Comedy and Tragedy.

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 28 May 2008

There's something wonderful about driving into the centre of London when everybody is driving out.

On Tuesday night I felt queasy, hung over, and not a little irritable, but it didn't stop me from jumping into the little red car and heading off to Whitehall - actually it wasn't so much a jump more a careful sidle.

I was going to the press night of FAT PIG, starring Webb, from Mitchell and and Webb, and Kris Marshall from Kris Marshall...

The drive from Battersea to the 'Trafalgar Studio' took no time at all. I was meeting my ex-editor from 'Good Food Live',so my nausea was put on the back burner as I skidaddled past Battersea Dogs Home. I always close down my imagination every time I drive past, its the thought of all those lonely dogs.

The river runs to the left and then its a skirt round MI6 down to Lambeth Bridge. Doesn't matter how many times I drive past the little lawn where the journos stand I still look for a camera on a tripod and the possibility of Nick Robinson.

I drove back over to the North side of the river to get to Parliament Square. Me,the native,watching the tourists look up to Big Ben. The horrible roadworks down Whitehall didn't detract from the elegance of the road.

And here's the fun bit, I have taken to phoning in my parking fee. How times have changed everybody is expected to have a mobile otherwise the scheme wouldn't work. Find a space, make the call, press a few buttons and before you can say Boris Who? its done. It makes me feel all content knowing I'm legal and safe in my little white parking bay.

I met Elaine, we had pub nosh, then took our place in the steep seats. The audience was starry from Fenella Fielding to Rob Brydon. Even I had to dodge the paparazzi and the autograph hunters. Didn't matter how much I squeezed myself into the corner of the foyer I was still spotted - well I did have on my dalmation dungarees...

I'm afraid to say the show was not good. A four hander, that whilst being performed on a live stage ( the home of Brian Rix farces) the actors acted for a telly audience and the director directed for a 42" Plasma TV. I had to stop sucking my Maltesers to hear them. Indeed I had to stop sucking my Maltesers altogether since I sucked my way through a family bag. By the curtain call my tongue was sticking to the roof of my mouth and my finger ends covered in melted chocolate.

Elaine and I did a runner not being able to face the press party in the Strand. Yes I know I should have networked but what do you say to people when you don't like a show. 'Luvverly Dahling' which is what I suspect was said by the assorted bunch of celebs. Going to so many press launches now, I keep bumping into the same critcis. Big ones, small ones and some as big as your headlines. Michael Billington used to write about me when I was acting, that's at least 30 years ago. I wonder if he's seen a change in the skill of our actors. I have and I've only been at it for 18 weeks!

This evening I drove to the Barbican to see 'Troilus and Cressida', a play I know nothing of. 'Cheek By Jowl' are a great company but tonight they didn't do the Bard justice. I did try and enjoy it, not really knowing whether it was good or not but my Cambridge educated companion thought it was dreadful.

My mobile pinged, very loudly, just as we got to the end of act one. I was so embarrassed, its never happened to me before, all the critics turned their heads towards me. I gave one of those sheepish grins that shrugged my shoulders for me...

I left at the interval. I didn't want to leave the Barbican though as it was buzzing with extremely good looking black dudes who had come to hear Nigerian music. Pulled the short straw this time.

Took me 20 minutes to get back to the flat just in time to catch Julie Walters in 'Mary Whitehouse'....very good.

It's now 16 minutes past midnight and I'm sitting down with the family before hopping into bed. Ok not a hop more a controlled clamber.

night night and cu2morrer.

Jeni Barnett tells of her scrumptious time at Good Food Live in her first audiobook! Download NOW from iTunes

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