Well hello, I’m Simon Mince and welcome to Stage Left, your weekly look at what’s the new rock ‘n ‘ roll in British theatre and I have with me tonight two of the biggest, most fantastic wonderful names in terms of board treading in the world.
First, the only, the one and only Sir Michael Rhubarb, 103 years young and still packing ‘em in as King Lear’s granddad in Toby Smartarse’s production of Neville Greville’s King Lear’s Granddad at the Very Old Vic….
Sir M: Mmmph.
And for the very first time on Stage Left, the exceptionally beautiful and captivating Miranda Fule, straight from her press – stopping performance as Madge Bunn in Barbara Cartland’s Its All Shite at the Goole Playhouse. Welcome Miranda!!
Let me start with you, Sir Michael. When you were a brilliant young actor, all those years ago, did you ever dream you’d one day play King Lear’s Grandad in such a fantastic and wonderful play?
Sir M: Mmmph. Well of course I didn’t, you little berk. By rights I should be brown bread by now or peacefully slavering in a home somewhere.
So what drives you still ?
Sir M: Mmmph. I’ll tell you what bloody well drives me sonny – a big bloke in a Merc, seven grasping ex-wives and a runaway cocaine habit. That’s what drives me!
Well there’s a brilliantly straight- talking Sir Michael for you! Miranda – I suppose even such a towering dramatic presence as your lovely self must be pretty excited about the reviews of your powerful performance in Its All Shite?
M: It’s a job, innit?
But weren’t you surprised at the grittiness of the piece, coming as it does from someone more associated with hearts and flowers?
M: Yeah, well, she’s dead now innit so we altered it a bit, right?
Really? How exciting! For those who haven’t seen it yet – in what way?
M: Well, me getting’ me kit off for a start.
Yes indeed. That must have been a first for Goole.
M: Not really, I’ve ‘ad me kit off all over the place and Goole more than once.
And the farting. Tell me about the farting.
M: Yeah well, that was Jaz’s idea. He’s a real old perv.
By Jaz, of course you mean Charles Tightfit the director and one-time collaborator of Matthew Bourne’s?
M: That’s ‘im.
Tell me, didn’t Charles, er Jaz once suggest having live turkeys dance Swan Lake?
M: Yeah, but they crapped everywhere and couldn’t do high kicks.
Which is a neat link back to Its All Shite, right? Oh my goodness, I’m breaking into rhyme, ha ha ha….
M: You’re a bit of a wanker really, innit?
Sir M: Mmmnph. Too bloody right he is. Tell you what Belinda, or whatever your name is, get some clothes on and let’s nip across the road for a quick snifter then maybe a line or two back at my hotel… no need to zip anything up….
Stage Left was a Precious Head up Bum Production for BBC Radio 4 and Simon Mince will be back again at the same time next week unless we can find somebody a bit less fawning.