A night at the theatre

Hello again. For the second day running I find myself recovering from a heavy night, but this time it has nothing (or very little) to do with drink.

You see, yesterday evening I was invited to the theatre by my dear aunt Lady Murdock, or Mad Duck to those of us who know her well. As I am sure I have already said before, I am obliged to go along with the old Mad Duck’s little whims as she has control over my business and financial affairs. It’s all very dreary but that’s just the way it is, and I am rather fond of the old dear. She is, after all, my mother’s older sister and I know she has my best interests at heart.

So, off I went like the dutiful nephew that I undoubtedly am. We met at a rather nice bistro just off Shaftesbury Avenue for a pre-show drink and snack. I say snack because it was one of those places where they decorate the plate with samples of food rather than present a decent meal. Don’t get me wrong, what I had was very tasty, but it was more of an appetiser than a meal. At least the wine was good – a rather fine Chablis set me up very nicely for the evening.

However, if I’d known what was ahead of me I would have ordered a third bottle and forgone the desert!

It has been said that I am a bit of an old traditionalist. I don’t see anything wrong in that and when it comes to the Arts I much prefer the “old masters” to the modern upstarts. Give me a Turner over Picasso any day. Theatre wise, I just don’t get some of these modern shows. I love going to the theatre, it is one of the advantages of living in London. There is always so much to see. But you have to be careful because in amongst all the wonderful productions are some modernist shows that sadly don’t deserve a London stage.

I particularly dislike one-woman shows where you are expected to sit for two hours or more and listen to some hormonal and emotionally retarded woman spout out about how sad her life is and how cruel the world has been to her. Or those modern musicals that seem to be about nothing in particular and with music that is just too noisy. I know some of them are based on pop songs, but that is no excuse for what I can only describe as moronic dribble.

Well, it turns out that the show old Mad Duck dragged me along to last night was one that she has invested in, and with a distant cousin of mine playing the leading role. Not only can I not tell you what the show was called, I have no idea what it was about. There was a lot of shouting, a great deal of prancing around and absolutely no set to give me a clue about where or when it was supposed to be taking place. The cast of three seemed to spend the entire two hours arguing about something, or someone, or another.

And just to make matters worse, Mad Duck insisted we stayed behind in the bar afterwards to meet with the cast, all of whom she thought were wonderful. Of course, you have to be polite to these people, but trying to be positive about what I thought was probably the worst play I had ever seen to the emotionally unstable cast (all actors are emotionally unstable in my view) was very tiring indeed.

Although I enjoy the theatre, actors themselves tend to bore me. They can be a particularly self-centred crowd and all this lovey-dovey stuff they go in for is quite nauseating. There is almost nothing worse than having to spend an entire evening in some grubby theatre bar with a whole horde of them. OK, three is hardly a horde, but anything more than one is far too many for my liking.

The one redeeming feature of what was otherwise a frightful evening was reacquainting myself with cousin Dorothy. Of course, that is not the name uses on the stage (I can’t recall what that is). Yes, I know she is an actor (you can’t say actress these days apparently – it’s not politically correct) but once we got past that and had downed a couple of rather fine single malts, she was actually frightfully good company. I haven’t seen her for a few years so we had a lot to catch up on. I think the last time we met was at a garden party somewhere out in the sticks – Kent I think.

Anyway, we finally said our goodbyes at around 3am and I must say I was very glad to get home. Next time dear old Aunt Murdock suggests a trip the the theatre I will have to feign some kind of fatal illness.

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