Last night, I was in London with Janey Godley for her one-off Leicester Square Theatre show Donald Trump is a Cunt (billed rather disappointingly by the theatre as Donald Trump Is a C**t)
“We might as well have a blog chat,” I said to her.
“So,” she started, “we’re sitting in the Groucho Club, having a cup of tea in between the tech rehearsal and the actual show tonight…”
“This is for print,” I said. “I will just write it as if we chatted after the show and add in anything that happens.”
“No,” said Janey. “It hasn’t happened yet. It can still go tits-up. We are in the graveyard shift at 9.30pm and the new Harry Potter film is having its European premiere in Leicester Square and they’ve closed off the end of our street.”
“You are sandwiched,” I pointed out, “between the Harry Potter movie premiere in Leicester Square and the Harry Potter stage show in the Palace Theatre at Cambridge Circus.”
“Yeah,” said Janey, “I’m a Harry Potter kebab is what I am.
“When I came out of Leicester Square Theatre,” she continued, “there was just a big queue of people dressed in cloaks with Harry Potter wands which is funny because (Janey’s daughter) Ashley did Tanya Potter – a Scottish Harry Potter – and it got 16 million hits online. That made me laugh. Ashley was getting recognised in the street in Glasgow as the Harry Potter girl. Lots of people were dressed as Tanya Potter for Halloween in a shell suit wi’ a stick wi’ a zigzag on their cheek as a scar.”
“Surely everyone,” I said, “has a scar in Glasgow.”
“We do,” agreed Janey, “But most of them are just on the inside.”
Janey’s tech run in the afternoon had not included any run-through of the script for the show because, as normal with Janey, there was no script. With any other comic, that might have been risky. But, to my knowledge, Janey has never scripted any of her multiple award-winning shows.
“What are you doing upcoming?” I asked, then regretted the awful American word.
“I’m working a lot at the moment in Glasgow – Wild Cabaret every week. It’s the most beautiful venue you’ve ever seen. It’s all linen tablecloths and crystal and silver service and a proper stage. It’s like a Las Vegas nightclub, but it’s beautiful.”
“And they let the likes of you in?” I asked.
Janey looked at me without blinking.
“I was in Josie Long’s recent film.” she said. “I’m an alcoholic library assistant. It’s brilliant. I get to swear a lot and to improvise. The problem of working with Josie and her crew is they give me the sketch of a script and I just fill it in and improvise. And that means they laugh so much they have to do nine takes and I want to batter them all.”
“The billing for the film,” I said “claims it is a twee romantic comedy that turns into a dystopian, police state thriller“.
“There’s a Princess Diana theme,” Janey continued, “which runs through it with me and they laugh so much. I say: Right, I’m gonna improv, so none of youse can laugh. But Josie fuckin’ laughs every time and they have to take it again and again and again and I do a different one every time just to get them. Good fun.”
“You’ve gone for the blonde hair yourself,” I observed. “The Princess Diana look.”
“We all go blonde eventually, John,” said Janey. “Though not you. You’re a baldie fuck.”
The show, of course, was wonderful. They always are.