Last week Twitter informed me that David Baddiel's current London show is to tour the UK next year. This makes me very happy. Back in October, compelled by the outpouring of celebrity tweets about its excellence, I booked a ticket for the matinee of it's last day of the run. I knew I just HAD to see it before it ended. I did the four-hour round trip to watch the penultimate performance of My Family: Not the Sitcom, at the Vaudeville Theatre, London. It felt like I'd be letting Nigella down if I didn't. The peer pressure from the celebrity endorsements was too much to stand.
So on the one hand, I feel quite the fool that the end of that run was followed up with another one in a different theatre, then following that, a nationwide tour. But on the other, I'm so chuffed it's continuing. I really want someone I know in real life to have watched it. I want to talk about how brilliant it is. I want to remember the hand-over-mouth, shockingly honest, utterly hilarious and beautifully respectful homage to his parents that it is.
Baddiel sets out a series of implied ground rules at the start. Far more cleverly than I am paraphrasing here, he explains that he feels he can talk about his recently-deceased Mum's life on stage because he is her son. In her absence, he is the caretaker of her memories. He then outlines the life of his Mum in such vivid colour, he gives us all permission to share those memories and laugh with him. It's what she would have wanted. She was larger than life. She is not to be remembered in hushed tones. She would have hated that. Again, I am paraphrasing - I saw this show over six months ago. These are the ideas I am left with. These are the insights I took away with me. To truly honour those that die, it's essential to remember them as real and not sanitised. It's OK to laugh.
Last Monday, a city down the road was bereaved by a bomb at a crowded concert. Stewart Lee began his four-night run at the Lowry Theatre the following night, 3.4 miles away from the MEN arena. I had a ticket for the fourth night. I wasn't sure what to expect. Was it going to be cancelled? Would Stewart Lee need to change his act? Would the theatre be empty? Was it going to be OK?
|The Lowry Theatre in the sun. 25.5.17|
|Salford Quays by night. |
From the carpark.
Have a lovely week, folks.