Saturday, 29 December 2018

Review of Up for It - starring Maureen Lipman

On the Sunday afternoon before Christmas I spent nearly a couple of hours being entertained by Maureen Lipman who is leading a show entitled "Up for It" at the South Bank Centre in the Purcell Room.

She is joined by the wonderful Jacqui Dankworth and the latter's husband Charlie Wood at the piano, so it is not quite a one woman show as there is also support from stage management and participation from the audience.

Ms Lipman does mention the Street during her performance as she reminds us that her late husband Jack Rosenthal wrote episode 30 (and another 128 subsequently as well as being producer for some months) and that she can understand why the actors like working there as she says it is very much like being at school.  Apparently there is a high degree of organisation with scripts rolling into be learned, clothes fitted and make-up all working to a tight timetable to ensure that it happens smoothly; she said it was a bit like being at school.

When she accepted the part of Evelyn Plummer she had already planned to take this show to the Edinburgh Festival back in August and so to fit in with her timetable they shot 39 pages of script in a single day - which we saw spread out over a period; we were led to understand that this is a pretty high number for a single day.

Some of Maureen's routine covers her mother ruining some of her early joke telling and later telling of her flat sharing time with Lesley Joseph.  Apparently (and I hope I am  not giving too much away) she reports that she cannot claim #MeToo as she has never once been harassed or molested on her journey through the entertainment industry - although there was one time ...  I am sure if you go and see her she will tell you that story as well as the one about the Jewish wife who often receives 12 red roses.

Jacqui Dankworth starts one song "Baby It's Cold Outside" - many readers will recall the Tom Jones / Cerys Matthews version - and Charlie responds by calling an Uber.  And she briefly recalls her late father Johnny Dankworth and his sad passing.

Nothing outrageous, all good fun and coming after a great Sunday lunch in Brasserie Blanc was a wonderful way of filling in an afternoon on the run into Christmas.  It is running until 6 January so you still have a chance to book and see the show and see one of our National Treasures in fine form.


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