Category Archives: Theatre


I did get to see the play Messiah, having re-booked for today. No sign of any ticket refund for the failed show on Monday.

It’s what you would expect, to be honest. A pair of slightly inept actors (in the play, I mean, not for real) struggling to make simple sense of a story. There’s the bickering, mispronunciations, the odd “thank you”, but sadly no “get on with it” (though there was a “can we hurry up, I have a train to catch” from one of the characters).

Seeing what would obviously be Desmond Olivier Dingle and his friend (eg Wallace or Raymond) with different names and played by other actors seemed rather odd, and didn’t quite work.

But, if you haven’t seen them before, you will love or hate it.

Lesley Garrett is sadly underused.

Total crap

I went to the theatre tonight, to see a production/revival of Patrick Barlow’s The Messiah at The Other Palace Theatre, part of, I believe, the Andrew Lloyd Webber empire.

It stars Hugh Dennis (mostly can’t stand him) and Lesley Garrett (detest her) and someone I have never heard of who played a policeman in something on tv that was not The Bill, but I love the humour of Patrick Barlow’s theatre pieces, especially The Royal National Theatre of Brent. Yes, they are one joke and predictable, but it is such a funny joke and at least one joke more than most other ‘comedy’ shows you see.

So, we were all happily in our seats, pretty full, only a few empty seats, the scene is set, the music playing and 7.30 arrives.

A scruffy guy comes out and says the play is delayed, maybe half an hour, there is a water leak backstage, please go out to the bar. Not even a ‘sorry’.

It’s a tiny foyer, there’s nowhere to sit, no “apologies, have a drink on us while you are waiting”.

After a time, Hugh Dennis comes out. The show is cancelled. You can stay and drink in the bar (pay of course) and he does say sorry. No other co-star, no-one from the theatre.

People are cross. Someone suggests they do something on the small stage in the bar to entertain us. After all, we have come, some a long way, on a cold night. That would have been good PR and been a generous gesture towards a memorable evening. But no, he says, not doing it.

Maybe it was true there was a leak. Maybe it wasn’t. A co-star could have thrown a wobbly. I don’t know. They were already there with forms to fill in to try and get our money back. It all looked a bit peculiar, almost like it had happened before.

It was all just odd that the leak suddenly became an issue just exactly as 7.30 hit.

Theatre time

I found myself looking back at the year and wondering what stood out for me. In truth, there were some good things but it took a long time for something great to come along, and then two did all at once.

So, if I see something that’s good, I recommend it.

Both of these are original Almeida productions. For me, the Almeida has not had a great year. There have been some interesting things, but not great.

So do watch out for Summer and Smoke, which is on at the Duke of York’s theatre, and is a must see:

Then next year, The Twilight Zone goes into the Ambassadors:

In the first, you will find tremendous performances, in the second, some very funny scenes and a lot of very clever stage trickery.

Do not miss, if you can.