How I escaped my certain fate by Stewart Lee

I’ve, I’ve done this before when there’s been a kind of split in the room. Usually it creates an atmosphere of bonhomie. But tonight, it’s made it worse, hasn’t it? It’s made it worse. There’s a tension in the room that’s now ‘the gig is lost’, right? It’s lost.

Full transcript

Stewart Lee tries to "split" his audience during the stand-up show to create a tension. He writes that the tension created this time wasn't created as expected and the show now is lost.

The part that confuses me is that's now 'the gig is lost'.

Does "that's" mean "in other words" or "that it is"? There is no comma before it, so that why I'm not sure what "that's" connects to in this sentence.


That's connects to the word "tension": tension that is.

Because the passage is transcribed speech, it is more disjointed than written language, with incomplete sentences and imperfect sentence structure.

The final sentence breaks abruptly from description into commentary via a pseudo-quotation. The speaker starts out observing that there was some tension in the room - but then breaks into an interjection: "the gig is lost!"

He is inferring that someone (himself, not him, doesn't matter - someone) is crying "the gig is lost" due to the tension. This is a spoken colloquial structure that is a little bit similar to using phrases with "go" or "like" to indicate speech. For example:

So I go, like: "how are you?" And she goes, "I am fine."

The final sentence, then, broken down, means:

There was a tension in the room that resulted in: (mimics someone else's voice) "the gig is lost!" Right?

("Right", as used in the example, is a way of saying: "Do you understand?" or "Do you agree?" - a common way of keeping one's audience engaged.)


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