“There’s a woman who comes to all ‘The Bridge’ related events dressed as Saga – leather trousers and everything. She even has the same car!” (Sofia Helin)
Now, I adore Detective Saga Noren as much as the next person and would love her to end the series living happily with Henrik and his ghost children – though I’m not holding my breath. But there’s fandom and then there’s weird. Reading interviews and blogs is OK; dressing in leather trousers and following the actor who plays her, borders on the obsessive.
Actually, one of the questions that pops up in all the Parkinson’s questionnaires is about obsessive behaviours. But generally I think they mean booze, blondes and bookies rather Swedish detectives who speak in subtitles. So far, I think I’m OK but do keep your eyes open, will you?
Anyway, changing the subject, excitement is reigning in the JellyHousehold because tonight ActorLaddie and I are off to Richmond Theatre to see John Finnemore’s Flying Visit! This is the Radio Four sketch show John Finnemore’s Souvenir Programme but on stage!! Like a play!!! On a stage!!!!
I confess to being a bit of a nerd when it comes to comedy writers. On sunny lunchtimes at school, we’d be allowed to take our transistor radios onto the field. Most would be listening to Radio One or Capital. Me and my friend Linda sat in the far corner soaking up the joys of Humph and the team on I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue. Others queued for tickets to see Genesis or Queen or Bowie; I went to see recording of Frank Muir and wondered why I didn’t get party invitations.
It was Pa who put us to comedy at an early age. As well as being very quick witted himself, we were introduced to The Goons and Round the Horne and tales of having seen Danny Kaye a gillion times. To my mind, being able to make people laugh is a gift from the Gods and I’d rather have Wodehouse than Wagner any day of the week.
In 2014, more than twenty two thousand people applied for the two hundred tickets available to see the recording of the final episode of Cabin Pressure – the Radio Four sitcom brilliantly written by one John Finnemore. Not me, alas: for some reason I didn’t discover the programme until last year when I chanced upon it courtesy of Alexa. By the time ActorLaddie and I had listened to the whole series, from Abu Dhabi to Zurich, I was smitten. I now have the box set on CD, play it looped on my iPod and force it upon Friends and Relations like a demented Ancient Mariner; stopping one in three to make them listen to the explanation of how you can get one hundred otters in a small charter aircraft.
From Cabin Pressure to John Finnemore’s Souvenir Programme (sketch show, seven series) to Double Acts (two-handed plays, two series – some of which are available on iPlayer as they are currently being repeated on Radio Four Extra.)
Some of this year has been rather grim, what with losing BraveHeart. DearHeart and I have found JF’s comic writing truly helpful in getting through it all. Back in the Spring, I sent a fan-tweet to him, saying how much I appreciated his work and received the reply: “Thank you, um – Jellywoman.” Then, yesterday, I got this:
So, as well as being really excited about this evening’s show, I’m also very intrigued. I’ll let you know!
Now, I really must get showered and dressed. I’m rather pleased with my outfit for tonight. You might remember that Souvenir Programme, Series Three Episode Six ends with a song about wearing Red Trousers. Well, having scoured all the local charity shops, I found in the Pound Shop a perfect pair of red trousers to wear tonight! I just need to make a replica of Arthur’s hat and find a lemon to attach to it and I’ll be well set.