Little Shop of Horrors

Post length: 834 words, about 3 and a half minutes.

It seems I only ever write this when I’m on the train.  Maybe because all the rest of the time I have access to the internet and can always find something ‘better’ to do.  Maybe because I generally don’t have anything interesting to say other than when I’m on the train because it generally means I’ve been somewhere interesting.  This weekend was interesting.

I don’t feel well.  Headache, sore throat, stiff joints and it hurts to move my eyes very far.  And yet I still go and do things.  And yet I still do silly things which, it would be obvious to anyone remotely sensible, would only make things worse.  I went to see Kimball.  I don’t mean that itself is a bad thing, simply that when I see Kimball I stay up far too late and when I do go to bed sleep on the floor of the lounge (this time I had the added bonus of a mattress, not just on the sofa).  Last night we stayed up until 4am.  Not because we were hard at work doing productive things, not because we were out living it up in the capital, but because we have this urge to do statistical analysis on all night television stations.  There are lots on Sky.  Last night was the turn of Kerrang TV, an automated music television station where you can call and text and request things for them to play – you know the kind I mean.

The problem: “Between the hours of 3am and 5am, with no other people requesting music, how long does it take before a request is played?”  The methodology is simple: request a track and see when they play it.  The answer is also pretty simple, and before the true results were revealed we had already proposed it: 1 hour.  Almost exactly.  The snag with the investigation was the time we begun it – in true researcher style (OK, university paper maybe) we submitted our requested track, Avril Lavigne’s Girlfriend, at 3.25am.  Kimball stuck with it until about 4.10am and then folded, I however stayed watching to the bitter end – 4.26( + the length of the track)am.  No wonder I’m ill.

Earlier in the evening we had been to the theatre – the West End transfer of the Menier Chocolate Factory’s Little Shop Of Horrors.  It was very good.  The last time (and only other time) I saw it was way back when my brother was in the chorus (and either 1st or 2nd year) at school, I was still at primary school.  It’s a fun musical and made all the better for having Sheridan Smith (Janet, 2 Pints of Larger and a Packet of Crips) as Audry and Alestair McGowen (various impressionist type programmes) as Orven and assorted other roles once he’s fed to the plant.  To be fair the whole cast was very good – Mushnik, the Ronettes, even the plant – all gave first class performances.  Was it worth £90?  Well, that’s a good question.  I’d recommend seeing it, and cheaper tickets are available (though we wandered into the upper circle during the interval and the view does leave a lot to be desired) but you’ll have to book in advance.  Unlike us.

During the interval, while we were discussing the use of intelligent fixtures in a theatrical setting, a young man came up to us and asked to see our programme.  I was reluctant (it wasn’t mine and he might have run off with it!), but it turned out he only wanted to know if the girl playing Audry was really Ms Smith – his girlfriend had said it was, he thought it wasn’t.  We were able to confirm this and he went happily on his way.  It was at this point it crossed my mind how much like old theatre hacks we must have looked.  It’s the interval, we are standing in the corner with our drinks, wearing our long back coats, discussing the finer points of the sound and lighting design.  If only I’d taken my copy of the stage…

Of course I did go to see it to evaluate it’s artistic merit.  Kimball didn’t.  He proved it at the box office: while I was paying I made a few light hearted remarks to the ticket lady – “oh I see, I’m paying now he isn’t able to get his student discount”, “I only sat over there so as not to have to pay” – and she chuckled.  Then Kimball turns to her and says “it is Sheridan Smith in tonight’s performance, isn’t it?”.  “Yes”, says she, “the only understudy tonight is [one of the Ronettes]”, “now it all comes out, you’re only here to see “the only cast member being played by an understudy is [one of the Ronettes]”.  “I see, so you only want to see it to see her!” I exclaim.  To this the ticket lady remains stoney faced: a that’s not funny; that’s perverse kind of look.  We took our tickets and left.

Posted on Sunday 1st April, 2007 at 8:06 pm in Theatre.
It was tagged with , , .

Leave a comment