Regular readers will know that my name is Mark and I’m an addict — a theatre addict — and much else; if you have an addictive personality, you addict to anything that makes you feel different — sex, sugar, coffee, and in my case, theatre, too.
If I have found some relief from my habit of compulsive theatregoing that I typically adopt in London and New York whenever I’m there, the temptation is never too far away. So I’m particularly proud of myself that despite contemplating a quick jaunt to New York this coming weekend, I’ve resisted it (so far).
I came to a belated realisation: my life was not a dress rehearsal — and it really didn’t matter if I missed a few (dozen) shows. So when it came to booking this year’s P-town trip, which we do every January, we asked about availability for an extended stay.
Across April I’ve duly seen 13 shows in London, one of them twice within the space of four days – namely the current revival of Guys and Dolls. I’d seen it twice before that, first when it originated at Chichester two summers ago and then when it transferred to the Savoy in January, and now again when it moved across town to the Phoenix with a substantially re-cast set of principals and I reviewed it for a third time. Then I returned to it yet again the same weekend to accompany a friend who was in town visiting from New York (yes, it’s that good!).
I’ve not updated my diary of a theatre addict for six weeks now — I was last here on January 31 — since when I’ve seen all of 49 shows, including outings to Newbury, Dartford, Clwyd, Manchester, Bromley and Cardiff, plus a week in New York. I’ve also taken an active part in two more shows by appearing onstage as a contestant in a theatrical re-run of Mr and Mrs with husband (so it was really Mr and Mr, we’re pictured above with host Samuel Holmes) and as part of David Bedella and Friends, his monthly chat show at the St James Studio.