After lunch, we hunker down and share scary stories…
“And it’s only when we get to the theatre that I realise Robin’s actually expecting me to go on tonight.
“‘I can’t! I don’t remember the words!’
“‘Nonsense – you did eight shows a week for nine months. It’ll all come back.’
“‘But that was nine years ago – I don’t even remember the first line!’
“‘I’m sure you’ll be fine. Your dresser will sort you out.’
So, last night we went to see Paul Mayhew-Archer’s one man show: Incurable Optimist at the Soho Theatre.
We’ve seen Paul in action a couple of times before at Parkinson’s UK benefits: firstly at the Comedy Store and then again at the Royal Albert Hall, d’y’mind. Both of these were quite short turns but subsequently Paul has worked up an hour’s show which he took to Edinburgh last year. Continue reading →
“In those days, there was usually an intermission between each act during which the audience – and the actors – would get refreshments. One night, the great actor Edmund Kean was giving his Hamlet but by the end of the fourth interval found himself so refreshed that he couldn’t remember Act V. He could, however, remember Act V of Lear – which he’d done the previous week – so they did that instead.”
Can you hear me, mother? Have to keep the noise down: I find myself at the centre of a supersize game of Sardines. If anyone else twigs that we’re here and tries to join us, the density levels may prove fatal.
“So, have you been to the Minack before?” I ask, when we have a lull in the programme selling.
“Oh yes, lots of times! A few years ago, we did The Producers. As we were bringing in the props – crates of swastikas and Nazi banners and so on, we passed a party of German tourists.” FellowProgrammeSeller grimaces a little. “It was all a bit awkward, really. Would you like a programme?”
I’m safely on home territory now; more in danger of rust than sunburn. You know where you are with rain. Siestas confuse me.
“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.
It being our wedding anniversary – since you ask, thirty five years – well, quite: not even time off for good behaviour – anyway, in view of the day, we’d decided to use the voucher for afternoon tea given to me on my last birthday by our lovely friends, the Vestibules.
We’d booked to have the tea in one of the London hotels with a view to then doing something afterwards; a play or whatever. The hotel was on the edge of Hyde Park and the menu outside promised tea with sandwiches, cakes and ‘warm home-made scones’.