Tuesday 21 March 2023

Sharing memories with you

I used to enjoy theatre visits. Going to see a show, a play, or a concert was a treat. I was looking through a drawer the other day and found all these tickets. I don't want to throw them away because they are memories of different stages of my life.  
There is one ticket I forgot to put in this photograph. I went to see The Rolling Stones at Bingley Hall at the Staffordshire Showground in 1976. The ticket was £3. I went with friends and remember getting there early to stand at the front. No sitting, Bingley hall is like a big cattle shed. 

The two that stand out in the middle there are both from 2004. I had a very nice boyfriend who paid for those tickets. We went to see Cher at Sheffield, HallamFM Arena. Our seats were somewhere in the middle and we had to stand up to see the stage when everyone else did. It was so exciting, the costumes and stage were amazing. And of course Cher was fabulous. The same year, we went to Manchester Airport to see Concorde The Legend. This was a timed visit so people could filter through the aircraft without too much congestion, and take photo's of the interior. I was surprised at how small it was. 

I was on holiday down in the south west in 2010 when I went to the Minack Theatre. It is a lovely outdoor setting overlooking the sea. The play I didn't really understand, not something I would sit and watch at an indoor theatre. I had an afternoon visit to the theatre, then bought the ticket for the evening performance. It was magical to see the sun go down. 

The first time I saw The Lady Boys of Bangkock was in 2004, at the Lowry Waterfront at Salford. Me and the nice boyfriend were on our way to Blackpool, he bought the tickets, so we made the stop to see the show. It was in a massive marquee. The tables were set out in nightclub style, circular with tablecloths. We managed to get close to the front. I always prefer a front seat if I can get one. The show was an excellent display of music and dancing. 

I was having a few days in London in 2010. I went on the train and stopped at a Youth Hostel. I wanted to go to a theatre and had a look at what shows were on offer. I fancied Billy Elliot and went to Victoria Palace Theatre early and stood in the queue to see what last minute tickets were available, hoping that there would be one ticket left near the front. I got one for Row D. Perfect. It was a fabulous show. 

I was on holiday with the nice boyfriend in 2004, we were in Spain. We went to the FC Barcelona Football Stadium. Not that I am interested in football, but the experience of seeing a famous stadium was exciting. 

I have been to the Theatre Royal at Lincoln a couple of times. In 2001 there was a show called Puppetry of the Penis. Someone bought me a ticket as a surprise and didn't tell me what it was about. Imagine the audience as mainly women, my friend was a man, two guys came on stage, there is a big screen behind them, they then strip off and were completely naked. There was a camera focussed on their genitals, which projected them onto the screen. The audience was in uproar, and in awe. I didn't know that a long dangly sausage could be manipulated into so many different positions. It reminded me of those entertainers who make animals with long squishy balloons. If you are not sure what this is about, have a look at this short video. Full frontal with the bits covered up. 

Locally we have the Baths Hall and The Plowright Theatre. In 1998 I saw Jo Brand. In 2012 The Lady Boys of Bangkok, again. In 2015 An Evening of Burlesque. In 2013 Vampires Rock. In 2008 An Audience with William Roache, that's Ken Barlow of Coronation Street. I was disappointed with that, was hoping to see a different character from his screen presence. He didn't reveal much of his private life. In 2006, The London Gospel Choir. In 2016 Men of Steel, male voice choir with Lesley Garrett. In 2005 comedian Jack Dee. In 2004 The Rumble Band. 

Other theatres and venues. In 2010 a ride on The London Eye. In 2003 Meat Loaf at the NEC. In 2012 The King and I, at the Alhambra Bradford. In 2001 Jimmy Nail at Grimsby Auditorium. In 2009 C'mon Everybody a rock and roll show at the Majestic Theatre Retford. In 2001 Alfie at the Caxton Theatre Grimsby. In 2006 Ladysmith Black Mambazo at Hull City Hall. In 2005 Girls Aloud and Darius at Lincoln Castle. A 2011 the stage version of Corrie at the Liverpool Empire. In 2009 Dreamboats and Petticoats at the Peacocks Theatre Woking.  

I still have this programme from a show I saw at Blackpool in 1968, not long after I moved there. I was free to start living the good life. I had a flat and a job, and a boyfriend. Time to rub shoulders with the stars. Englebert Humperdink, Les Dawson, Lonnie Donegan, Mike Yarwood and many more.  

Those were the days, eh! A few years ago I enjoyed going to stand up comedy nights in clubs and pubs. I can't do that now because I am almost deaf in my left ear, and I think my right ear isn't so sharp. My outlook on life has changed as well. I don't feel the need to be part of an audience. I have a few nice friends. Wide open spaces are what gives me pleasure now. As long as I can get out I am happy.
Thanks for popping in. We'll catch up soon. Toodle pip.    ilona


  1. Envious of your visit to the Minack Theatre, especially as it was a play based on a Thomas Hardy short story. He was good at melodrama and thwarted tangled love stories. I read all of Derek Tangey's books set nearby and always wanted to visit the Nature Reserve set up in his wife's memory.

    1. I included the Minack in my plan for a south coast holiday, on the recommendation of one of my readers. I have read some of Derek Tangey's books.

  2. Hi Ilona, thanks for taking us down memory lane! I was standing in line yesterday at a local store, and remarked to the woman in front of me "I don't recognize our world any longer". Well that turned into a 5-minute conversation between the two of us. I know every generation feels somewhat similar, but I think dramatic changes have sped up too fast in the past few years. Always enjoy your thoughts about life. Nancy from Northern California

  3. I saw Rainbow at Bingley Hall in 1980, not an inspiring place as you say.


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