Tim Elgood’s ‘Unforgettable’ on-tour Blog

Blog On The Tyne (more on this title choice later)

Well… what an ‘unforgettable’ week’s production…

The Derby Guildhall Theatre
The Derby Guildhall Theatre

How was the play received?

Tearfully. Now that could reflect poorly upon the World Premiere of any play. As too could the elderly lady’s comment to me as she left the auditorium at the interval with a wry smile, “Oi young man …” (ok – she did wear thick specs) “have you been eavesdropping on my sister and me for the last decade”?

How was it received?

With open arms and opened hearts. Not that you will ever persuade a cast of actors of that fact. The great ‘play within a play’ was the sister/brother post match analysis that developed in the pub each night. The scene was wholly juxtaposed with the lines from the play: “The old ones loved it – and the young ones were too pissed to care”. Our ‘young ones’ were clearly relieved and celebrating getting the first night under their belts. Unbeknown to them they also had a lot of glowing audience feedback to later digest.

The ‘older ones’? Well… what do they say about fine wine? Lesson learnt by me: You cannot tell an older actor they have performed well. It’s almost seen as a criticism. Lesson for older actors: How often did you see Tony Hancock smile? On stage or off. And how many times did he give a ‘forgettable’ performance?

The Guildhall might have provided us with a stage… but equally so did ‘The Brewery Tap’. After-show catch-ups with Anna, joined in The Tap by her husband, John.

Whereas Anna only drinks pints of things with a lemonade top, what are those colourful drinks Hayley drinks with a straw? And let’s raise a glass to her colourful lifestyle upon the Nottingham canal (for now) in her narrowboat, where she keeps her trusty bicycle and equally trusty ‘Brett’ (raise your glasses to a man who rolls his sleeves up on the final night at the Guildhall and gets stuck into ‘getting out’).

Hayley Dohert's narrowboat, 'Wanderer'
Hayley Doherty’s narrowboat, ‘Wanderer’

No time at this precise moment to mention the stars of backstage; Alison, Mandy, Gem, Mark and Drew, but their time will come. Also… conspicuous by her absence is director Theresa. Likewise, her time will come. And what of our ‘skipper’ Sally? Well the only photo I remembered to take (along with the tip of my forefinger to point her out) was Sally attending her al fresco supervision meeting with Anna’s husband, a retired probation officer, outside The Assembly Rooms.

'Skipper' Sally
‘Skipper’ Sally

So finally. What about the title of this blog? Hell’s bells. Forget Tony Hancock and the ‘stars of stage’. You can keep ‘em. We are in the company of a true talent. ‘Geordie Boy’ Adam… nurtured by a couple of pints of ‘Fine Continental Ale’ (aka lager) speaks of life before acting. ‘North West Young Footballer of The Year’. Lennox and I both sat up straight simultaneously and turned our respective ‘good ears’ towards young Donaldson. Presented to him by Gary Linneker no less. So why? Why on earth pursue such a dodgy career as acting? ‘Because football is marginally dodgier’. Good answer, Adam. But… his brother Ryan did pursue football and, as Lennox and I could both tell you, very nearly knocked Man Utd out of this year’s FA Cup.

So go and Google Ryan Donaldson, and while there check out the ‘Unforgettable’ reviews.


Tim Elgood

… And here are those reviews!:

Peter Ryley, Fat Man On A Keyboard Blog

Amanda Penman, Artsbeat


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