Friday, June 03, 2005

Guys And Dolls: Press

Mixed reviews it seems for Ewan McGregor in the West End revival of Guys and Dolls, but I am sure it is going to be terrific. Our tickets were booked long ago for June 22nd.

I was fortunate enough to see the Richard Eyre's National Theatre production of it twenty something years ago, and it is strange to think that I am going to see the show again shortly after rejoining a gym.

Back in the Eighties I was working in the centre of London and I joined the YMCA in Tottenham Court Road. As it happens, I was due at "Guys and Dolls" pretty much immediately after the first weight training session of my entire life. In those days I was a lot more competitive (i.e. stupid) than I have subsequently become, so the first time I ever pumped iron I rather over did the squats because they were the only exercise I could shift a reasonable weight at.

I have two vividly embarrassing memories of the consequences.

My legs completely gave away underneath me as I was walking down the steps to the tube station. I had to pull myself back up by the handrail and then progress stiff legged to the train rather like Kenneth More's Douglas Bader in "Reach for the Sky".

Worse was to follow.

As I sat through the first act of Guys and Dolls my legs siezed in position locked sharply at the knees, so during the interval I had to retrieve my pre paid gin and tonic by propelling myself to the bar using the knuckle-walk style of locomotion more usually favoured by our chimpanzee cousins. (Foregoing booze that I had already paid for is not an option that would have ocurred to me in those halcyon days.)

Even through all my travails, I really enjoyed a great production of a great, great musical.

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