There were lots of other lovely ladies in the queue. And as the doors swung open to let us in, I glanced back at the by now burgeoning queue to see that there were lots and lots of lovely ladies. In fact I was the only bloke in that first wave of theatre-goers!
I should have thought, the clue is in the title… Ladies Night!
You see, we always book for the first night of the next show. It doesn’t matter what the show is called or whether we have seen it before. We just book it. We simply love this unique theatre with its stalls set out cabaret-style with tables at which to eat your hearty meal (for just a tenner!), with its friendly helpful staff, its beautifully quaint and ornate décor – and of course… The Bar!
Hang on. It’s a theatre and I’ve not mentioned the shows yet. Truth is, we’ve kind of started to take for granted the fact that the show is going to be good. It always is, almost without exception, bloody good.
Anyway, as the only fella sitting in the auditorium, I was beginning to think I should have maybe read the flyer properly and given this one a miss. I could have left my lovely lady to whoop and ogle with the rest of the lovely ladies whilst I retired to the Penny Farthing around the corner with a cool Guinness or three.
In the event, I’m glad I didn’t. For a start, I ended up not being the only male member (no pun intended) of the audience that night. As the theatre filled up, I counted seven others in the stalls. Not a huge contingent, granted, and the relief on their faces as we made eye contact assured me they’d all had the same feeling of trepidation!
There was a sense of solidarity in our minority. We all seemed to strut our masculinity toward the bar at the same time in much the same way the girlies always seem to make for the loos in convoy. As soon as the curtain went up, all that was forgotten. For Ladies Night was a hilarious comedy loosely based on the “Full Monty” theme, although it pre-dates the film by a couple of decades. Originally written for the New Zealand theatre circuit, it has been specially adapted for Liverpool audiences to produce the sort of scouse comedy that the Royal Court does so very well.
The first night audience were on form right from the start too. Wonderful good humoured heckling was to be expected on a night like this. One of the most memorable was “Hey mate. If you get your kit off we’d wish we’d gone to Specsavers”.
The story line was predictable but that’s not a criticism. The first half was very much about five down-on-their-luck lads struggling with the idea of getting their kit off in front of a female audience despite the fact none of them were what you would call an Adonis.
Will they? Won’t they? We knew they would of course. And it was during the break that I started to feel a little uncomfortable again. The greater part of the second half of the play was to be the actual “show” that the five would-be strippers were putting on at their local club. How would I feel sitting amongst all these ladies, alongside my own lovely lady, watching five average looking blokes stripping off in the name of entertainment.
When I say “average” I mean, variously: skinny, chubby, geeky, god’s-gift and camped-up-to-the-eyeballs.
To their credit, they were bloody great. Dare I say – I actually enjoyed their routines. They were well choreographed, confident and downright sexy.
There – I’ve said it!
The lovely ladies, of course, loved it! They were standing in the aisles, whooping, clapping to the music and singing along. And you could see in the way these five actors were soaking up the adulation, that any doubts they may have had about appearing in this play had gone the same way as their clothes!
I always wind up my little reviews with a “would I recommend it or not”. I might be forgiven for saying I’d recommend Ladies Night to 50% of the readers of this blog.
But I’m not going to do that.
Fellas: Don’t go to the Penny Farthing whilst your missus goes to Ladies Night. Don’t use the World Cup as an excuse not to accompany your lovely lady to this show.
Go along and enjoy the show. It really is very funny and very well done. Anyway, there will be at least six other blokes in the audience offering their solidarity.
Please excuse the quality of the mobile phone pictures – they don’t allow photography during the show.
Maybe if I asked nicely they might invite me along to the dress rehearsals for future shows to get some decent shots. Hint hint! 😉
See also on the Daily Post and Liverpool Echo websites.