the dum show

Yesterday, I came across a short listing in The Stage from 13th August 1992. Here it is:

That’s quite the line-up, even as early as 1992. They performed the dum show at The Pleasance. It looks like they did at least one preview at the beginning of the month too (I’m sure they did more).

Surrey Herald – Thursday 30 July 1992

Here’s a review of the show, which I suspect has been written solely in service of the shit pun at the end.

Dundee Courier – Wednesday 02 September 1992

The only other mention of the show I can find is this entry from Richard Herring’s History section.

I made my first return to Edinburgh for four years to appear in a sketch show called “the dum show”. The cast was me, Stew, Simon Munnery, Patrick Marber and Steve Coogan. My God, it should have been brilliant. But we argued a lot about what should go in and who should play what (I think Patrick thought he should play everything!) At a time when my confidence in performing was very low, Patrick’s criticism of my acting was very depressing. I really thought the show could have worked and we’d written some great sketches (including one about a club for people called Ian) but we all essentially gave up on it and Stew (particularly) fell out with Patrick.
Late in the run a TV producer came and was keen to make it into a TV show. Suddenly Patrick decided the show was a great idea. But it was too late. Coogan won the Perrier with his other show, directed by Marber. Patrick got all the things he wanted.

And this, from Simon Munnery, as he reminisces in the Guardian.

It was 1992, I was in [sketch troupe] The Dum Show and it was truly awful. It was Stewart Lee and Richard Herring, Patrick Marber and Steve Coogan, and me. The plan was to meet every day for breakfast to try to improve the show. On this particular morning at breakfast in the cafe there was just me, Marber and Coogan. Suddenly Steve flopped over, planting his face in his porridge; me and Marber laughed. It seemed a wonderful piece of clowning, a physical embodiment of how we all felt, but he wasn’t joking, he was having a heart attack. We were going to call an ambulance, but my car – a Cortina Crusader – was outside and that was the quicker option, so I drove to the hospital. I went the wrong way down a one-way street just to get him there, risking all our lives and those of others. After we’d dropped him off and returned to the flat we had trouble convincing Lee and Herring what had happened because we couldn’t stop laughing. Post-traumatic laughing disorder. That night we waited in the Pleasance Courtyard unsure if he would turn up for the show; he arrived in a taxi and we all cheered.

The Guardian
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