Friday, 30 May 2008

Bingeing on Theatre

I don't know if you have ever got drunk on Tequila but the hangover is usually so bad that you feel queasy all the next day, just at the mention of any kind of alcohol.

After bingeing* on theatre for the last year and a half, I felt much the same way at any mention of ever going to see another show. But yesterday I woke up and thought about going to see Hard Hearted Hannah at the Lyric and realised that the prospect made me feel cheerful, rather than queasy. The Factory's Hamlet at the King's Head on Sunday? Why not? Oxford Street at Elephant & Castle Shopping Centre? You know what, I'm so excited about that one, I've just interrupted writing this to book myself a ticket. I've got one but hurry if you want to go, too - tickets are only £8 and they're selling fast.

It has taken me three months to metabolise** the effects of that excrutiatingly bad play I saw in February - whereas after too much Tequila I'm usually up on my feet and ready to go again by six o'clock the next evening. Never mind. I've got a taste for theatre again and I'm ready to start gulping it down. That's got to be a good thing, hasn't it? At the very least, it keeps me away from the Tequila slammers, which means I have a clear head for writing the next day.

* Originally I wrote 'binging' but apparently that's unsuitable in case people think it rhymes with ringing, see comments below
** I swear by Milk Thistle to help avoid hangovers. If only someone could invent a similar over-the-counter remedy to ward off the effects of going to see a bad play.

19 comments:

Piers said...

Tequila slammers?

What do you want to be messing with those for when you could have shots?

(one two three)
SALT!
TEQUILA!
LIME!

Piers said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Helen Smith said...

It's men like you who get me into trouble with such things. When you write it in an uppercase list like that, it almost sounds like a good idea...

Far Away said...

Milk thistle is great.

Andrew Haydon said...

Milk thistle is indeed great, and I'm all out of it. I was wondering why my morning write-ups had gotten so slow.

But, Christ, milk thistle for bad plays. Jesus. Someone go find the recipe...

Although, presumably reviewers wouldn't be able to take it before they'd written their review or they'd before how profoundly unpleasant it had been...

Helen Smith said...

Now, that's a conundrum - would you take it before going out to the theatre, knowing that it might impede your enjoyment of the play? Well no. You might as well stay in and watch Midsomer Murders (which I do whenever there's a new episode on - few and far between, these days,I'm afraid to say).

Nevertheless, I'm going to start working on a milk thistle for theatre tincture straight away - one that only works as an antidote to the bad stuff.

As to what constitutes 'bad' theatre - why, it's anything I don't like, of course.

anonymous pedant said...

I read this as binging as in ringing

but it's bingeing as in wingeing

Mark said...

Are theatre critics more heartless than their movie counterparts?

Helen Smith said...

A P - you've got me worried.

Binging makes no sense at all if rhymed with ringing or pinging or singing. However it may go some way to explain why I have suffered so much at the theatre recently, if I have been doing it wrong.

Are both spellings permitted? I hope so because if not, I'll have to change the post.

I think I need a drink to figure it out. Salt! Tequila! Lime! Oh no, wait-

Helen Smith said...

Mark, I don't know about film and theatre critics but I can confirm that the gods of coffee are heartless.

I was rude about a sign that proclaimed 'we proudly brew' on a Starbucks concession cart and only a week later was somehow tricked into proclaiming on this blog that I bing.

I feel terribly downcast. I much preferred it when we were all talking about the efficacy of milk thistle. Yet another reason to prefer a night of drinking to a night of theatre.

It has always been my secret ambition to invent a word that would pass into common useage - but 'bing' is not it, particularly when used in the context of 'she bings on theatre'.

Still, the excuse that I will be a laughing stock if I ever try to bing on theatre again is one that I will feel free to use in future if I want to avoid seeing a particular play.

Oh fuck I'm gonna change all the instances of 'binging' to 'bingeing' on the post above. Sorry if it doesn't make sense to anyone after all that. Just imagine the word 'binging' sprinkled all over the place and you'll get the general idea.

feignedmischief said...

Hi Helen, out of interest, what was that bad play you saw in February?

I have been putting off booking to see The Factory's Hamlet, not very good of me huh?

Piers said...

I can't believe that you changed the spelling of a perfectly good word in a perfectly good blog post, just because someone else said that it wasn't right.

I refer you both to Shakespere's spelling, and the fact that there is no equivalent of the Académie Française in either American English or The Queen's English.

Frankly, I'm appalled that you'd hold back the development of the language on the say-so of a self-confessed anonymous pedant.

And, to conclude: fuck you, anonymous pedant.

Far Away said...

*titter*

Jason Arnopp said...

Furthermore, there was no Friends character named Chandler Binge. I rest my case.

Does milk thistle actually help ease a hangover? I thought it was just to help maintain/magically repair your liver and such, after a good night's bing.

Helen Smith said...

Feigned Mischief - hello
That play has gone away and can never hurt us. It was a new play by a living writer so I'd rather not say what it was on the blog.

I keep meaning to go and see that Hamlet. Meant to go a couple of weeks ago when it was in some kind of underground crypt. We happened to have a kitchen sink in the garden (audience supply props) so I was all set to take that till I remembered I hated theatre. Definitely going to try to catch it now I'm back on it.

Piers - I bow easily to peer pressure, you know that.

Jason - milk thistle seems to work. You take a handful before you go out and a handful when you get back in. I don't drink as much as I used to and rarely go out intending to drink heavily, but even if you just take it the day after, it seems to help. I drank quite a lot of strawberry beer and saki last night, so I'm rattling with it and I feel fine.

Helen Smith said...

I mean sake. Saki is the short story writer. I've lost my nerve with spelling. Maybe I should pursue some other kind of career.

Azma said...

Sorry Helen, I meant to ask you about Alan Titchmarsh's sideburns- did they disappear halfway through the Chelsea Flowere Show or was that my imagination?
Thanks for letting us know about the new venue for Oxford Street, might go and see it...

Helen Smith said...

Oxford Street looks fantastic because it's the original cast in a shop in Elephant and Castle and the tickets are cheap and I can get there on the bus - and of course the play got good reviews. Everything about it sounds wonderful.

Did AT's sideburns disappear? How extraordinary. I think I only watched Gardeners' World the first two days and then missed it after that.

Good news about your novel, by the way - just read your blog xx

Interval Drinks said...

Oxford Street is worth a punt, not a great play but I think it'll be improved considerably by its new setting - it reminded me too much of hellish university summer jobs for me to properly enjoy it though.