Sunday, 1 May 2011

Cancer status: Sodded

I'm still on a massive high after last night's magnificent benefit gig, and this is where the Oscar-style thanks come in. I've never been an Exec Producer before- I felt as if it was incumbent on me to swan around saying unhelpful things like 'Can we change this floor?'.

Firstly, if anyone can think of a better line-up than Kevin Eldon, Stephen Merchant, Justin Edwards, Adam Buxton, Shappi Khorsandi, David Armand and Mitchell and Webb, all held together by the incomparable compere Lucy Porter, I'd like to hear it. We were so lucky to get them; every act stormed. The fact that so many wonderful friends were in the audience no doubt helped with that, but that lot would have made the most grimly humourless of fun-haters bark with laughter.

And somehow, somehow, we managed to keep the surprise celebrity guests under wraps. The squeals of delight when Miranda Hart came on were only matched by what a friend of mine described as the 'Beatlemania' when Dermot O'Leary took to the stage. It was huge fun to be part of that final sketch, in my cameo appearance as Lady Gaga's blood-spattered murderer. Hint to anyone needing to write a gala-ending sketch is to ask the brilliant Toby Davies to write it with you.

All the volunteers and helpers on the day- from the Bloomsbury staff to the people our producers recruited- were cheerful and excited and wonderfully efficient. The tech finished EARLY- who ever heard of such a thing? Dan Cooper and Fran McNicoll made the best possible runners-for-a-day-slash-programme-sellers, (we only had a programme in the first place courtesy of the bargaining and design skills of Michelle Tuft and Joel Morris) Tracey Littlebury, Rob Swift and Ben Sneddon shook a mean bucket, and Francis O'Dea secured one of London's most glamorous and prestigious venues for aftershow drinks.

Above all, the calmly hyperefficient Beth Gorman, the unflappable Annelie Powell, and the huge-hearted and tireless Julia Raeside, who were undoubtedly the best producers this side of Bialystock and Bloom.

Jerome was an extraordinary man, and only an extraordinary evening would have done justice to him. Thanks to a load of kind, generous people giving up their time and talent, that's exactly what came to pass. The overwhelming sensation of the night was the goodness of people, whether performing for nowt, operating lights or sound, or digging into their pockets. We raised about a grand from programmes and donations, to add to twelve and a half raised on the marathon, a further 12 and counting from the auction, and over ten grand in ticket sales. The numbers make my head spin.

And any evening which includes wandering into a Green Room and discovering David Mitchell, Dermot O'Leary and Miranda Hart tucking into Domino's Pizza while discussing Angela Rippon has to be a good one, right?


Robert T said...

Congratulations Jon, what a triumph - and I'm gutted that, despite holding a ticket, I had to let someone else sit in *my* seat... and fyi, pretty much all Katie could talk about when she got home was the genius of the closing sketch, so doubley massive congrats. And, while I'm here, have you seen how much the Led Zep guitar is currently selling for? That's one up the arse to cancer, I can tell you. x

Miss Pear (taller freak) said...

Haven't laughed so much since West Ham beat Liverpool 3-1!

Seriously, everyone did themselves proud. So glad that everything went well and that so much has been raised thus far - good luck with the auction totals, too. We're aiming to get a report about the evening up on the forum ASAP so that people can read about if if they missed it - hopefully we can steer a few more donations your way, too.

With love and support, as always. xx

p.s. Re: final sketch - The mental picture painted of David in womens' clothes, writhing with a power tool will not leave my mind. No matter how many times I bang my head against the wall. I may require tranquillisers.

David said...

Happy birthday, fellow Gemini (afraid you're typical in your multifacetedness).

jondrytay said...

Thanks David! When are congratulations in order for you?

David said...

15th, since you ask...and thanks for the defence on the Site I Have Now Exiled To Outer Darkness (which still doesn't stop me peeking at it once every couple of days...)

Karla said...

It was a great night Jon!! I have FINALLY written and posted the photos on my blog:
Was so proud to have been apart of it x