Local author Wilkie Martin writes…
Phill Jupitus, a comedian familiar from such TV programmes as Never Mind the Buzzcocks and QI, gave us an outstanding performance on Friday 18th October. You´re Probably Wondering Why I´ve Asked You Here…, an act in three parts was quite unlike anything I’ve ever seen before, with Phill playing three extraordinary characters in turn. He solicited questions from the audience, answering in character with improvised responses that were always funny, often hilarious, and sometimes surreal. Several times, he couldn´t contain his own laughter, which somehow increased the hilarity.
Firstly, he played the late Vernon Herschel-Harley, a crusty, self-acclaimed legend of stage and screen, who passed away in bizarre circumstances, ages just 114. The late Vernon, although knowing all the greats, was not, however, unfamiliar with hard times, having once been forced to advertise himself as willing to tap-dance for oysters; as a bon-viveur, he´d always been partial to first-rate starters. He also claimed to have inadvertently invented Buckaroo and that Sir Laurence Olivier, while offering the part of Godot, had stolen his idea and made a fortune.
His second character, the late Kurt Schiffer, captain of U42B, an reluctant scourge of the Atlantic, died in 1945, having cocked on a cocktail onion. It was ironic that, although three of his crew were called Heidrich, non knew the Heimlich manoeuvre. Amongst Kurt´s reminiscences, I particularly enjoyed his account of falconry onboard the U-boat, which began after he had encouraged his crew to have a hobby. He also explained how Hitler´s trade-mark moustache was created for him by Steve, a hairdresser from Hull.
The final character was the late Phillip Jupitus, beloved entertainer, who died on June 24th 2052, on the eve of his 90thbirthday, but was being projected back to talk to us. Sadly, he refused to reveal Saturday night´s lottery numbers.
It was a brilliantly funny evening with some memorable moments.
Phill (http://www.offthekerb.co.uk/phill-jupitus/) will be at the Roses in Tewkesbury on 15 November and at Evesham Arts Centre on 23 November.
The Sundial Theatre, based at Cirencester College on the Stroud Road, has a varied programme with top notch comedians as well as plays and films. Comedian Robin Ince will be at the Theatre on 22ndNovember. Also, don´t miss To the Manor Married a comedy musical by local writer, Alison Mizzi on 14-15thNovember.
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