…buying theatre tickets

After last week’s ‘deep and meaningful’, I am back on form and ready to write meaningless guff that won’t make my sister cry again. Everyone can breathe a sigh of relief, get comfy with a cup of tea and enjoy my anecdotes of idiocy from this week.

This week’s main event was a trip to the theatre to see Improbable Fiction by Alan Aykbourn. I thought we were going to see this last week but managed to balls it up royally and to comic effect by getting the weeks mixed up. The story went a little like this:

The Theatre Royal in Bath sell stand-by tickets on the day of performance for a fiver. This is excellent value for money since tickets usually cost around £15. By getting stand-by tickets, you get the worst seats as far from the stage as possible, but since the theatre is rarely full unless it’s a REALLY BIG show, you can sit in any empty seat you can find as soon as the show starts. Free upgrade: excellent idea. Thus, I rang up on Thursday and booked tickets “for tonight’s performance, please”. Before the show, in we wealked, picked up the tickets and made our way up to the Grand Circle at the very top of the theatre. It was only when the usherette asked for the tickets that I realised something was wrong, and I was not discrete about it either.
“What the bloody hell is this?” I declared, mystified. “I think they’ve given us the wrong tickets”.
“Well, they’ve got today’s date on them,” James correctly identified. We both stood there for a few moments, grasping for some kind of explanation. We had tickets for a different show in the right theatre on the right day: there was a chinese wall in my brain that I could not scale to clarify what was going on. It was only then that James spotted the flier on the wall for the show we were about to watch and the mystery was solved: we were a week early. Instead of Improbable Fiction, we had tickets for Mack and Mabel, with David Soul. Like a proper pair of gayboys, we had bought tickets to a musical.

Having bought the tickets, we thought we might as well see the show, and actually quite enjoyed it. Some of the theatrical devices used were quite clever, the staging was well done and the actors all played their own instruments which I liked very much. The story (girl from nowhere is propelled to fame and fortune in 1920s Hollywood) was a bit hackneyed, but enjoyable over all. The songs were good and well delivered, and it’s always fun to see a show in Bath before it hits the West End (as they all seem to do – I think Bath is a pre-West End warm-up venue, like Worthing and Salisbury). After the show, we planned a quiet drink and then a taxi home, but as with so many of these types of plan, you have one glass and another always seems like a good idea at the time.

The Bath Tap does karaoke on a Thursday night, and there were not enough people there to make it seem like a bad idea if we got up and did a few numbers. James took a bit of convincing, but once we’d done one there was no stopping us. Y Viva Espana was by far the most popular song of the evening, and I have to say we were bloody good at it. We were not so good at the Donna Summer classic (feat. that woman) since I didn’t know the words and only had a vague idea of the tune: Enough is enough was the only line I could sing with any confidence. James’s best efforts were ruined by my butchery of the lyrics: the poor man didn’t stand a chance. After that there was no returning to the stage, so we headed home.

This week, we decided against the karaoke, but did get too see the right show. Improbable Fiction was excellent. The plot is strange in that nothing really happens, but it’s very, very funny. Following an inspirational talk from a published writer (or was he?) the Pendon Writers Circle gather together for their last meeting before Christmas to explain their works. After the meeting, a storm breaks out and the characters of everyone’s novels manifest themselves to remarkable comedy effect.

I like this show, not least for the laughs, but because it’s so well written. The start is almost Alan Bennett-like in it’s dour and ponderous tone, but you are carried from this sublime theatrical beginning to a ridiculous finale – the incremental degeneration from serious to stupid is done so gently and convincingly that it doesn’t lose you as an audience, but keeps you in suspended disbelief. It’s just good fun, and I recommend it to anyone who gets the chance.

The only other news I have this week is the successful house-hunt: James and I have found a flat and will be moving into it in March. Details of the housewarming will follow, and you know it will be the best night of the year! The dramas of telling the family have been deferred after last week’s entry, and I am free to enjoy the excitement of moving in with my boyfriend: I’m looking forward to it more and more!

Next week: Oh, Vienna!! Next week’s update will be very, very late as I will be in Austria, living it up in a four-star hotel and wrapping up warm before taking tea in swanky coffee-houses. That’s if James and I can drag ourselves out of the hotel spa and sauna – I’ll do my best for you all!

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2 responses to “…buying theatre tickets

  1. Dude, if there’s any way you can corwbar last week’s piece into a novel, now or in the future, do it. Authors recycle their work all the time – it was truly inspired prose and should not be wasted.

  2. Ben,

    Rest assured that one is banked! It’s even been linked ot from other sites: that’s the most flattering thing I’ve ever known!

    Housewarming details to follow – you had better be there!–>

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