Up for a laugh on a Wednesday night back in February I headed up town with a mate for a date with Frank Skinner and Friends. Mikey is hungry and we stop for a butchers at a steak house on St Martins Lane, blow me they are charging £ 22 for an 8oz sirloin, not surprising then that there’s only 6 people in pre-theatre. The exterior looks enticing , they’ve gone for the ‘butchers shop’ look, hooks and chains in the front window, but they’ve not quite carried it off , its too polished, not enough blood and sawdust flying around.
We skirt around the sirloin and make a quick dash to Leicester Square for some KFC.
My mother would be appalled if she could see me walking along the street munching on a piece of greasy ‘one-ninety-nine’ chicken. I have to say though, it was delicious and seemed to fit in well with the night’s entertainment.
We’d had a few beers on the way and arrive with a minute to spare at the Noel Coward Theatre , the bell is ringing as I pop into the stalls bar and order a couple of beers, £9 for two bottles of San Miguel, now they are having a laugh and were not even in there.
We’ve just settled into our seats in the middle of the stalls, when Frank hits us with an opening fisting story, the old girl next to me is in stitches. Frank is impressive with his stage craft and stillness, something that gets overlooked in his current role of hosting an over-edited panel show, this man knows his stuff.
‘One Nil to Fulham’ shouts a man from the the back of the audience, (there playing against West Brom Skinners team). Skinner is not taking the bait and lets the football reference fly over his head. I guess it must be like a rock star getting constant requests for the old songs when he’s trying to move on to new material.
The half time interval arrives none too soon, after we’ve endured a somewhat confused and unordered second act who struggled to engage the audience before embarking on his rant of incoherent anti-tory banter , strange coming from a man who looked every ounce the city banker.
At Half Time here on a cold and misty night in St Martins lane its
One nil to Frank.
We pop out for a quick smoke on the steps outside. The guy who asked me for ‘ninety pence’ in Leicester square twenty minutes ago is back ‘without his limp’ this time, I don’t feel so bad for having refused his request first time around.
Lee Nelson opens the second half, his well crafted mockney geezer routine going down well with the audience. Nelson explores the idea of legalizing all drugs and selling them in supermarkets , Taste the Difference Weed and M&S excelling as purveyors of Crystal Meth.
After the show we head back south and stopping briefly to top up on supplies, its freezing out and we hurry up the road and back into the coziness of my flat. We’re buzzing from our little adventure and in need of a munch, so I pop some ‘outdoor bred pork chipolatas’ in the oven and we sit down to discuss the good and not so good of our evening with Frank and his Friends.
One accomplished professional delivering the goods with competent ease and a couple of rising stars who I’m sure will be playing in the top division very soon.
comedy tickets for two £32.00
refreshments four bottle beers £18.00