The Careless Taker

Just been having the most awful time.

Jeanie suggested going to the Theatre.  Sounded OK.  But, Oh Boy!

The theatre is question was His Majesties’ in Adelaide. The seats would be about the right size for an emaciated squirrel. The play was Pinter’s The Caretaker, which is 50 year old socialist dirge; about as much fun as Steptoe & Son but without any jokes and much, much, much longer.

I had taken the precaution of taking some painkillers, and a Valium, and a couple of glasses of red wine beforehand, to try to ward off the discomfort. It was not nearly enough.  Within 10 minutes, my back started to give me real pain.  Get into another head space, I told myself, and I tried to disconnect with this awful hell-hole, tune out the shouting from the stage, and imagine myself somewhere else. For a few moments I dropped off into blissful sleep, but was soon woken by yet more shouting from the stage and the general claustrophobia of being surrounded at much-too-close quarters by several hundred ardent lefties. And backache that was by now assuming red-hot proportions.

After what seemed like five or six hours (it may have been more) it was half time. I elected to walk home, which took an hour but relieved the pain somewhat, where I am now cheering myself up with brandy and more painkillers.

The back pain will probably subside over the next few days. But mental note:  next time anyone suggests going to see Pinter, Beckett or any of that crew, on stage plead illness. Tiredness. Headache. Pregnancy. Diarrhoea.  Pretty much anything really.

Cinemas have perfectly comfortable seats. What is it with these awful,awful theatres? And these utterly banal, crappy plays?

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1 Comment

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One response to “The Careless Taker

  1. I had a similar but worse experience at Glyndebourne a year or two ago. Worse in the sense that it was a boiling hot day and one was togged up in barathea – made worse by my having nearly outgrown it since being made for me 30 years ago . Similar in the sense that the opera, Tristan and Isolde is intolerable to me now. I used to quite like some Wagner but once one turns against him being forced to listen [ and watch ] in a hot stuffy auditorium his music brought on a sort of sweaty desperation I would have given anything ANYTHING to escape from. Worse still the other penguins seemed to be enjoying the dirge. Relief during the back aching sitting-on-the-grass picnic interval was made worse in the knowledge that one had to return to escape offence to ones generous hosts so that any thoughts of walking away or simply lying down by the brook were useless. Anyone who knows and hates Wagner will know that the final act of Tristan is quite literally endless torture. Trapped in the middle of a baking row and only half way through I convinced myself I needed a pee after being forced to drink Champagne which is not my favourite drink and which made the final ending almost an orgasmic moment as closure was in sight and a silent promise NEVER to go to see a Wagner opera ever again.

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