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Blog: A Kerfuffle At Beautiful
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It was a bit of a DASH to get to the theatre but we made it JUST on time. The overture (musicals lingo) music had just started when we got to the end of our row but the lights hadn't gone down, so we prepared to inch our way past to our seats. Normally this involves everyone shuffling up and us making smiley/apologetic faces, but before we could do ANY of that the man on the end said. "GET A MOVE ON. Haven't you got watches? BLOODY RUDE." As we passed he continued to remonstrate aggressively and we each turned to smile at what we assumed was a joke, but it WASN'T. He was suddenly, inexplicably, violently angry about the fact that people sitting a few seats down from him at a West End Theatre on a Saturday night had DARED to turn up after he had.
It was all very strange and slightly upsetting, but it did not bother us for long for LO! the show was AMAZING! Obviously the Carole King songs were BRILLIANT anyway, but they did them in a FANTASTIC way, especially when they did versions by the bands who had hits with them. Man alive, I would pay GOOD MONEY to go and see a Drifters tribute act after seeing the version we saw on stage on Saturday night! There were a tonne of other songs too, many from Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann who, apparently, the show had originally supposed to have been about as much as Goffin & King, but also snippets of other songs from the era. It sounded BRILLIANT, we sat and GRINNED our way through until half-time!
During the interval the four of us gathered in the bar, agreed about how much FUN we were having, but also about how STRANGE the Angry Man had been. "We weren't even late!" we said to each other, "It was totally out of proportion!" we added, but of course with that sort of nasty sod/loonie there's not much point arguing, they are just nasty sods/loonies. Still, as soon as the BELL went for part two we hurried out, eager not to incur his WRATH again.
I went to the LOO on the way, so came back separately from my party, causing Angry Man the incredible inconvenience of having to stand up to let people in AGANE. "I'll just give him a friendly smile", I thought, "who knows? Maybe then we'll all have calmed down." That is NOT what happened - "KEEP SMILING" he said, threateningly, as I passed. "I intend to!" I said, and then he launched into his madness again as his wife sat beside him, looking GLUM. "Bloody rude!" he growled angrily (NB this time we were among the first people coming back to our seats) and "An apology would be nice!" I had had about enough of this twattery so replied "Yes, it would be" and LOOKED at him with another LARGE SMILE. I've met enough nasty little bullies like this in life to know that a) it's pointless trying to reason with them and b) all they want is to make you unhappy, so, while he reeled off more AGGRESSION I looked at his wife, gently rested a sympathetic hand on her shoulder, then turned to him and politely asked "Why don't you just go and fuck yourself?"
It was one of those things that i IMAGINE happening when I meet idiots but rarely carry through on - it was basically The International Rock Star taking over. Clearly Angry Man hadn't experienced it happening enough either, as all he could come back with was a surprised look and "piss off!" The people sat between me and them looked DELIGHTED as were The Family when I sat back down. He was a PRAT and I TOLD HIM.
Luckily we had another half of BRILLIANT show to take my mind off the whole incident, as we got into the SAD bit of Carole King's the show with EVEN MORE fantastic songs. It was wonderful, HOWEVER I did recoil a little at some of the liberties taken with the chronology e.g. surely in no way did she record a demo of "Chains" in 1967 (come on! The Beatles did a version on their first album!!). Also the structure was a bit strange - at SKOOL i was taught the Three Act Structure and how final quarter of a piece of THEATRE should see the hero face their biggest challenge, but in the final quarter of THIS the main drama was her saying "I think I'll record a solo album, but who can I get to produce?" "How about Lou Adler?" said her publisher, "He's really good." "OK!" said Carole, and then it was all fine.
All right, some other stuff DID happen and it was ACE - the whole Gerry Goffin Turning Up Again bit was BRILL and MOVING and then there was more of the songs - and there was a GRATE GAG which I think I was the only person there to get. "Oh Carole King", said her publisher, "What will you do when you move to The California?" "I'm thinking of getting a house," she replied, "They have wonderful big ceilings there. And window seats. And I might get a cat." I chortled but no-one else did - come on guys! That's the cover to "Tapestry"! That's a GOOD GAG!
It was basically lovely, and we emerged with big GRINS on our faces, not even spoiled this time by needing to pass Angry Man again - I'd noticed when the rest of us were stood up singing along at the end he was the only person still sitting down, with a face like TOILETS, and he'd clearly left as soon as the show had finished, probably to avoid more of my WITTY REJOINDERS.
We wondered round to The Ship for a pint and some agreeing how ACE it'd been, and also for The Parents to launch into tales of The 1960s In Peterborough And Stamford. There were tales I'd never heard before, it was amazing, and a MAGIC end to a WONDERFUL show. Go and see it, it's GRATE (but don't sit at the end of a row!).
posted 24/6/2015 by MJ Hibbett
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