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Comedy of stage and screen Oct 30

Following a wine-fuelled work quiz night on Friday which was good fun (my team lost on the tie-break and didn’t dispute too many answers…), I was up just after 5am on Saturday morning to get to the airport. I flew to City Airport for the first time, which is not only more convenient for central London than “London” Luton or “London Stansted”, but, because it was a smaller flight and a less busy airport, my checked baggage emerged very quickly (and in the right city too).

From there, a cheapish DLR journey took me to Greenwich, from where I took a stroll (more uphill than I’d remembered – grr) to Blackheath (and the obligatory second-hand bookshop browsing) and Lewisham. In the afternoon, I delivered some leaflets before heading back to Blackheath to see funny comedian Jeff Green. One joke I particularly remember was the bar happily selling us large drinks before the show without mentioning that we couldn’t take them in. All was not lost, though – the bar staff popped them in the fridge for us during the first half. Green himself was very funny, compensating for a quiet audience, low lights and a groin injury with spot on jokes about Blackheath, a good gag about Anne Frank merchandise and several naughty words.

After a lazy day including lunch in Greenwich, hired the 2005 film of The Producers to watch last night. It’s worth a look for plenty of funny bits (including my favourite shot from the original film), although becoming a musical in its own right does seem to have slown the film down a bit. For example, an early song and dance routine which illustrates Matthew Broderick’s motivation for joining Nathan Lane’s scam, while fun is lengthy and holds up the plot. Uma Thurman is good as a bad actress (a role she also played in The Avengers 😉 ), while Lane does well in the Zero Mostel role.

The best scenes are the introduction of Will Ferrell’s OTT German playwright, the indefatigibly camp Keep It Gay, and the opening sequence of Springtime for Hitler itself, in which a bleached blond, Nazi-uniformed John Barrowman off of Doctor Who and Torchwood (yes, and Live & Kicking) sings the title number. One or two of the new songs seemed a bit obviously lyrically, but the good elements make the whole film worth a look.

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