Al and Ned’s Balding Fringe (2009)

Co-written with Paul Gingell, Al and Ned’s Balding Fringe is a play which follows the fraught relationship of two Welsh comedians through their sketch and variety show.

Al and Ned’s Balding Fringe premiered on the Buxton Fringe in 2009, before moving onto a week long run at Edinburgh Fringe 2009.

Al and Ned’s Balding Fringe

Ned: I’ve been thinking of going straight.

Al: I didn’t even know you were gay?

Ned: No, I mean doing some straight acting…maybe get in on some of these Welsh remakes.

Al: Oh yeah, like what?

Ned: I’ve heard that they are making the welsh language version of “Taxi Driver”.

Al: Oh right, “Driver Tacsi“, is it?

Ned: That’s right. So I’ve been working on my audition speech. You wanna see it?

Al: Yeah, go for it.

Ned coughs and gets “into character”.

Ned: Ti’n siarad I fi? Ti’n siarad I fi? Ti’n siarad I fi?  Felly pwy I ti’n siarad a? Ti’n siarad I fi? Fi yw’r unig un yma?Pwy y fyc ti’n credy ti’n siarad a? Oh ie? OK?

Silence.

Ned: Well?

Al: I’m considering my response.

Ned: So?

Al: Don’t rush me, I want to give you measured constructive feedback. Appraise you on your merits; provide you with some thoughts for improvement.

Ned: And?

Al: Well, it’s not easy; you gave a very earnest performance.

Ned: Oh right.

Al: Yeah, mostly it was earnest, very earnest.

Ned: Anything else?

Al: It was quite Welsh wasn’t it?

Ned: Yes, it was the Welsh language “Taxi Driver“.

Al: I see that. Very Welsh.

Ned: Have you got any feedback for me?

Al: Mostly I would suggest doing it in a language people have heard of.

Ned: It has to be Welsh. It’s the Welsh “Taxi Driver“. What about the performance?

Al: What about it?

Ned: Was it any good?

Al: The performance was poo.

Ned: You said it was earnest? That’s good though isn’t it?

Al: It was earnest poo.

Ned: You’re just nasty!

Al: Got to be cruel to be kind. What else you got?

Ned: You know I did Brad Pitt’s part on the Welsh dub of “Fight Club“, don’t you?

Al: I did not know that about you. I know everything else about you, I’ve spent almost every day of my life with you since I was old enough to remember, and I have to admit…I’m not sure where I was the day you did that, or any of the days after that when you may have mentioned it, or even spent some of your royalty cheque!

Ned: What you saying, you saying I am lying?

Al: C’mon, these people know you don’t get a Welsh dub on a DVD.

Ned: You do if you go to Dai V. Dee.

AL: Dai V. Dee?

Ned: Dai Video’s Shop.

Al: I’ve never even heard of Dai Video.

Ned: Started out in Betamax he did. You must know him. Had the first video shop in Wales, he did.

Al: Oh?

Ned: Anyway, he runs that DVD shop in town.

Al: Ah right.

Ned: And he commissions me to do over dubs now and again.

Al: Well… dew-dew!

Ned: So, you wanna see my Tyl-er Dur-den?

Al: Yes-I-DO!

Ned coughs and gets “into character” again.

Ned: Rheol cyntaf Clwb Ymladd yw – nid I chi’n siarad am Clwb Ymladd! Ail rheol y Clwb Ymladd yw – NID I CHI’N siarad am Clwb Ymladd! Trydydd rheol Clwb Ymladd, os mae rhywun yn screchen stop, mynd yn llipa neu’n tapio allan maer brwydir drosodd!

Al: (Cutting in) Can I stop you there?

Ned: What?

Al: Well, its just sounds, isn’t it? It doesn’t mean anything does it?

Ned: Al, we should be up here championing the Welsh language. Did you know that far from being a dying language more and more people every year are starting to speak it. Welsh is a living language. And the Welsh Language Act of 1993 and the Government of Wales Act of 1998 have only increased the relevance of the language in today’s society.

Pause. Al is clearly impressed.

Al: Wow! Yes Ned! That was an amazing statement! Really! What else about the Welsh language do you think we need to change?

Pause. Ned is impervious to Als excitement.

Ned: Huh?

Al: What else should we champion? What else should we do to get the language into a wider spectrum?

Ned: Huh?

Al: A wider spectrum?

Ned: That’s a computer, innit?

Al: No! What you just said about the Welsh language.

Ned: Well, what did I say?

Al: You just said that the Welsh Language Act of 1993 and the Government of Wales Act of 1998 have increased the relevance of the language in today’s society.

Ned: Doesn’t sound like something I’d say…

Al: But you said it Ned!!

Ned: Well, I can’t remember in that case…