According to my Monday-afternoon exploration of its website, Birmingham’s Crescent Theatre has been bemusing them at Google with its efforts to tell the world where it is.
(For the record, it’s in Brindleyplace, almost picturesquely poised alongside the canal).
I didn’t know whether the theatre’s idea had been to include a map, though that’s what it looks like from the basic drawing that Google has included to help would-be cartographers on their way.
It is accompanied by the plaintive plea, “We could not understand the location” – and followed by the suggestions that all street and city names should be spelled correctly and that the address should include a city and state. After this, I gather, one should try entering a zip code – and if you really want everybody to find it, you should add it to Google Maps.
Bromsgrove group All and Sundry are due to present An Inspector Calls at the Crescent from September 22-27. Fortunately, there’s plenty of time for the company to find its way there, for what will be its first visit.
There is also excitement involved with the Crescent’s own opening production, Dick Barton – Special Agent, to be launched on September 13.
It’s a send-up of the wartime radio series and it finds Dick, Jock and Snowy doing their best to curb the inclination of arch-villain Baron Scarheart to take over the country by poisoning the water supply. They are up against the head of EFIL (Evil Foreigners in London).
Will they succeed? Need you ask?
But first, they have to escape from being suspended from the top of Big Ben. Be prepared, says the Crescent, to laugh your trilby off.
By the way, the bad Baron’s accomplice is the beautiful but treacherous Marta Heartburn – whose surname, presented to me in Century Gothic on its arrival via cyberspace, illustrates the problems of having a lower-case R immediately preceding an N if there aren’t any serifs about.
It reminds me of the photographer colleague who spent half a day accompanying an exhibitor, a Mr Chatburn, around an NEC exhibition. Guided only by the serif-free lapel label, he addressed him as Mr Chatbum for the whole morning.
* It seems that when you have not only written a pantomime but are also directing it and playing the Dame, there is no limit to the effort that goes into getting the show on the road.
Word reaches me that Richard Aucott, the man at the helm for Sutton Arts Theatre’s seasonal offering of Dick Whittington, has already been stuffed into a child’s playhouse in a bid to promote the project, in which he will be seen as Dame Semolina Puddings.
It underlines his claim to be really looking forward to meeting actors, dancers and singers who have not only spirit and energy but also a great sense of panto humour. He will be meeting them, he hopes, at the theatre on Sunday, when he starts auditioning potential principals at 10 am and goes on to seek singers and dancers at 2 pm.
There’s just a cautionary note, undoubtedly prompted by an anxiety to keep out of the clutches of the Child Protection Act and its satellite chaperones: potential participants must be over 17 years of age.
He is also looking for backstage crew. More information is available at email@example.com The show will run from December 4-13.
* Staying with Sunday in Sutton Coldfield, I can report that Highbury Little Theatre will be presenting a rehearsed reading of Martha, Josie and the Chinese Elvis.
It arrives on the wings of a claim that it is one of the funniest plays you are ever likely to see, and a reminder that it was first performed at neighbouring Sutton Arts Theatre in May – with many of those who attended now intent on coming back for more.
And even more imminently – tonight, in fact – Highbury Little Theatre is having a rehearsed reading of A Touch of Danger, a Francis Durbridge thriller which will be staged from November 11-22. Casting is scheduled for next Wednesday.
Also tonight, Walsall’s Grange Players will have a reading of My Boy Jack, the true story of Rudyard Kipling’s search for his son after the young man had disappeared at the Battle of Loos in 1915. David Haig’s play is due to be staged from November 6-15.
*For Hall Green Little Theatre, play readings represent a new venture. There are going to be three readings of Alan Bennett’s long monologues, Talking Heads, starting with a three night run from November 13-15.
* There is encouraging news about Oysters and Snails, the delightful comedy by Walsall’s Fellowship Players member Philip Holyman about which I waxed lyrical recently. Groups in the region have begun asking to take a look at the script – and he has been receiving enquiries from people wanting to know where they can next see the play.
There’s no answer to that yet, but I am sure this is a show with a future.