Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Waste of Time, Venue 53, Surgeons' Hall, 5.45pm

There are some rotten jobs in the world and this girl certainly has one of them. That said, as publicity gimmicks go this one guaranteed to catch my eye, and I suspect that the cast and crew of Waste of Time would appreciate your attendance at Venue 53, Surgeons' Hall, until Friday. The show is on at 5.45pm, and tickets are a very reasonable £7.00.

UKIP! The Musical, Venue 53, Surgeons' Hall, Nicolson Street, 3.10pm

UKIP! The Musical is winning praise at this year's Edinburgh Fringe and it has to be admitted that the songs are catchy in a foot tapping, sing along type of way. The strong cast carry the tunes well and the seventy minute show is guaranteed to encourage anyone who is contemptuous of UKIP, anyway, to feel even more superior to the Kippers after the show is over than they did before.

Had the show been presented last year it would have been much more topical, but since we seem to have left peak-kipper behind, UKIP! The Musical seems to be pushing very much at an open door.

The historical nature of the production becomes clear when we realise that the villain of the piece is not Nigel Farrage, who is presented here as an amiable buffoon, but his former flatmate, Godfrey Bloom, who is caricatured as almost a Martin Borman figure who pulls all the strings. The fact that Bloom was slung out of UKIP by Farage is not mentioned, probably because the piece was written before the recent bloodbath. To be really effective, a satire has to be topical, and this one just isn't.

Still, for all that the audience loved it. The all white, RADA trained cast, had the almost all white, middle class audience in what is probably pretty much the whitest and most middle class city in Europe come August time, feeling that a blow for diversity had been struck.

UKIP! The Musical plays at 3.10pm until the 29th August at Venue 53, the Surgeons' Hall, Nicolson Street. Tickets are £11.00.

Monday, 24 August 2015

Time at the Bar, Venue 53, Surgeons' Hall, 6.05pm

To work well a farce has to be so finely rehearsed that the lines and bits of business flow like water, and this one is perhaps a little too under-rehearsed, so that lines get fluffed. That said, the cast members of Time at the Bar! make up with enthusiasm what they lack in experience, and the fifty minute production rolled along merrily and took its full house audience along with it for today's opening performance.

The plot involves a pub landlord who aims to give his customers the five Cs of comfort, company and class every night, with cholera and chlamydia added for disco evenings only. You can tell where this one is going already, can't you?

We are then presented with a visit to the pub by the local paper's restaurant reviewer and a cook who fails to show up and has to be replaced by the landlord's idiot son. The daughter and her sex-god, guitar playing boyfriend get roped in as waitress and troubadour, whilst the alcoholic landlady and lovesick pub manager add to the confusion. Needless to say, in the best traditions of British farces it all goes pear-shaped and yes, trousers do fall down.

Kieran Mellish wrote and directed the play, as well as starring as the Gary the landlord. Full marks go to him for all that, along with Theo Jewitt, the guitar strumming boyfriend. 

Time at the Bar plays at 6.05pm until the 29th August at Venue 53, the Surgeons' Hall, Nicolson Street, and tickets are just £6.00.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Introducing the Camerdick!

Introducing the Camerdick photo.

Every now and again you come across a photo that is perfect in every way. One that tells not just a story but myriad stories, thus to be used time and time again for cheap laughs at the expense of a man who is basically a dick with dentures.

Could that be Liz Kendall's hand that is stroking the Camerdick so firmly?

Monday, 27 July 2015

Outrage in Nuneaton as benefit cuts sink in

People in Nuneaton are reported to be outraged as they discover that the Tory plans to reduce benefits by £12 billion pounds will hit them, and not the scroungers, Scots and immigrants that they fondly imagined would be the targets. Across the town, hard working family taxpayers are taking a deep breath, followed by an even deeper gulp, as they realise just how much the Tories have it in for them.

How did the Tories manage to dupe these innocents into voting for them in the first place? My anonymous source in Tory HQ takes up the story:

"It was very easy, she said, licking her lips with the sheer delight of it all. "We just copied the wheeze that worked so well in 1993 with the Child Support Agency and they fell for it hook, line and sinker, just as Dave said they would."

Readers will recall when the Tories made a big fuss about forcing "deadbeat dads" to pay for the whelps that they had spawned on the council estates - at least that was how it was presented as a plank in the 1992 Tory election manifesto. Of course, once the legislation came into force the newly minted agency didn't bother chasing the deadbeats because they didn't have any money. Instead it went after hard working taxpayers who did. 

The Tories were not worried that people would see through this transparent rerun of an old wheeze because as my source explained with a giggle, "They are too stupid for that."

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Fred Karno appointed as Labour's new head of strategy

Fred Karno has been appointed as Labour's new head of strategy. The fact that Mr Karno died in 1941 is not seen a a problem in senior Labour circles, as communication with their new strategic whiz-kid can be conduced via an ouija board. 

The late Fred's hand was seen in last night's vote on the Tory budget when Labour decided to support the government's plans to screw over the working poor even more than the unemployed and disabled.

A senior source who must remain nameless as I have just made him up along with this quote said: "The changes to working tax credits mean that about three million people who are currently in paid employment will each lose an average of £1,350 each, starting next year. Fred is convinced that this is the way to reach out to them with the message that Labour is the party of the strivers and not the shirkers."

When asked if this could help the forward march of the SNP, the spokesman stuck two fingers into his ears and said: "Not listening to that."

Monday, 20 July 2015

The night Labour betrayed the people who voted for it.

Here's a hollow laugh for you: 184 Labour MPs abstained tonight on the budget vote, which left the Tories to romp home to victory by 184 votes. That's right, had all the Labour MPs, and not just a defiant 48, behaved as an opposition should then it is quite possible that the scummy Tories would have suffered a defeat and been forced to rethink their plans to do over the poor.

The Three Stooges pictured here who all want to become Labour's next leader abstained as well, leaving only the fourth candidate, Jeremy Corbyn, to carry the flag for basic Labour values.

Looking ahead, it is now pretty much odds-on that Corbyn will get a massive boost to his popularity in the leadership stakes and the thought of him actually winning the contest cannot be ruled out. If that happens then he might be able to repair the damage that tonight's grotesque performance did to Labour's reputation. However, that is still a big if...

What Labour did tonight was to tell the millions of people who voted for the party in May this year that they can go and take a running jump. Their political hopes do not count for anything because all Labour is interested in is getting a few more nasty votes from a few more nasty voters in nasty places like Nuneaton.

Next year the people of Scotland and Wales have their own elections and that will be the moment for revenge to be taken against Labour for this ultimate act of betrayal. Labour in Scotland has already pretty much given up any hope of winning the constituency seats, and is pinning its hopes on a good showing for the list contest. On the basis of tonight it is important that those hopes be dashed.

It really is the only language that Labour understands.
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