As you all know, last Saturday I travelled to Edinburgh to see a play based on McGoohan’s relationship with Lew Grade during The Prisoner. Here’s the full story!I arrived in Edinburgh at around 10:30, full of excitement and anticipation. Apart from there only being an audience of 20 (I’d forgotten how generally obscure the show is) I was not to be disappointed.
Not having been to the Royal Mile for several years, I popped into a bar to ask for directions. It was also an excuse to have a quick pint. Typically the barmaid was from Eastern Europe but a regular on a bar stool was able to help -but not without giving me the third degree first!
Hearing my South Eastern accent, he asked me where I was from. He was trying to impress the barmaid so I said “Glasgow” – after all, that’s where I’m based! He argued that I wasn’t (unbelievable) and so I mentioned the district of King’s Park and Rutherglen where I work. Get this.He still called me a liar. I just drank my pint and told him I wasn’t going to bother going into work on Monday as according to him I didn’t exist. I got directions from the next pub!
There’s alot of rivalry between Edinburgh and Glasgow and from personal experience, Glaswegians are more sociable.
Once I found the Royal Mile, naturally I preceded to walk in the wrong direction. When I reached the top ( with an hour before the curtain went up!) I discovered a tourist centre where three helpful young ladies fell over themselves to point out the venue on a map. A little bit of charm always does the trick!
20 minutes later I came across Carolos (director) Tracey (actress) and Colin (actor) dressed as Prisoner characters (complete with Rover!) handing out leaflets. Carolos was the first to spot my T-shirt, where upon he started trying to engage my interest. I explained he was preaching to the converted!
After a little confusion I finally managed to collect my prebooked ticket. I asked when I could go in as I was anxious to be in the front row. This was when I discovered it was only an audience of 20 and that I had 25 minutes before they could let me in. Time for another pint!
Edinburgh is expencive and they charge about £3.60 for a pint. There was a plush bar in the lobby and so I thought it would be amusing to ask how much a Guinness was. I was told £4.50 and so I explained I’d be back once I’d got a loan from the bank!
I then popped into a bar across the road, sank three more pints and arrived back to queue at the door. This is where I spoke to Carolos again who suggested I spoke to Paul (the writer) after the performance. He insisted on also giving me a free programme. I also met Rob ( the star) at this point and he was clearly nervous when he realised I was anafficionado!
The ‘theatre’ was more like someone’s sitting room and I was literally just inches away from the performers. Marvelous! Rob didn’t come in for about 6 minutes and I was tempted to applaud his entrance. I thought better of it as I didn’t want to phase him. The whole thing was over too soon but I led the applauses after each scene. Tracey was wonderful as the star struck secretary as was Colin and Rob. Rob certainly is charismatic and I told him later that it was a good decision to resist impersonating McGoohan. I also told Rob he had the audience eating out of his hand during the climax and that Paul’s humouress line about Lew Grade getting Tony Curtis on the line was the perfect pay off. I was the only audience member to applaude Rob’s explosion and he clearly appreciated it. I’d felt guilty of making him nervous right before the play.
After the final scene, the whole cast received a HUGE applause. I particularly found it difficult to stop. I’d suggested to Paul that we meet in a local bar after the show and was delighted to see he’d been joined by Rob and Tracey. They ordered lunch (I ordered another pint) and we sat for an hour chatting about the play and The Prisoner. It was most humouress and stimulating!