Wolverhampton was my second to last whistle stop. I’d been there with ‘Me And My Girl‘ many years ago and before that ‘Aladdin’ starring the late great John Inman and Irish funnyman Jimmy Cricket. I have to say that the Wolverhampton Grand stands out as one of the best maintained, advertised and welcoming theatres on this tour. The houses were packed and the reaction was as if the circus had come to town for the first time in a century. We did some interesting publicity up at Dudley Castle and Zoo which involved Phill Jupitus posing with a showbiz weary owl.
I resided for the whole week with the delightful David Langham ( whose wit is so filthy I think it would cause my mac to self destruct should I quote anything) and Sam Holmes at a sweet little farm house just outside Wolverhampton. We had the most fantastic time celebrating the Royal Wedding day at the local gastro pub ‘The Greyhound‘ after weeping our way through the television coverage of the nuptials.
Another highlight of our week was a visit to The Acorns children’s hospice. Some of the children commanded us to sing a la X-Factor style and then gave us marks out of ten. We averaged about four out of ten… our toughest crowd yet!
Hull greeted us with unexpected sunshine… indeed the weather has been consistently pleasant throughout really. Unfortunately the audience numbers were decidedly slimmer in Hull though no less enthusiastic in their response. Hull itself seems to have some good attractions like the renowned Hull Truck theatre with a swanky glass covered shopping mall next to it and the pretty Princes Quay marina.
I did manage to do some sightseeing… York with it’s historic walls, The Shambles cobbled lanes and ah joy… a shop called The Pen Shop where I gorged myself on drawing and calligraphy pens. The lady who owned the shop said it was up for sale but I don’t think my funds would have stretched though the prospect was enticing. Had a pub lunch in the delightful village of Beverley and once again experienced shopaphoria in an old second hand bookshop where I sourced a fifties Film Review annual and a classic A.Wainwright Walking Guide to the Lake District. I don’t intend to go rambling in the Lake District but the Wainwright style of handwritten notes and sketches is a thing of beauty.
I’ve rambled enough… so obviously avoiding the remembrance of goodbyes. It was a perfect send off though. We at last had a full house on Saturday night we all gave it our all and then some. The audience stood on its collective feet and King Arthur hoisted me up onto his shoulder as we set off into the sunset.
So now what? Who knows. That’s the upside and the downside of our capricious business. Whatever it is I shall be reporting it all here. Keep watching this space faithful blogees!
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