Yesterday, I went to Malcolm Hardee Award winning Ellis & Rose’s irregular Brainwash Club show at the Backyard Comedy Club in London’s Bethnal Green. The full house saw a knee-face-painting contest and the hosting duo accidentally knock over and almost terminally smash punster Darren Walsh’s MacBook computer… twice.
The audience also saw Harry Hill, Jody Kamali, Harriet Kemsley, Darren Walsh, John Henry Falle as The Story Beast and Matt Tedford as a singing Margaret Thatcher.
I talked to Matt before the show.
“How was your Edinburgh Fringe last year?” I asked.
To publicise his Margaret Thatcher: Queen of Soho show, he had walked round town dressed as Margaret Thatcher.
“I got kicked in the street,” he told me.
“Why?” I asked innocently.
“Because they didn’t like the poll tax. I got heckled nearly every day about the poll tax and Scottish independence – it was about a month before the vote. I’ve been a gay man for about ten years and it’s the only time I’ve ever had any abuse.”
“Did they not,” I asked, “realise that Margaret Thatcher was very dead and you were not actually her?”
“Well,” Matt told me, “they went for it anyway. I got things thrown at me – you name it. One woman threw-up in her handbag and that nearly came at me and a lot of people launched themselves onto the stage. Pulling the wig was popular.”
“But,” I checked, “you were actually being attacked outside in the street for being a famous dead politician…”
“Oh yes. And what could I do? Report it to the police? – I’ve just been attacked – Why? – I was dressed as Margaret Thatcher.”
“And then,” I suggested, “the police might have kicked you.”
“Exactly,” said Matt. “Margaret Thatcher’s ex-bodyguard came to the show and told me afterwards: You’ve not changed a bit, ma’am.
“And these two little old dears came and sat in the front row – very pearls, twin-set and blue-rinse – and they came up to me afterwards and said: We were her nurses towards the end of her life. One told me: I saw her tits… Oh, I said. How were they… Very good for an old bird, she said.”