Yes, tonight I would have been at the Last Night Of The Poms at the M.E.N. in Manchester but alas it was not to be. Through no fault of my own you understand because the date was cancelled back in July with ‘unforeseen circumstances’ being the reason given.
I had been dying to see Sir Les Patterson and Dame Edna in the flesh and had booked the ticket back in January. In my official capacity as curator of a web-site dedicated to Uncle Les I felt it my duty to attend. Even the ticket price of £53.50 didn’t dissuade me. That is a considerable amount of money in anyones currency for two, possibly three, hours entertainment. It would have been the first appearance by Sir Les on a UK stage in many years.
On a side note: when the cancellation was announced Ticketmaster.co.uk managed to get the ticket out the next day. This was so that they could still charge me the £2 booking fee and leave me with a souvenir ticket that was worthless. £2 for a piece of flimsy card. They did refund the £51.50 but considering that they had my money for six months, that the date was cancelled and that they hadn’t even sent out the ticket, it was robbery.
Last night was the first Last Night Of The Poms so my Google Alerts were firing with multiple links to various reviews. You can read the selected high-lights over at Sir Les Patterson’s web-site. From all accounts, the word isn’t good. The monologues by Sir Les and Dame Edna certainly seem to have been well received but when the band and the huge choir strike up that’s when things take a dive.
From what I’ve read the musical passages just aren’t that funny, witty or humorous. These musical sections have been performed before and, again from what I’ve read, most people wanted to forget them.
With the country digging it’s way out of a recession I can’t see that that many people would have paid £50 or more, each, for one night out. And that doesn’t include meals, parking, drinks or a stay in a hotel.
The tour should just have been in theatre sized venues, of which there are at least 4 or 5 around the centre of Manchester, with Laurie Holloway on the piano, a few songs (hence the pianist) and buckets of phlegm and gladdies. Possibly do two nights at each venue, one for Sir Les and the other for Dame Edna (I think I’ve missed my calling, I should have been a tour manager).
There is a possibility that the tour will return to the UK next year after a stint in Australia during December. Here’s hoping that Sir Les leaves the band behind and plays a show near here.