Theatre and trousers: Call Me Madam

Not content to see one old musical this week directed by Thom Southerland, there was another of his productions to see, the final performance of Call Me Madam at Upstairs at the Gatehouse. It was a matinee, which normally would not be the smartest things to attend... Too many old ladies shoving you aside with their walking sticks to get to the unreserved seating first... And too hot... And the barbecue summer that had been called off was back on again...

But after fighting through the old ladies and battling the heat, there was a definite preference for the gay men in the audience to sit to the right hand side of the stage. This became apparent shortly into the first act... Not because it was close to the air conditioning, but because one of the cast members was dancing and wiggling about in his trousers. And his trousers had a 12-inch fly. It seemed to have hypnotic effect on a section of the audience and continued throughout the performance. One wiggle derived at least three titters (not tweets of course as the mobile phones were switched off). And in the second act a particularly dramatic dance move elicited a reaction that was almost off the charts.

There were others in the audience there not just to enjoy the wiggling wonder, but they seemed to be as enthused about the show as they would be enthused about visiting the dentist. Or for the older ones, they reacted like death was imminent.

Oh and as for the show? Notwithstanding the sound imbalance on this final performance (maybe you needed to switch your hearing aid to the T position), the show was great. It received great notices during its month long run. It is is nice to see these old productions being revived in fringe venues since the West End doesn't seem to stage musicals nowadays unless they are crap.


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