My friend Jay Diamond who also posts on Fridge Soup and I went on a coach trip yesterday and did what hundreds of thousands of people have been doing for 25 years: we went to a performance of Blood Brothers. For the first time.
The trip took seven hours out of each of our lives, which we'll never get back. The journey was bad enough, being shut in with a coach load of geriatric 5th-formers for ninety minutes each way; having to sit through the extraordinary noise of the performance was worse.
How this musical can have lasted as a firm favourite in the Firmament of Musicals for 25 years is a mystery to me. Admittedly, the performers were well-trained professionals, well up to standard and giving their all, but there was almost no musical merit to the thing; it had maybe two or three musical themes all-in-all, which were endlessly repeated. The story line is a sickeningly sweet mishmash of sentiment; had all the characters ended their futile lives with a volley of shots after the first 45 minutes, I'd have been well pleased. Sadly, only two of them, the eponymous brothers, got killed at the end, which means that the show will run and run for another 25 years. There'll always be brothers to replace these two.
Guess what else happened? An elderly gentleman in our row was obviously caught short about 40 minutes into the first act; he struggled his way through the row, all of us getting up as he trod on each foot in turn.
Ten minutes later, he actually struggled back in! The highlight of my evening!