I am not a fan of musical theatre. Never have been, never will be. Give me heavy metal and hard rock every day of the week. But that amazing City performance of Saturday evening and the fallout from it would put the cast, production team and audience of Les Miserables to shame for skill, dedication and entertainment, tetchy reactions from several of those wearing white shirts in the “cheap seats” and subsequent media reviews.
After such a high-quality performance everybody suddenly loves us. Not City supporters of course, we’ve always loved us, particularly with the cast we have treading the boards at the moment. Some of us even think the understudies are surpassing those who have previously held leading roles.
La theatre du Farke has taken its time to produce these consistent performances but all the hard work in rehearsals is now paying off with consistently brilliant shows on evenings and matinees alike.
And being a forward-thinking troupe, we’ve even created our very own pantomime villain, although we might have to suspend the big Dutch lad from any City Varieties Theatre Leeds gig in the future, in case the audience reverts to the stale tomatoes and cabbages routine from the stalls.
After all the pre-match over-stoked hype we stuck to our script and blew Leeds off stage.
I couldn’t believe how well we played – yet again. Was I in the pub watching the match or was I in Norwich City heaven? Both simultaneously, I guess.
There have been so many superlatives floating around over the weekend and Gary G and so many others elsewhere have already covered them, so I won’t dwell on individuals beyond:
I’m singling out Marco Stiepermann as my man-of-the-match. Tom Trybull, Mario Vrancic and Max Aarons were only the width of a Rizla away from him. And every other outfield player was merely the width of a Blue Rizla (the flimsiest ones) away from them.
Many Leeds fans have also had the very good grace of complimenting us on our performance. Not too much of the “we made them look good” approach but more of the praise for the way we played. Thanks lads and lasses.
So back to our pantomime villain, aka Tim Krul. He sailed too close to the wind at times for my liking. When he cleaned out Tyler Roberts, he had the good sense to turn his back to the Leeds man and I suggest that turned a potential red into a yellow. We had two covering players behind the keeper at the point of contact anyway.
Shortly after the stage curtains closed Krul indulged in a bout of handbags with Patrick Bamford, ex of this parish (and many other parishes too). Head in with intent? I don’t think so and any retrospective punishment would be ridiculously harsh. I think we’ll get away with it – if indeed there’s anything to actually get away with.
He does worry me sometimes though, does our Tim. So calm 99.9 percent of the time, but…
So now the travelling theatre is back to its home city for an encounter with another actor/manager who is perceived by some (not me) as a pantomime villain with a complete rag-tag of a supporting cast. Banana skin? Not after what I saw on Saturday, for sure.
And then it’s putting on a show in the Lancastrian home of our former impresario, one Alex Neil.
Leeds, Ipswich and then Preston within ten days? You couldn’t make it up.
And as those of you who do appreciate musical theatre will know, you have to pass through London’s Cental/NortherCentral Bank station on the way to the West End’s theatreland. No need to alight but when the carriage doors open go look out for the original ‘mind the gap’. It’s painted on the edge of the bowed platform and you can’t miss it.
Talking of which that gap is now 39 points and very likely to increase to 42 at round about 1400 hours on Sunday coming (please don’t tempt fate, Martin! – Ed).
Let’s all enjoy the league table this week.
This article is dedicated to Clement Scott (a name Norfolk people may be familiar with). He’d turn in his grave if he were alive and able to read it, I’m sure