After the Show
We went to see the political comedian Mark Thomas at Stroud's subscription rooms. His show was biting but side splitting, as ever. It's the first time he's come to Stroud, we normally travel to see him in Cheltenham. I bumped into my wonderful playtime assistant/volunteer, D, at the interval. She helps me to bring my play plans to fruition, and never minds if I tear off half way through the puppet show to pursue a runaway child! I offered to lend her Mark Thomas' book about the arms trade, called As used on the famous Nelson Mandela (a
phrase actually employed to advertise a set of leg irons on display at an arms fair).
Coming out of the Subs, I was reminded of the crowds pouring out of the Hackney Empire in the late 1980s. Time was when I would go to see a political comedian/band several times a month. I wished there was a bar to repair to, to discuss the burning issues with bespectacled folk with hand knitted roll ups. A friend tells the story of how, sometime in the the pre-internet eighties, she was on her way somewhere, she chanced upon a demo and decided to join in. She had a perfect moment of communion with a lovely man, whom she could only describe as Scottish. Then the demo broke up, then they left, and never saw each other again. Every so often. I remember that tale and wonder who he was and what became of him...
The former cinema (maybe the Rex) was a Mecca bingo hall when I came to Stroud. It closed in 1994 and remained empty till 2003, when it reopened as a night club. Needless to say, I'd love to have visited it in a more glamorous era. My photogene settings does a 1920s vintage colour effect, and a 1940s B&W, but not a 1930s. So I've gone with the '40s as it is more dramatic.
Other than that, it was surprisingly cold today, and Steve said he could tell the gritter lorries had been out tonight.