Pete & Dud Come Again
Marie did a fantastic thing for my birthday (June 22nd; I turned 31, and yes I will accept late gifts). She booked us tickets to a West End play, and kept the whole thing a surprise until the last minute!
That's really something for either of us; we're not good at keeping our mouths shut!
The play was Pete & Dud Come Again, based on the tortured relationship between Peter Cook and Dudley Moore.
Wow. Wow. Wow.
It was that good.
Admittedly, I haven't seen much of the original TV programmes with Cook & Moore, but I have seen Moore in his film roles, and Kevin Bishop did an amazing likeness (I know; I was sitting in the front row!!) Tom Goodman-Hill was stunning as Peter Cook, carrying off a dizzying array of accents.
The story was both very, very funny and extremely sad. Funny, because hello, these are comedians ... well, actors portraying some of the funniest comedians ever. The wordplay, the accents, the physical comedy was all there.
Sad, because ... well, what a dysfunctional relationship. Cook comes off looking like the bad guy, putting Moore down in their early relationship, and unable to handle Moore's later success in view of his own ... well, career failure.
But they're not good-guy bad-guy... this story had the feel of real life to it, of grey areas, of imperfect human beings trying to make their way in the world.
The structure of the story was very cinematic, with a TV interview providing opportunities for flashbacks (using clever lighting and sound effects). The TV studio environment blended in perfectly with the fact we were there to see a play ... it made it feel all the more real. We weren't in Takapuna on Auckland's North Shore in June 2006, we were in London in 1982.
It was so good to be back in the theatre. There's something very special about it, not to deprive movies of any of their amazingness. A good time had by all.