Ready to go on

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Tuesday Morning

Good Morning Vietnam!

Awoke at my lovely digs in Bath to this view.

The Lodge, where I am staying.
Not bad, eh?

The show was strange last night. When a show is not going very well actors often blame the audience, 'Crap crowd in tonight.' they say. I doubt if this is ever true? What are the chances that one group of 900 people is going to be very different from any other group of 900 people? The sheer numbers must even out any individual differences, surely? Sorry for calling you Shirley.

I'm sure it is far more likely to be the product rather than the consumers which is different? When you think about it, we, as a cast, had all had a day off in which we travelled from Newcastle to Bath, often via our various homes. We were performing in an unfamiliar auditorium with different acoustics and sight lines. The Theatre Royal in Newcastle is large and requires quite a large comedic performance, whereas the Theatre Royal Bath is smaller and more intimate and therefore doesn't need such heightened acting. For much of the show; which I only listen to admittedly, I could be wrong; we seemed to be miss timing lines or 'stepping on laughs', as it's known. ie not giving the audience the time they need to laugh properly.

When you aren't firing properly the audience can sense it and they start to hold back. They don't want to laugh and miss a line, understandably. Consequently, the actors start to become unsure of the laughs and don't give the lines the delivery they deserve, or leave the proper gap for a laugh because they are afraid it is not going to come.

I admit that I always used to blame the audience. It's sort of traditional. But my wife used to reply, in response to my 'the audience were rubbish', 'Are you sure it wasn't you?'. She was right, of course, as in all things. A good performance is a very delicate thing and can turn in to an average or even mediocre one very easily. Even if the whole week in Bath seems to us to be rather dour it may be that we have, as a group, taken on the attitude that it's not going to be good and create a self-fulfilling prophecy. I will let you know. But I doubt if it will be the audiences fault?

The show is still selling incredibly well though and it is a really good show, I think? Always hard to tell from within. I admire much of what is being done by my fellow actors, at least.

Like all slightly disappointing things there was a huge silver lining last night. The lovely Clive Mantle and Carla Mendonca were there to say hello after the show and we shared a quick drink. I have known and loved them both for many years and had such good times with them both, professionally and socially. They are both touring in the play 'Jus Like That!', about Tommy Cooper, so, well named as a piece, later this year. Get along to see it if you have an ounce of sense about you. I'm not sure which one of them is playing Tommy? You'll have to turn up to the show to discover the answer to that cliff hanger?

Now, Bath awaits. Not a bath, the city, you fool! Good job we sorted that one out. I could have been arrested for the inappropriate use of a loofer or for walking around the streets in nothing but a towel and a shower cap! Again!! xx

Carla Menadoreher
Clive Mantle, as in fire place - thank you Christine

Clive or Carla? Who knows!
Clive when I first met him, with Helen Lederer and Nick Wilton


  1. Dearest Television's Mikey Two-Names, aka Jon Snow,
    We love you too, very much and can't wait to see you on Friday for walks and pubs and lots of gossip about people we used to know before we moved out to the sticks.
    Just a little correction: the Tommy Cooper play is actually called "Jus Like That". Don't ask me why, it just is. If you hadn't been so drunk and talked about something other than your 3 laughs and your Pinteresque pause, you may have known that.
    No but seriously, we loved you in the show - you were, as always, clever and funny. Looking forward to Friday (only 15 laughs and 5 pauses to go).
    Lots of love Carla and Clive xx
    Ps; loving the pics, especially the one of Carla as Tommy. x

  2. Yes. That's a view! Definitely.

    Sorry to hear you were a bit down in the dumps yesterday. Better today? If I were in Bath and needed cheering up, I'd treat myself to lunch or afternoon tea and a glass of champagne at the Pump Room.

    Yes indeed.

    Love Sophie xx

  3. I will, Sophie. In fact Anthony Jay is going to do that for me tomorrow for lunch. Ha Ha! Love Mike x