Thursday, 5 March 2009

Sublime and Ridiculous: Royal Albert Hall to the Hen and Chickens Theatre

It's been a pretty odd day, events-wise.

Alongside the launch of The King and I at the Royal Albert Hall, I also caught the press view of Obama On My Mind at the Hen and Chickens Theatre, not in Camden, as I'd mistakenly thought, but in Highbury / Islington. (North of the river is such an impenetrable maze...)

So, heading for a post-11pm cliche, it really has been a day swinging from the sublime to the ridiculous.

I channelled Olivia Jools at the Royal Albert Hall, knowing no one in an awkward pre-launch mingle, but was thrilled to finally hear from the real Raymond Gubbay (I thought, like the Colonel in KFC, he was long gone, and more of a semi-mythical character than a real-life person), a lovely bloke from the RAH, who's about to retire, and the wonderful Maria Friedman, about to take on the role of Anna. She sang "Hello, Young Lovers" in a nicely, unpolished version. I think she's going to be good.

Then, after work, it was all about the trusty 43 up through The City, and into the unknown of Highbury and Islington. Which I still manage to get confused about after all this time.

The Hen and Chickens is a delightful little pub theatre. Obama On My Mind is an odd, inappropriate little musical. Indeed, from the outset, when the cast all came on in pink hats with wobbling pigs on top, overfilling an under-funded space, it seemed to be as far from the impressions I have of Obama as it is possible to ever, ever be. A whole galaxy. Light years away from the slick, well-funded machine that got this clever, slick man into power. Actual, real, whole, light years.

I'll write the review in the morning.

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