Friday, 3 June 2011

John Cleese, ex-comedy great

Just a quickie tonight (as the actress said to the bishop, or whatever the modern equivalent is - the footballer to the reality TV star?)

Last night, my friend Fran and I went to see John Cleese live (he's not dead yet) in Leeds, and I can only describe the experience as oddly disappointing - and not just because he didn't do an encore.

He's currently touring the country with his one man show - to pay off his divorce costs, according to the PR bumf - in which he talks about his life in "the business."

What he had to say was certainly interesting.  But here's the thing.

There were at least three big screens placed at highly visible positions around the auditorium.

On each screen was an autocue with his script, word for word.   Even down to the swear words.   

And because of where they were, the audience could clearly see what he was about to say several seconds before he actually said it.

In an effort to enjoy the show, I tried to ignore the scrolling text but it was very hard.  And speaking to people during the interval, I know I was far from being alone.

Lazy? Shabby? Half-arsed?

All of the above, I reckon.

And, sorry as I am to say it, I must solemnly declare that John Cleese, comic genius, has ceased to be.

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