Daily Mail

I led the mae­stros a right song and dance

- email: pboro@dai­ly­mail.co.uk London · Rodgers and Hammerstein · Kenneth Williams

FOR a 21st birth­day treat in 1959, my par­ents took me and my brother to see pieces Of Eight. this amus­ing re­vue star­ring Fenella Field­ing and Ken­neth wil­liams was at the apollo the­atre in the heart of Lon­don’s the­atre­land on shaftes­bury av­enue. I de­cided that as my par­ents had bought the tick­ets, the least I could do was to buy the drinks in the in­ter­val. the bar was crowded so I made my way through the throng while the rest of my fam­ily took the only seats avail­able. stand­ing at the bar, I no­ticed the two men in din­ner jack­ets next to me had amer­i­can ac­cents. Be­ing a nosey type, I asked them if they were en­joy­ing Lon­don and whether they had seen any other shows. ‘Yes, we’ve seen a few, but mostly in the states,’ said the man near­est to me. I then launched into a dis­course on which shows they should see, or not see, de­scrib­ing the mer­its and de­mer­its of each one in de­tail, even though I’d only read news­pa­per re­views. they lis­tened po­litely, nod­ding now and then. as they took their drinks and left, they thanked me for shar­ing my in­sights, say­ing they hoped I’d en­joy the rest of the show. as they de­parted, a man, who had ob­vi­ously been lis­ten­ing to our con­ver­sa­tion with amuse­ment, asked: ‘do you know who you’ve just been giv­ing showbiz ad­vice to?’ ‘No,’ I said. ‘who were they?’ ‘Only Rodgers and Ham­mer­stein,’ he replied.

Roger Vince, Up­per Bry­nam­man, Carms.

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