Fortean Times # (April ) · Fortean Times # (May ) · Fortean Times # (Special ) · Fortean Times # (June ). Fortean Times # (March ) · Fortean Times # (April ) · Fortean Times # (May ) · Fortean Times # (June ). Posts about Fortean Times written by Dr David Clarke. I’m bringing in with two new books and the cover story in Fortean Times in what should prove to.

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I was with Rochdale-born, L. She was off getting drinks that is what producers do when I was accosted by two people — a man and woman. The result was that he decided he wanted to become an actor.

They had not seen each other for around 15 years tijes then only for a few weeks and he had accosted me randomly as I passed at an Edinburgh 201 press launch to which Amanda Fleming no relation had also come.

As she was temporarily not in L. There is a trailer for Strictly Balti on youTube. Filed under CoincidenceComedy. Not an act I am likely to forget. She also runs Cabarera! He took ages to get to the stage. When we chatted, she was with Gemma Arrowsmith. I saw Ivan Brackenbury — Tom Binns — do everything decembet and I think it was seeing that which inspired me to do it myself. He was being Mary Quant for Cabarera! It was getting out of hand. So you can imagine what it was like by 32… VHSs, books, scripts, book tie-ins.

Getting things signed as well. So homeopathy comes fortwan for a few blows. We did a trilogy of shows in Edinburgh and Steve got me interested in science.

I did a video for a charity called Sense About Science and their Ask For Evidence campaign, which means, if anyone makes a bold claim, you should ask for evidence. They used to have annual UnConventions. Do you remember the supposed alien autopsy film? The newspapers had been talking to doctors for months to prove it was a fake.

Fortean Times flew over two movie special effects men from Hollywood who immediately explained how it had been faked. This show is all about two year-olds who are really into spoken word and hip-hop. At the moment, the other act is Richard Soames from the Beta Males.

That just happens so many times. Your goal should just be to make what you want decembr make and just keep getting out there and performing.

I got home after doing the Edinburgh show decdmber and decided, purely for fun, to record a few of the sketches in my living room with a budget of zero. So I decided I would take at least a year out just doing videos on YouTube. I started off doing some of the sketches from the show and then I started making new sketches specifically for YouTube. Both of us have had a break from Edinburgh and I feel like getting all the shit and throwing it all out there and seeing what comes of it.

I have always been a bit wary of ventriloquists. Ventriloquists are a bit like glove puppet performers. They are surely self-obsessed loonies. But I like eccentric and interesting people. And self-obsession, though it can sometimes be wearisome to sit through, can be fascinating. I only encountered that extraordinarily influential connoisseur of eccentricity and ringmaster of alternative theatrical eventism Ken Campbell a few times.

Malcolm admired Ken greatly, but found the show too rambling decemberr his taste and he needed a cigarette, so we left during the interval and never came back. I would have stayed. In a film, you only see the externals of a person and you can only get some semblance of psychological depth and what someone thinks if they actually spell it out in words. Another way of pulling the same trick, of course, would be to have as the central fortaen a ventriloquist who talks to their doll.


Ken Campbell inspired Nina to become a vent by simply giving her a Teach Yourself Ventriloquism kit and, as he did with so many other performers, continued to inspire and advise her throughout his life. The result is an absolutely amazingly insightful, highly intelligent and surprisingly emotional look at ventriloquists and at Nina herself. This is an astonishingly successful film with three possible endings, all of them on-screen. When I left the screening, three people were still crying and highly emotionally upset over I presume that earlier ending.

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Filed under ComedyPsychologyTheatreVentriloquism. The party in Shepherds Bush was quite noisy and I may have missed something; but I am writing this blog on 14th November and I suspect I would have noticed the end of the Universe if it had happened.

In the Spring ofhe had paid for ads in the London Timesthe Los Angeles Times and other newspapers worldwide.

They announced that Jesus Christ — or, more correctly, the Maitreya — was already walking the Earth and would telepathically reveal himself to the people of the world via television on 21st June Apparently he had been going to reveal his identity in the telepathic television broadcast.

Call me cynical, but I had thought there might be — just perhaps — some financial scam involved in this saga. He was an amiable, totally sane and clear-eyed middle-aged man with no particular financial axe to grind.

From memory, the talk was free. Benjamin came across as a kindly uncle trying to do his best although I was a little taken aback when he told us he was going to electrically charge us. His eyes went into a wide-eyed staring trance, he stretched both his arms out towards us with his all his fingers sharply pointing forwards and, standing erect, his body slowly moved in an arc round the room, the invisible power source presumably pulsing into each of us.

After he had helped us thus, his eyes returned to their amiable Uncle Benjamin state and, presumably, I was in a higher state of consciousness though, alas, too stupid to realise it.

Benjamin has occasionally given other dates for what I like to think of as the Second Coming of Christ. So far, this has not happened, though I live in hope of good news. The long-dead Mayan civilisation allegedly calculated the End of The World would take place on 21st December Filed under EccentricsReligionStrange phenomena. Last night, there was a very good line-up in the New Variety Lives!

On any other night, top-of-the-bill US comedian David Millsone of the smoothest new acts on the UK comedy circuit — indeed, he was New Act of the Year — would have been a difficult act to follow, but even a highly charismatic comedian is no competition for a leaping Jack Russell.

Jan Bondeson was plugging his new book Amazing Dogs: A Cabinet of Canine Curiosities and, if his book is anything like his one-hour lecture, it must be a cracker. We had tales of Rolf, the militaristically-inclined German dog who could discuss religion and philosophy but who, at the outbreak of World War One, demanded he should join the German Army despite the fact he was a Yorkshire terrier.

And even the Nazis took an interest in super-intelligent dogs.

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Filed under ComedyDogsStrange phenomenaTheatre. The forttean of me myself being killed by a pig falling on forteaj head are astronomically high. At least, I hope they are. But if, God forbid, I live until I am 80 or so it is fairly likely that, sometime during my lifetime, several people in different parts of the world will have been killed by a pig falling on their head.


Millions of little events happen every month to every person on the planet. Most of these millions of events are totally forgettable. But, if one unlikely 20122 or coincidence happens to you, you will remember it and the several-million-to-one chance of it happening will seem amazing but it is actually not unlikely given the millions of other times it did not happen. But it is not so amazing. I have read that, with the winds from the right directions, the waters in a tributary of the Red Sea, apparently, really do separate and it is possible, briefly, to literally walk across the sea bed from one side to the other.

Something which seems utterly impossible does happen naturally — though very very rarely. The odds against the Red Sea parting decemger so great as to be impossible. And it seems against Nature. What seemed tkmes becomes unlikely but possible. Filed under MoviesReligionStrange phenomenaTelevision. The percentage likelihood of strange things happening is almost always mis-quoted by the media.

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For example, the odds against any one specific person being killed by a pig falling on his or her head are VERY high. It is very unlikely ever happen to you yourself or to any specific, named individual. But the odds of some one person being killed by a falling pig somewhere in the world at any time during your lifetime are much lower. It is highly likely to happen. Shit happens all the time to everyone.

All sorts of unique, bizarre, seemingly impossible shit. Which brings me to comedy improvisation. Keith later went on to create Theatresports. His earlier Theatre Machine shows were so effective and so entertaining that it arguably ruined me for any other improvisation groups. The other problem is that, by their nature, improvisation groups are often reliant on their audiences for inspiration.

They were uniformly good as performers and improvisers, but two of their sketches showed the difficulties of the art. Two good punters suggested two good sketches, but one routine was doomed from the start by its very origin. The successful one started with pulling one punter out of the audience and asking him about his childhood to provide the bare bones of the sketch.

It turned out that, as a child, his hobby was, in all truth, keeping and breeding decembed creatures — principally snails, butterflies and wood lice. This was a pure gift for the comedy improvisers. Starting from those basic facts, the improvised comedy sketch could almost not fail.

The other sketch, though, was doomed from the start because its original basis was so deeply bizarre that nothing the troupe could ever improvise could ever have made the story stranger. Funny haha stood no chance of outshining funny peculiar and it reaffirmed my belief that, if you pluck a punter at random from anywhere — a bus queue, a venue audience, the cheese fortewn in Tesco — they will have the most extraordinary true stories in them.