Call me Russ L

Infamy, Infamy, They’ve All Got It In For Me

Posted in Stage by Russ L on 16 December, 2006

Wednesday the 6th was the occasion of a performance of David Benson‘s Think No Evil Of Us at the Arena Theatre in Wolverhampton.

What we had here was a half ‘n’ half affair, going back and forth between vignettes from the life of Kenneth Williams (who I knew next to nothing about, prior to this – I’d gathered the vague idea that he was a troubled individual from somewhere, but had no idea how much or in what way) and reminiscences from Mr Benson’s own life and childhood, building up to the committal of his mother after she started stalking Louis Fremaux (a reasonable choice, I think). This certainly contained some of the most visceral material I’ve seen in any of David’s stageshows – some of the Williams stuff was very shift-in-your-seat uncomfortable, but still managed to make the viewer feel a strong degree of sympathy for him. Powerful stuff. I wasn’t as keen on being the audience member picked on/thrown to the lions during the “re-enactment of a school assembly” bit, but there we are.

It’s interesting to note that this was – chronologically – the first of his one-man shows, and that all of the ones of his that I’ve seen before now originally appeared later than this. In some ways, you could tell. It wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, but the personal material and Kenneth-related stuff seemed jammed together, somewhat – acknowledging that there’s only a tenuous connection doesn’t make it any the less tenuous. Similarly, his some of his impressions (later to be used in a truly wonderful fashion in Starstruck) seemed to be forced in for no clear or obvious reason other than the wish to have them in there. None of this constitutes any particular problem, by any means, but it does seem worth noting. And I’m not just saying that because he has been known to read this in the past.

~ Russ L, who now only needs to see “To Be Frank,” “Mourning Glory” and “Why Pay More?” to have seen the lot. Any chance of those ones locally, Dave me old son?



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