I can't remember the last time I went to a West End show. Booking tickets to something that's on for months always drops down my priorities list. When Erica asked if I wanted to come along to see Dead Funny with her I couldn't turn it down. And go for dinner first? Even better!!
We both met at All Bar One which had just been refurbished. It looked pretty swanky in there with funky looking lamps hanging over the tables, not to mention possibly the best neon sign in existence!
It also wasn't a tourist trap either, despite being located in Leicester Square. Fitting in a decent meal before the theatre can sometimes feel quite rushed but this didn't at all. The waiter, Juan, kept checking in on us to see if we needed anything and made sure our food came out quickly. We started with a sharing platter which had calamari (yum), chicken skewers, haloumi and chorizo skewers, home made tortillas (with just the right amount of tang) and hummus and pitta. We devoured it over a bottle of wine before tucking into steak with parmesan chips. Oh, and sweet potatoes fries because, well, you can never not order them when they're on a menu. I'd never had parmesan fries before but there were really good although quite cheesy for a whole portion.
Bellies full we realised we had fifteen minutes until the show started so we scooted along to the Vaudeville theatre ready for Dead Funny to start. The play was written by Terry Johnson and was first performed in 1994. It's set in 1992, the year Benny Hill died, followed by Frankie Howerd a few days later. The characters are part of comedy appreciation society, the Dead Funny Society, which comes together to mourn the passing of the comedians. Throughout the storyline we learn more about how Eleanor wants a child but is frustrated when her husband has no interest in touching her, the not so perfect marriage of Nick and Lisa and the overly mothered Brian, who just wants everyone to be happy.
The performance was strong; the show does what the name suggestions - it was dead funny. My favourite character was easily Eleanor, played by Katherine Parkinson, who came out with some of the funniest remarks about her husband and the rest of the cast. It's also the first performance I've seen with full on nudity and boy, I was not ready for that. Cue some very immature giggles!
A Tuesday night of culture was pretty good! You can catch Dead Funny on at the Vaudeville theatre until 4th February 2017. Thanks for the invite London Theatre Bloggers and Stagedoor (a handy little app for finding new shows to see).
**I was a guest of both All Bar One and Dead Funny but as always, my reviews wouldn't be here if I didn't love it.