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Theatremonkey further down the tube

October 6, 2010

First, a big thank you to those on the London Underground system who kept enough of it open on Monday for me to make an important appointment that morning. It really was appreciated, and I know that many LU staff are worried about their jobs but disagree with the way it is being protested. I’m with you on that one – we need station staff one way or another, and station staff need their jobs, but the point doesn’t need to be made ‘at any price.’

When the tube runs properly, it can be brilliant. Today’s trip into London (can’t say more about why for the moment – but among the activities I encountered the most revolting promotional item ever… a rubber body that held a pen when stabbed… no prizes for guessing the play it promoted!) was at its best – suburb to centre in 40 minutes. It can be done, so talk, everybody.

Speaking of talk, the ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ “Sausagegate” scandal has really annoyed me. I only hope it was a planted story to boost the show, rather than something anybody is taking seriously. Homophobia of course is out, but two men sharing a very British tradition of innocent ‘sausage’ jokes – in which they both have an interest as they are /were paid to promote the product – doesn’t deserve anything like the storm it got. On the plus side, it means real comics can pack theatres every night (suits me, working in live entertainment) and leave the chattering PC brigade to the bland comedy wilderness they are creating on television for their own ends, and welcome to it they are too.

More interesting was the news that Theatremonkey was apparently mentioned on LBC (London Broadcasting Company Radio, for those who don’t get it on 97.3FM) last week. As is often the case, the website’s usage statistics did show a sharp upward spike at one point – but finding the explanation is often difficult. Google searches rarely reveal anything, and don’t of course cover sound (until they find a way to do so… ‘6079 Smith, W, we know what you are listening to’…

And finally, still on the subject of monkeys in the news, what about the ones being used as deterrents to other wildlife at the Commonwealth Games in India? If Londoners can take advice from one about theatre seats, why not use them to defend seats at Delhi sports grounds too… I just hope they are not merely paid peanuts of course.

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