Pat in a Hat

My husband and sister and I had a threesome theatre night out on Monday and went to see ‘The Dead School’ at the Tricyle Theatre. The production is  about everything:  education, life, love, religion, and it”s poetic,  operatic, funny and mesmerising

For a change I have no complaints about my seat, or my neighbours or the cost because I would have sat through any discomforts just to be there. For £8 it was value plus, plus.

It’s a tricky and fast moving play with a few  political and religious references which, in the interval, the three of us sat in our seats and tried to work out. I  never go to a theatre bar in the break. I think it must be my  wino streak that stops me paying squillions for a glass of the red stuff when I know I can get a litre for the same amount or even less in the supermarket. I’m an under the flyover type drinker – no finesse at all.

So we three drank water and  bantered on about the first act.  I noticed  the man sat next to us  was listening closely whilst pretending to be deeply absorbed in his programme. He wouldn’t make eye contact with any of us, even when our discussions about the play became quite heated and we could have done with an extra viewpoint. At one point he seemed to be laughing at our ideas.

I was sat in bed applying face cream with one hand and holding  the play’s programme in the other (which is my ritual way to end up a night at the theatre) when in there I saw a photograph of the play’s writer, Patrick McCabe. He had been our silent neighbour, sitting there listen to us trying to figure out some of the meaning in his work.

I wish I had known the writer of the play was in our midst. My dad was a keen bingo player and before he set out he would always rub the head of someone if he believed they were somehow lucky because he was convinced that good fortune was transferable.

Patrick McCabe was wearing a hat on Monday night but I would have so loved to have lifted it up and given his scalp a good old rub just in case some of his supreme talent and good fortune might stick to me. I bet he would have found his voice if I had.

ps: Watch out for the actress Carrie Crowley who stole ‘The Dead School’, she’s a Greer Garson lookalike and a powerful stage presence.

2 comments to Pat in a Hat

  • Remind me not to sit near you in theatres if taking people’s hats off and rubbing their heads is something you would actually do.

  • I’d be very quick – it would be all over before you knew anything about it, Fran !
    Anna May x