The Alexander theatre in Brum is one of the country’s great theatres. I played it in 1976 in panto. It is a beautiful building that has been extended and modernised regularaly. The gig at Stevenage is a sports hall. people at the Alex 350 at the sports hall 761. here’s why I think why.
I never saw a soul from the management art the Alex..not a one.no one from front of house. I spoke to the bloke at the stage door and went and sat in my empty dressing room. I went to the stage after the interval a stage hand gave me a mike. I went on and he went away. I came off after one and a half hours and he took the mike without saying a word. I went home!
In stevenage I was welcomed with offers of tea. I was asked by the sound guy how I would like the EQ on the Pa? The stage was well lit and sound system perfect. The Lady manger was superb she couldn’t do enough for me and the crowd even though she had a very busy Blues Bros show in the adjacent theatre. I felt as if I was part of a team. I had my part to play as did all the staff. we all did and the result was sensational. The difference? Passion
I’ve never liked this room…that is what it is.It is not a theatre and never will be. It is a hall with seating. It has just had a 1.6 million pound refit and smells of carpets. It now has a new PA system and lights. shame they haven’t got anyone who knows what they are doing….The rest of this story can be read in the papers…..rotten venue..horrible staff..no advertising but great punters that the venue don’t give a shit about.
Great theatre , great gig, sold out…………
The old Wakefield theatre club was one of the many clubs I used to play in the 70′s and 80′s. It’s gone now so this time I play the tasty old Matcham theatre . That Mr Matcham build some fantastic theatres in the 1800′s. I love em. This is the smallest one he ever built. It is run by a trust and staffed by volunteers…usually a recipe for disaster but not the case here. I decide to mingle in the bar with the punters. The show was intimate despite the sellout croud. I really enjoyed it and treated myself to a curry afterwards. Stayed at a premier inn and was pleased not to find Lenny Henry in my room.
I got a call from an old friend today. He is a manager of touring shows. He is so pissed off with the apathy that the theatres have developed. he’s right No posters, no management and an arrogance that needs to be seen to be believed. I think I know the answer. Staff that are crap but can’t be sacked and Subsidies from the councils. Some theatre don’t have to sell a ticket to make a profit from some poor council that can’t keep its hospital open…what’s going on? most of the theatres I play are wonderfully run by caring passionate people..then there is Tunbridge Wells and Horsham. Spot the similarity?…council! Stick to sorting out road sweepers and give the theatre to ATG.
Outrageous banned from the venue for slagging it off! I knew it, in fact I told the audience that is what would happen. I stood in the dark for most of the performance while the lighting girl had a strop, she then put all the lights on and blinded me and the audience and refused to turn them down for 10 minutes. the stage manager sent me on while the house lights were up and then vanished. I never spoke to one person from the management from the minute I got there to the moment I left. the audience loved the show and when I asked for a show of hands to ask if the audience believed the theatre staff were taking the piss they all put their hands up! They are wrong though, how dare they agree with me and not the arrogant people running their council theatre with the audiences council tax!! they have let you down plese feel free to write to them firstname.lastname@example.org and tell em what’s what
This was nearly a disaster. the night before I had gone to the Groucho Club with my lawyers Henri and Micheal. I love this club.It is fun and sort of Roxy! We had dinner and got talking to a very nice group of people that included film producer Andy.The scotches flew and before you know it it was 2 AM and I was boss eyed. The next day was painful.
The Margaret Thatcher lecture was a fund raiser for a museum to Thatcherism. everyone who was everyone was there. I was feeling rotten. two glasses of bubbly later and I was feeling better! I was on the top table sat next to the very nice Lord Trimble who told me Martin McGuinness likes fishing! You learn something every day. A bloke walked past and I stopped him and said “I know you from somewhere mate” It was the former Australian prime minister what a dick I am. Lord Archer said to me “Don’t take the pee of of me Jim, Mary doesn’t like it”…ok jeff.
I spoke and it went down a treat God Bless Maggie
Annabel’s after they are now letting people in without ties….shocking!
The last time I played this little theatre I had a row with the know it all sound man. I asked for the speakers at the back of the theatre be turned off. here’s the thing, If you don’t delay them you hear them before the from ones and you get that railway station announcer effect. It’s to do with matching the speed of sound, about 730 MPH to the speed of light 186,000 miles per second! he didn’t like someone pointing out they didn’t know how to do their job and he got shitty. this is not new to me especially in show-biz. This time was different. They had a new efficient crew and a new PA system so i didn’t have to explain basics to some areshole. lloyd Hollett is a good comic and he went down a storm…better get in gear!! The show was a hoot and I went to the bar with the punters after but had to flee because of selfie hell and shitty women!
This is a great little theatre and a great set of staff. 10/10
This is a beautiful old theatre owned by my old friend Bill. playing here will also give me a chance to catch up with my mates Eddie Melville and Joe Mallone,my two pals from up the road. It is a big ol venue.It used to be a bingo hall and still has that grand feel about it. I arrived and Bill took me for a wee dram. We talked about pantos and aresholes and had a good old laugh. I said I would help in with his panto script. The shoe was spot on. I love working in Scotland and the audience and I had a ball. My Pal Bill told me that I was by far the best comedian that had played the place…great off to the dean park for a dram or three with Eddie
It took me less time than I expected to wiz up the A1. Billingham was the home of one of my best friends Stukie. I can see why he left. It is full of great people but there isn’t much going on. The theatre was surrounded by roadworks and I thought the crew and staff were tunnelling out! LLoyd met me with the words ”More than half full” fuck me I thought. Times have changed, and I am sure 22 quid is too dear for some places. The theatre is great and the people down to earth and fun. The nice manageress took me and lloyd our for an indian after..you cant say farer than that! getting tired now. Charity stuff during the day and the traveling is waring the old boy out … only rest I get is when I am on stage
Great show and wonderful management…see yer next year!