Sometimes it is better to see shows blind.
A few months ago, I was invited to go see a show which happened last week.
By the time the day came round, I had completely forgotten who had invited me or what the show was. So I went along not knowing what to expect.
It was very good.
Much the same thing happened last night.
I went along to the Scala in London to see the Greatest Show on Legs perform during a show which I thought was probably a music event of some kind. I had not really bothered to ask.
In fact, it turned out to be a mega-variety show staged by promoters White Mischief. It was called The Haunted Halloween Ball.
The audience dressed in Halloween costumes and the performers were of a top-notch quality which I can only compare to the level of the old Paul Daniels Show on BBC TV or ITV’s old Sunday Night at The London Palladium in its heyday (not to be confused with ITV’s misbegotten recent dog’s dinner called Sunday Night at The Palladium).
It is still relatively rare to see a wildly energetic exotic dancer with a flaming hula hoop (I mean the hoop was in flames) followed by a near-naked werewolf trapeze act.
I was talking to one of the acts in the backstage corridor later.
They told me that the buzz of performing had been amazing – like the first and only time he or she had ever taken heroin.
I am not sure this kind of simile should be encouraged, but there was certainly a buzz in the auditorium from a very good audience who wanted to see new things.
Showman Adam Taffler – one of the more extravagantly-dressed people backstage despite the fact he was not performing – told me he thought London audiences had now developed a taste for large-scale one-off events with strong formats. He recently staged Soirée in a Cemetery with Stewart Lee, the British Humanist Association Choir and much more.
Last night, The Haunted Halloween Ball show started at 9,30pm. It finished at 4.00am. I left at 12.30am when the show was still going strong. In the train home to Elstree, three middle-aged women were dressed as nuns. I think they were in fancy dress costume. But they might have been real.
By that time, reality and surreality had started to blur.
This morning, I woke up to an e-mail from mad inventor John Ward. It simply said:
“I have just had an e-mail from the Monster Raving Loony Party with a request to build something for one of their candidates in the forthcoming General Election next May.”
Like I said, reality and surreality have started to blur.