Monday, 12 July 2010


Had an absolute blast on Saturday when I met up with my mates from Lancaster and we went to see Spamalot. I hadn't seen my friends since the infamous YMCA dancing night in Morecambe last March, so a meet up was well overdue and much anticipated. I hadn't heard of Spamalot previously but found out it was written by Eric Idle and in his own words 'lovingly ripped off from Monty Python and the Holy Grail'. We trundled off to Manchester and walked through hot and humid streets with perspiration leaking through my head faster than a United Utilities burst water main. We walked down Oxford Road and saw loads of people gathered outside the Radisson Hotel and was told it was Nicole from Pussycat Dolls just leaving. Our showbiz sources told us that the X Factor auditions were taking place at the nearby G-Mex and Nicole (otherwise famous for schtomping Lewis Hamilton) was a guest judge. And so on to the Opera House which was mercifully air conditioned and packed out. Spamalot was surprisingly good and very entertaining. It starred Marcus Brigstocke as King Arthur, Todd Carty as Patsy (a sort of Baldrick character) and Blackpool girl Jodie Prenger in the Lady of the Lake role. I know I'm biased, but Jodie Prenger was excellent - there's a really good comic actress lurking behind the West End musical voice just waiting to be picked out by some up and coming comedy production. After the show, like a troup of giggling groupies we hotfooted it round to the stage door and met all the cast and had our photos taken. Jodie and I chatted about our Blackpool connection (like you do) and we all flirted a little with Todd (like you do). 
After a quick review of the photos, we stopped for a refreshment stop in a open air plaza and just watched city life at its best. Manchester really is a cool city. The city centre has a continental yet young, wealthy and metropolitan feel about it. There's loads of bars, coffee shops and restaurants all doing very well. We sat out in a small plaza and saw people relaxed and enjoying the weather with glasses of wine and chatting surrounded by Victorian buildings of old and modern glass fronted buildings post Arndale IRA bombing. We then pootled off to a little Asian restaurant in Albert Square and enjoyed a bottle of bubbly and some pretty sensational Indonesian/Thai food. Great day with great company with plenty of laughs as usual. 

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