This week’s jam: Let’s do it, let’s do it tonight
This week’s improv jam is brought to you by: Parky
I was 15 years old in December 1988. Like lots of teenagers, I used to sit down regularly with my family and watch whatever entertainment was on the telly that evening. On 10 December that year, I, and millions of others, were treated to an hour of broadcast gold which is probably still the funniest 60 minutes of television that I have ever seen.
An Audience With Victoria Wood has become a firm a fixture in the history of TV comedy. It won two BAFTAs and, like many people my age, I can recite great swathes of that show. From being introduced to Madeleine, the make-up rep on the Sacharelle counter, to the iconic long overcoat and beret of the girl ‘looking for her friend, Kimberley’ it remains one of the most memorable TV moments of my childhood.
Wood was huge in our household. The five of us saw her stand-up show live at the Drury Lane theatre back in the day, and I had the great pleasure of seeing her At It Again (or ‘a tit again’, as she called it) at the Palace in Manchester in the late 1990s. Phrases from her comedy have become part of my (and many others) everyday vernacular, and to this day I can’t squeeze by someone in a tight space without asking “Can I thrust by? I’m a diabetic.”
Wood was a legend. Whether you’re a fan of Acorn Antiques or Dinnerladies, her superb writing and comic talent graced the screen for over 30 years. Of course, as well as being a brilliant stand-up, Wood was an accomplished musician and her Ballad of Barry and Freda made both a celebrity TV audience and a 15 year old boy absolutely cry with laughter.
So, this week, let’s pay tribute to the funniest person I’ve ever seen. Wood had a superb knack of turning humdrum relationships and subject matter (watch her great song At The Chippy) into comedy gold. So, this week we’ll do some nice, grounded kitchen-sink scenes, and then turn them into the sort of bonkers but truly British musical comedy that she will be forever remembered for.
Thursday 21 April 2016
7.30 – 9.30pm
The Malt Cross
16 St James’s St
£5 / 3 concessions