes of language-related entertainment, with absolutely excellent musical accompaniment from Martin Austwick. (Plus, as you can see from these pictures, it’s a visually thrilling experience. I’m hiding my light under a bushel, making audio.)

Q: OK, but what’s it about?
A: Many things, including sedentary champions, political rebellion through foodstuffs, and some rotten portmantNOs.

Q: Can I stay at home and hear it on the podcast?
A: Most of it is new material, tailored just for the live experience, which I might never release on the podcast. This may be your only chance!

Q: Is it suitable for children?
A: There are a few swears in it, but overall, I think yes? My niecephews, aged 10, 11 and 12, saw it and enjoyed it (they are not particular fans of my work and the family tends to be critical, so they’re not biased in my favour). However, check with the venue in question whether they allow under-21s.

Q: Will it help me escape hell for a while?
A: Yes, yes it will.

Q: When and where can I see the show?
3 October: Sleeping Village, Chicago. IE tomorrow! Hurry! Click here for tickets.
9 October: The North Door, Austin. We arranged the tour schedule around making it to Austin before the end of bat season. Click here for tickets.
12 October: the Miracle Theater, Washington DC. Click here for tickets.
17 October: Johnny Brenda’s, Philadelphia. Click here for tickets.
20 October: the Bell House, Brooklyn. Click here for tickets.
24 October: Arts at the Armory, Somerville, MA. Click here for tickets.
4 November: Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema, Toronto. Part of the Hot Docs Podcast Festival, which looks pretty great. Click here for tickets.
6 November: the Vera Project, Seattle. Where better to escape the midterms for an hour or so? Click here for tickets.
8 November: Mississippi Studios, Portland. Click here for tickets.
10 November: Rio Theatre, Vancouver, as part of the Vancouver Podcast Festival. Click here for schedule and tickets.
13 November: Bootleg Theater, Los Angeles. With a wonderful performance from a Special Guest that you should not miss. Click here for tickets.
16 November: St Paul MN. Click here for tickets.

(Little tip: if the booking fees seem A Bit Much, try calling the venue to buy tickets instead.)

All events I do are listed at, so if you’re finding it a bit sleepy over on this website, check there.

Photos by Baraduin Briggs at Allusionist Live at SF Sketchfest, January 2018.

October 16, 2012

In defence of Utah

“Why do you want to go to Utah?” said the scornful man at the immigration desk at San Francisco Airport.

“What are you going to Utah for? Just go straight to Vegas and have some fun instead,” said the lady at the alien-themed diner in the middle of nowhere, Nevada.

“Isn’t it all Mormons?” said everybody else, derisively.

I can’t vouch for Utah’s Mormon content, because I didn’t really encounter any*. I haven’t been to Salt Lake City or environs, and I understand that is that is where most of them congregate. If forced to stereotype the Utahns I did meet, they could either be categorised as dreamcatcher-manufacturers, or extreme sports enthusiasts.

My husband and I have twice visited America’s tenth least densely populated state. The second time was this Easter, and the first on our honeymoon last year, a 3,500-mile road trip from southern California to the Pacific Northwest via as many national parks as we could handle.

Through deserts, beaches, rainforests, mountain ranges, calderas, cities, we saw many incredible things – an Eccles cake the size of a dinner plate; a hot-tubs-and-taxidermy-themed motel; London Bridge; a Bavarian themed town wherein lived 5,000 nutcrackers; the menacing glint of cops bearing speeding tickets, twice. But out of a catalogue of wonder, it was Utah that really smacked us in the face and left us reeling.

We knew it would be quite something before we even got there. Eating supper on the south rim of the Grand Canyon, our weary waiter, Eric, said, “This place is alright, I guess…”

[Fig.1: Grand Canyon. S’alright. Inoffensive. Humdrum.]

“…but Utah, Utah is really beautiful. You gotta go to Arches and Canyonlands. My wife and I used to go hiking there all the time.”

Cool! We’re going there in three days’ time.

“But my favourite place is Dead Horse Point. It’s amazing. I scattered my wife’s ashes there last year.”


“Which one of you was having the soup?”

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