Thursday, October 14, 2010

Have you missed blog posts about David Tennant? I have.

If twitter never again gives me anything all will be okay if only for the fact that whilst reading it between Henry IVs on Tuesday I discovered that David Tennant had been confirmed as appearing in Celebrity Autobiography at Leicester Square Theatre (ah, that would be Venue Four of 52:52). And - to my total surprise - there were still tickets available. Approximately three minutes later there was one less ticket available as I'd taken my place in the second row.

The internet is truly a glorious thing.

And do you know what else is glorious? How close the seats are to the stage in the main auditorium at the Leicester Square Theatre. Touching distance it could be said (as, erm, I did on twitter as soon as I realised).

The premise of Celebrity Autobiography is clear enough: celebrities write terrible autobiographies littered with little irony and practically no self awareness or perspective. Celebrity Autobiography puts these books into the hands of funny, intelligent people who see the irony and/ or tedium and the audience watches these people read extracts. And, if you have even a passing interest in popular culture, it is a joyously good idea. To add some shade to the evening they also perform mashups of autobiographies (either in the Glee style of ones that work well - and by well here I mean comically - together or in the style of a he said-she said about related events). When first out is The Guy from Ugly Betty reading David Hasselhoff you know you're in for a treat.

My particular treat is more in the form of semi-bearded David Tennant reading David Cassidy's detailing of a somewhat unsatisfying sexual encounter with one of the Patridge family. Tennant's all bemused unknowingness and surprised failure as he recounts what can only be considered a case of too much information.

I get a little surprise at this point as DT announces the next people on stage and one of them is Lady I Gave A Two Star Review in Edinburgh this year. Lady I Gave A Four Star Review is also a member of this Destiny's Child, which adds to the group dynamic I think. Irrationally I feel a wave of guilt when Lady I Gave A Two Star Review makes me laugh. Goddamn reviewing guilt.

Luckily I'm saved by N*Sync (which is not something I ever expected to say) who, to no surprise, give good dull. DT gets to be a goofy JC relating a story of the time his trousers split on stage, a story which has so much repitition that Tennant's timing earns himself the only audience participation line of the night.

There's a group read-through of Britney giving us such insights as crying on film requires you to act and that she had a tuna sandwich for lunch. Once again Lady I Gave a Two Star Review makes me laugh hard. What can I say - she should stick to crappy celebrity output delivered with attitude.

With some deliberateness Celebrity Autobiography finishes with a mashup of genius in the form of the autobiographies of Debbie Reynolds, Eddie Fisher and Elizabeth Taylor. The Guy from Ugly Betty gets a cameo of genuis providing a running commentary on which number husband of Elizabeth Taylor's any given man is (funny and informative). It's DT's Richard Burton that I've been waiting for though.

On cue DT steps forward. He's all deliberate swagger and smooth arrogance as, with force, he pulls open the top few buttons of his shirt before grabbing the microphone stand. The audience laughs and whoops and nothing happens for a few seconds other than DT standing there with the manhandled microphone. Which means people whoop even more. And - well, you get the impression. This could quite easily have gone on for another three hours if it weren't for the fact that I'm sure front of house would have evicted us by then.

When he does speak, for the first time of the evening, he doesn't use his own accent. Burton, obviously, is deep and Welsh and DT's body holds itself to meet it.

It is, quite simply, wonderful.

And then - it is over.

I'm full of a haze of joy as I leave the auditorium. Though not so full of joy that I've stopped listening to other people's conversations because I am, let it be clear, nosey.

"He was brilliant" says an American voice

I listen in to see who the "he" might be.

"I've never watched Doctor Who but really awesome".

So, if you were shaking your head at my unashamed bias, we have it quantified. People who don't watch Doctor Who thought he was awesome too.

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