Treading the boards

I’m off to the theatre tonight to see The Ladykillers at Hull New Theatre. It has been adapted by Graham Linehan – writer of Father Ted & The IT Crowd, known also as @Glinner on twitter. Going to the theatre is something I have only ever done extremely rarely and I’m looking forward to it.

The most recent theatre experiences I’ve had have been the last 2 pantomimes at the New Theatre with my son. I can say now & forever more that I have seen The Chuckle Brothers live, in the flesh, on stage. To give them their due though, I am not a fan of panto at all, but I thought they were good at what they do. The kids loved it and I even smiled a couple of times too.

Before that would have been about a dozen years ago when I went to see the London West End institution, Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap. I don’t remember a lot about it. It remains notable because it has been running in the West End since 1952, in fact the only thing I remember being impressed by was that Richard Attenborough had once been in it – in 1952! It wasn’t electrifying.

I remember going to see a production of Death Of A Salesman with school. I enjoyed reading that play & I enjoyed reading that book but the two things I remember about that day were that there was some cheap wine at the back of the bus, maybe in the theatre too, although I honestly can’t remember if I had any – most likely I didn’t. The second thing I remember was the lead actor, Timothy West, berated the audience from the stage afterwards for coughing & sneezing so much. An audience made up predominantly of school children. In the middle of a flu epidemic. I do remember it feeling quite odd that a man off the telly was so cross with us all, odd as well absolutely hilarious. And so a lifelong love of the stage was born. Hence this is my second play in 20 years.

The only other stage production I remember going to, other than a couple of other forgettable pantos, was a live performance of the sitcom, Allo Allo. Yes, I can add Allo Allo to the pantheon of greats I have seen live alongside The Chuckle Brothers. I liked Allo Allo when I was a kid. It goes without saying I’m not such a fan now and I remember nothing about the stage show now but I’d hazard a guess the catchphrases were all bludgeoned to death and it was probably awful. However I still remember that night fondly because I went with my Granda Steele, we never did much like that, he bought me a cheeseburger from Wimpy afterwards. I also remember him & uncle James taking me to see Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan at the cinema. It’s funny what events stay in your memory. They also told me there was a street in Glasgow made entirely of chocolate but I digress….

Anyway, off to The Ladykillers tonight. I’ve never watched the original film. I got through 15 minutes of the Coen Brothers’ remake before being so irritated by everything about it that I turned it off. I’d like to think I’ll stay until the end tonight. I might write something about it tomorrow, might not, probably won’t.


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