Last night I had one of life’s pleasantly surreal experiences. I went up to Little Venice, near Maida Vale to see a show called Entertainment — My Arts! by the Blag Theatre Company at the Canal Café. Nothing too surreal about that, you might say (though most Londoners might be unaware of their city’s Sunday night fringe scene, and this beautiful venue in particular). What was so bizarre was seeing a friend for the first time in 15 years, right there on stage. The only contact we’d had were emails in the last month after I’d tracked her down.
I recommend you see the show, which is a parody of musicals from Andrew Lloyd-Weber to Disney’s Mary Poppins, with a special dig at the awful Les Misérables. The founders of the Blag Theatre Company are veterans of some of the West End’s biggest hits and the writing benefits hugely from the intelligent insiders’ insights. I missed part two (separate show), which is a swipe at film and television celebrities. Blag are playing Sunday nights at the Canal Café to October 22nd, £10.50 on the door. You can find them at venues throughout the South East throughout the year. www.blagtheatre.com. Believe me: it’s much more deserving of a good audience than any of the shows it parodies.
And there was Lucy in the limelight, fifteen years and two children since I saw her at her wedding. And she was just so… quintessentially Lucy. There are people who give up and conform, become grey. Happily, Lucy and her husband David are living full Technicolor lives and it warms the heart to see that.
As I waited for her afterwards I witnessed a minor miracle. A middle-aged American male was waiting beside me. It transpired that he had turned up on spec to this obscure venue on his last night in London and seen his old university friend Ricky on stage. They’d not seen each other in 25 years.