Saturday, February 28, 2009

A couple of nights out...

Well hullo there. Just wanted to put down a few notes about a couple of lovely nights out I had last week, those nights being a visit to the Playhouse Theatre for La Cage Aux Folles, and a visit to Brixton Academy for the NME Awards.

On the first count, the most important thing to take from the evening is the fact that everyone who is able to go and see this production should certainly do so. It started life at the Mernier Chocolate Factory, who rarely put a toe, let alone a foot wrong, so it comes as no surprise that this is a triumph - Sunday In The Park With George was utterly wonderful, and Little Shop of Horrors was a whole lot of fun. I've always seen their productions after transferring to the West End, though, so I need to correct that before long... As well as the producing company, there's another pull of course: that saviour of BBC Saturday nights (if you ignore Strictly, I suppose...) Graham Norton. As Albin/Zsa Zsa he is warm, engaging and hugely funny, and the fact that you never quite shake the knowledge that he *is* TV's Graham Norton is somehow not a problem at all. His performance is easily matched by Steven Pacey as Georges, and the production is full of heart, fun and some truly great, athletic dancing from the scantily clad Cagelles. Completely life-affirming stuff.

That's not a phrase one would probably use for the NME Awards, it's safe to say, but also fun in their own, shambolic kinda way. The main reason I went, being the comedy fangirl I am, was to support the host Mark Watson rather than for any specific band, and it was great seeing him hold court in that massive room. Probably not the most attentive audience he's ever had, of course, but he seemed to relish it. It was slightly unfortunate for me that the performance I was most excited about - Elbow's Grounds For Divorce - actually opened the show, but it was cool seeing Renaissance Man Richard Ayoade pick up the award for Best DVD, and Franz Ferdinand's version of Call Me with La Roux came over really well in the venue (less well on telly last night.) I know I was *meant* to be most excited about Damon Albarn and Graham Coxon performing together for the first time since the split, by the way... but the Blur era I identify with the most is full-on Britpop, and suffice to say they didn't play The Universal.

Nothing much terribly exciting in the pipeline, unfortunately, though I hope to see Tim Key and Tom Basden (half of the sketch group Cowards) perform as Freeze! next month, and have tickets for Chris Addison in April. As for theatre, I really need to catch Avenue Q before it closes...!

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