Books I’d forgotten I was going to see Dave Gorman read from his new book 'Are you Dave Gorman?' tonight. Or rather I’d forgotten until yesterday, when I remembered. As always when deciding these things, I have to weigh up whether its worth staying late in Manchester in the knowledge that I won’t be home by ten o’clock, and I’ve been trepidatious about visiting these Waterstones readings in the past – but I decided that as this was a personality I was onto a good thing.
The arts section had been done out in flimsy plastic chairs for occasion. The room filled and eventually a man looking for all the worlds like the ‘It’s…’ character in Monty Python approached from the side and spoke in a voice entirely familiar to fans of Droopy: “Thank you for coming to this reading at Waterstones. Tonight we have Dave Gorman and his friend Danny Wallace reading from their book. So let’s welcome Dave Gorman and Danny Wallace.”
There is something about almost famous people in person. They’re not larger than life characters to begin with, and so when you meet them, it’s a bit like seeing someone at a party. And so it went. Strangely Danny Wallace (who sat silently during the TV series) had as much to say as Dave Gorman, perhaps making up for lost time. Luckily, they are both automatically funny and so were able to paper over cracks in the presentation.
We were aware from the beginning that Dave would not be doing stand-up – he really would be reading from a book. Amusingly, the audience got to choose between the actual book, a DIY handbook and a book about Heraldry. Luckily for them we chose their book (it would have taken a Herculean moment for anything else) and the two set about reading.
The first section dealt with their first meeting and subsequently how the bet began. For those not in the know, this consisted of Gorman betting Wallace that he could find fifty-four Dave Gormans, including the jokers. A fool task, entirely paid for on a credit card, but instant material for the comedian. Both were clear readers, Gorman’s writing in particular mirroring his stand-up delivery. Wallace’s words exude his obvious journalistic background. The second section, chosen at random spoke of the Israeli Dave Gorman – somewhat prescient.
As if to prove that you can’t get away from anything in the Q&A section, the mood darkened as someone asked why Gorman had cancelled a gig at The Lowery Gallery. It was because he was flying to New York for a six week run in an off-off-Broadway theatre in the seclusion zone....