Dream Gig: Vittorio Angelone

Edinburgh Fringe Best Newcomer nominee Vittorio Angelone talks about his bad memory and bad memories in his Dream Gig

Article by Vittorio Angelone | 08 Dec 2022
  • Vittorio Angelo Dream Gig Illustration

I struggle to grab a hold of the good gigs and keep them in my head longer than the adrenaline of the moment lasts. I’d love to recount a crystalline memory of a time where I entered a complete flow on stage at the biggest venue in the world, performed no pre-written material and after the gig Kevin Bridges, Daniel Kitson and Bill Burr started chanting “Vittorio is the greatest comedian I’ve ever seen, undoubtedly the voice of his generation,” over and over again. But I don’t have that story to tell, and even if I did I think it would be frustratingly fleeting in my mind. 

I can, however, tell you in minute detail about the time I performed to 14 people in a Kensington Pub and a French woman in the front row started playing Candy Crush during my set.

Even when a gig is going stupendously well, I will inevitably fixate on the man who is yet to unfold his arms in the third row. However, the task at hand is to write about my best ever gig so I should at least give it a go.

In September 2021, I performed my first ever solo show at the Spice of Life in Soho. The longest I’d ever performed for before was a loose 30 minutes at best and I had no clue if my vaguely assembled nonsense was going to amount to 15 minutes or a ropey 45. I was so terrified of it being horrific that I booked four opening acts to make sure the audience weren’t being ripped off (they’d paid the princely sum of a fiver). Big thank you Christopher Macarthur-Boyd, Katharyn Henson, Luke Chilton and finally Aaron McCann. They’re all brilliant.

To top it off, one of my favourite comedians in the whole world (a handsome young man by the name of Alfie Brown) arrived during the opening acts. I had invited him along but had no expectation of him attending. He wandered in while I was poring over my notes for the show in a blind panic. He asked me how I was feeling, to which I responded “I just hope it’s an hour long,” and he, in his warmest and kindest voice, replied “well… it has to be.”

It was. 67 minutes in fact and it wasn’t great, but I proved to myself that I could perform my own show and that not-great show eventually became my debut hour at the Edinburgh Fringe [Translations], which has rather changed my life.

Next I’ve been tasked with curating my own dream gig. Similar to the retrospective part of this article, even my imagination is filled with dread at all of the things that could, and in my mind would, go wrong with any venue I imagine. Nonetheless here goes!

The gig would need to be in a basement: always a basement, never not a basement. I don’t know why but comedy lives underground. We are the scum on the bottom of Art’s shoe and should not be exposed to daylight if at all possible. I don’t have a particular basement in mind but anything underground would work I guess. Nuclear bunker, dungeon, get that fella from The Incredibles (The Underminer) to dig a big hole.

I know I’ve ‘dream-booked’ them, but the lineup is a real doozy. I’d have Daniel Kitson hosting, Kevin Bridges to open, Bill Burr and Mitch Hedberg in the middle and Patrice O’Neal on last. I’ll do five at the start of the middle section, give myself an easy ride.

After good gigs I listen to Dvorak’s 8th Symphony and eat a guilt-filled chicken donner wrap. After bad gigs I listen to Tyler the Creator’s most angst-filled songs and eat cookie dough ice cream. Balance is very important to my artistic process. I hope this gig goes dreadfully.

Vittorio Angelone, Work-In-Progress, Monkey Barrel Comedy, Edinburgh, 16 Dec, 8pm, £7
Vittorio Angelone:
Translations, The Stand, Glasgow, 10 May, 8.30pm, returns only; Monkey Barrel Comedy, Edinburgh, 11 May, 8.30pm, £12.50