Thursday, 16 June 2011

The Brown Blues.




A couple of months ago my former friends, Dan Tetsell and Margaret Cabourn-Smith, bought me one single ticket to see Good Mourning Mrs. Brown, the spin-off live show of the TV series Mrs. Brown's Boys, at the Hammersmith Apollo. 3,499 howling fans of Ireland's very worst contribution to anything, including terrorism, and me alone in one room. In a way, I was really looking forward to it but when I woke up yesterday morning I felt sick. It was going to be a long day.

The plan was this: I would meet Margaret and Dan at their flat beforehand, give them a bottle of champagne, watch them drink it then I would continue the night alone not drinking a single drop while I watched Mrs. Brown live on stage. It was an unmitigated failure. The only thing that went right was the very worst part of it: I watched Mrs. Brown live on stage.

Let's just cut to the show: it wasn't very good. It wasn't very good at all and it knew it. The show started very late, as it had in every terrible review I read about Good Mourning Mrs. Brown yesterday. It had to start late because there is so little in the show that if they started on time people would leave early and then figure out that they've been cheated. That's the one good thing about going to see Mrs. Brown live on stage, you can't be cheated. Every single person in that room including the cast know fully well that the show is such utter garbage that disappointment can never enter into it. Everyone knows what they're letting themselves in for. I know this because Mrs. Brown's audience gave the show the respect it deserved. Mobile phones constantly ringing, people answering their phones and talking loudly, people seemingly just wandering around the theatre for no reason. Yes, even the people who really love Mrs. Brown and would pay £40 to go to see it think it's a pile of crap.

So, the lights go down and the whole room cheers. It get's one of the biggest cheers of the night. Why wouldn't it be? The safety blanket of complete darkness is definitely preferable to the onslaught that followed. Mrs. Brown's voice comes over the PA to ask us to switch off our phones (that was ignored) and to remind us that, through some sexual agreement with Beelzebub, Mrs. Brown's Boys was BAFTA nominated. That's not an achievement. It isn't. All it means is that now all BAFTA awards and nominations are completely meaningless. In fact, they're an insult. Look at eBay right now. BAFTA's are really cheap. I got two for The Office plus Daniel Day-Lewis's 2002 award for Gangs Of New York. Less than a tenner and that includes P&P. Anyway, the recorded message at the beginning went on for ages. It had to because there's so little in the show that if that pre-show message hadn't gone on for ages people would leave early and then figure out that they've been cheated.

The message finally ends and we're off to the theme tune. The theme tune lasted a really, really long time. It had to because there's so little in the show that if the theme tune hadn't gone on for ages...look, all I'm saying is that the show hadn't started and I'd already had enough.

Of course, I look back at that theme tune quite fondly now. It's tedious length was the only thing from stopping me seeing Good Mourning Mrs. Brown. Let me make this very, very clear: there are NO jokes in Good Mourning Mrs. Brown, there are just things that people say. It might as well be "Forgot my umbrella. Honestly, I'd forget my own head if it wasn't attached" followed by a rolling hate-thunder of laughter. In fact, when they actually tried jokes they were just bizarre. Mrs. Brown has a gay son who is the butt of every homophobic jibe known to man. At one point, he walks into the room and Mrs. Brown says "Oh. Here's Eminem".

What?

I mean, everyone laughed loudly and I could clearly tell it was a dig at him being gay but...but...Eminem? Not "Oh. Here's Liberace". No? Not "Oh. Here's Graham Norton". or "Oh. Here's a pink thing". Despite the rapper being constantly tagged as a homophobe himself in the late '90's, they chose Eminem as that gay stereotype it's OK to use as an insult. Mind you, a few seconds in the company of Mrs. Brown's gay son will bring out the hate in everyone. I don't want to to be stereotypical, nasty or showing any hate towards my homosexual brothers and sisters but I want Mrs. Brown's gay son to get AIDS. I realise he's only a fictional character but I want that fictional character to get real AIDS. I hate him. He's the worst thing in the show and outside of the show. He is the worst thing.

But Eminem isn't the worst joke. Oh, no. Not by a mile. I feel like I'm in a dusty cellar looking at fine wines just to choose the perfect one to give you an idea of what I saw. Ah, yes. Here's one: Two of the characters are robbing a house. The stage is completely dark and the thieves' torches are broken. Awful Man One: "Oi tink oi found a Playstation 2". Awful Man Two: "Doze are moy balls".

Just let that swirl around your mouth for a while. Taste every bit of it. Savour the putrid bile. Now spit it out and forget everything.

Basically it was 2 hours and 20 minutes of that. Over and over and over again. It would have been longer but I just couldn't stand it any more. I left before the end. I'm sorry, everyone, I'm just not that strong. Plus I had a beer in the interval. I guess I just wasn't as prepared as I thought I'd be. To be really honest, the first half ended up being pretty traumatic for me. About an hour into the show, not the "play" like it's been advertised, the woman next to me started tapping my leg. She started tapping out a beat on my leg. There was no music playing but somehow a very jaunty little number had aneurysmed it's way into her head and she decided to tap the beat out on MY leg. Tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap on MY leg. I pulled my leg away and the woman looked at me, shocked. "I'm sorry", she said. "I thought that was my leg".

That is the kind of person Mrs. Brown attracts. People who aren't sure which legs are theirs.

Look, it was never going to be a great night, not for me anyway. I think Dan Tetsell enjoyed himself. While I sat there being upset, he was out in pubs and restaurants having a lovely time. It will always be one of the most brilliant and funny horrible things anyone has done to me. Well done, Dan.

Of course, none of this would be possible without the Irish writer, producer, director, homophobe and racist Brendan O'Carroll who's creation Mrs. Brown entertains thousands of leg-confused people all over the world. I'm so glad he got in touch before the show: http://tinyurl.com/5tlxbtv

Also, while you're on Twitter, start following @TWJokeTrialFund and giver generously to a very worthy cause. Thanks.


www.michaellegge.info


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26 comments:

@alnapp said...

my sympathies
But it could have been worse, you could have sat through all 7,

yes SEVEN DVDs

http://www.amazon.co.uk/MRS-BROWNS-DVD-SET-ORIGINAL/dp/B0031NAJJ0

end of days

Daniel said...

I don't know what's more impressive; the fact that you sat through (most) of the show or that you managed to write a blog about it without swearing. I was sure this would be where that went out the window but well done. You poor, brave, broken man.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
kilkenny203 said...

why didnt you just turn to the tappy woman and say Doze are moy balls. She would have thought you were an afficionado instead of just a man in pain.

Anonymous said...

I'm confused. Does the fact I laughed at the Playstation/balls quote means I like Mrs. Brown? If the answer is yes, I have absolutely no problem with writing a full and frank apology and taking my own life immediately.

Anonymous said...

LOL I see you removed my comment you chickin shit lol lol dont tell me you just realised that you dont get comedy . Why did you remove the comment lol ???

Michael Legge said...

I removed it because it was rude and left by a coward called Anonymous. Sorry you have such low taste in comedy and that you're obviously embarrassed of that fact.

Pathetic.

Julezcourt said...

Unfortunately you do need a sense of Humour when watching comedy, Something I fear you sadly lack, I would be interested to know exactly what would make you laugh, I myself thought the Show was brilliant, a refreshing return to good old fashioned comedy, and by the way I am neither Racist or Homophobic, and as far as I'm concerned Brendan O'carroll is a breath of Fresh Air.

Julez

Michael Legge said...

If you didn't see the homophobia or racism on that stage, Julezcourt, then we weren't watching the same show (or you ARE a racist and homophobe). Sorry you felt my opinion was a personal insult to you and your taste.

Thanks for reading. M.

Max said...

I've just found this via @UKComedyNews - very funny. I'm going to subscribe to your RSS now :-)

Julezcourt said...

Hi Michael, just read up your profile, our likes are not dissimilar, so its amazing our views are so different with regards to the show, thanks for your reply and you didn't insult me in anyway, however when I get a chance to see Mrs Brown's Boys again, I'll take your observations on board, if I can stop laughing long enough during the show.

Regards

Julez

Paul Smith said...

I managed to miss this on the TV, so I thought I'd take a look on YouTube and see first hand what it was like.

Jesus Christ it's bad.

I couldn't even sit through a 5 minute clip - you've got my respect if you managed to sit through (nearly) a full show. Well done mate.

Liam said...

Great review. Being Irish I have had the misfortune to have experienced Brendan O'Carrol's "comedy" over the years. I know comedy can be subjective, but really! This is a steaming pile of shit.

Anonymous said...

you talk shit micheal....pompus arse twat, who is out of touch... i went to see, it where da fuk do you get terrorism fom it????

Tom said...

To the most recent anonymous, are you a troll or actually the kind of person who proves they can't read (I'll spell it out for you, READ IT PROPERLY RATHER THAN READING ONE WORD AND MISINTERPRETING THE CONTEXT) while proving they can't write with admirable economy? I did misspell a word or two while typing this, but the wigeley red lyns uder the wurds helpped me.

Gilder said...

I was looking forward to this review since you mentioned that tickets had been bought for you, and I very much enjoyed it.

I am disappointed however that I seem to enjoy the comedy of a 'pompus arse twat'.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for making my day and making me feel all is not lost with humanity. What is really, truly frightening about this is that there are clearly plenty of supporters of this crap who love it. Now I know that Amazon reviews are basically full of people giving stuff 5 stars on impulse but can you believe that, if you go to warn people about watching this garbage, there are those who actually defend it as if their brains have been replaced by that of Cybermen and bypassed all logic, reason, emotion, understanding and, in general, humanity: http://www.amazon.co.uk/review/R1GW78CEM1ISD5/ref=cm_aya_cmt?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B004I5C3Y4#wasThisHelpful ? I always seek to see things in colour rather than black and white but, in this case, we really need to set up a support group for those who suffer Mrs Brown's existence.

dom said...

Not since Raoul Moat's antics have so many vociferously defended something so appalling.

"My Hero" is actually worse than O'Carroll's amateur night turn, but I don't think anyone realised that show was a comedy.

Truth said...

"I want Mrs. Brown's gay son to get AIDS."

Oh dear, I stopped reading there.

Clearly you ARE a cunt. My deepest condolences to family and relatives.

Please stop writing or evaluate what you are trying to say before hitting that 'post' button!

Anonymous said...

"I want Mrs. Brown's gay son to get AIDS."

Amazing. Sounds totally deserved too, keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

I never thought i would love 'Mrs.Brown's Boy's', for one reason, i didn't think anyone could create such a 'real' old girl, since the great George Logan & Patrick Fyffe, who made their Hinge & Bracket so believable, that many thought they were really upper class elderly singing spinsters. Brendan O'Carroll's Angus Brown reminds all of us of someone we knew or know. When i'm watching the series i forget it's really a man, and as for Brendan being homophobic, it's hardly likely, being in the world of show buisness.

Anonymous said...

P.S. I will add my best friend is 86, she doesn't look or act like someone in her 80's, my friend doesn't look unlike the late Joyce Grenfell, and has the same lovelyness and enchantment about her that Joyce had, well my friend loves 'Mrs.Brown', describing it as ''rude, obscene, but funny, very funny''. (she says this by the way with a twinkle in her eye and a laugh in her voice). If you asked Brendan O'Carroll about having Agnus Brown as a neighbour, he would probably say '' not f***ing lightly''. Same as June Brown has been quoated to say ''the only thing i would share with her (Dot Cotton) is a menthol cigarette over the fence, she is far too nosey and self righteous''. O' Carroll as Mrs.Brown makes a lot of us cry with laughter, or just cry (for example that lovely scene when son Trevor came home for christmas in Series 2). and the cast sang Silent Night. (beautiful scene's). Elish O'Caroll, who plays hairnetted Winnie, (Agnus Brown's best friend), such a lovely looking lady in real life, you would never reconise her and an amazing comedy timing!

Anonymous said...

I think I could have liked/written this show when I was 9

AndyMcH said...

To the people offended by the AIDS comment, you conveniently left out the word "fictional" in your quote.

Anonymous said...

aaaaaahhhh that felt relieving. Like an actual/fictional colonic irrigation after decades of chronic, cement induced constipation. My boss is English, he doesn't know why it's so big over there. Everyone I know in Ireland pretty much hates it as bland tripe that just plays up old stereotypes which belong in a black and white minstrel show run at a nazi concentration camp to make detainees feel more positive about the possibility of being gassed, not primetime Irish and British telly. And yes, I mentioned Nazis, I broke Godwin's Law, but the stereotypes, both sexual and otherwise, are like something so broad, disfigured and mutated that they belong in a hate propaganda pamphlet, not a sitcom. Thank you for suffering for our sins.

Anonymous said...

aaaaaahhhh that felt relieving. Like an actual/fictional colonic irrigation after decades of chronic, cement induced constipation. My boss is English, he doesn't know why it's so big over there. Everyone I know in Ireland pretty much hates it as bland tripe that just plays up old stereotypes which belong in a black and white minstrel show run at a nazi concentration camp to make detainees feel more positive about the possibility of being gassed, not primetime Irish and British telly. And yes, I mentioned Nazis, I broke Godwin's Law, but the stereotypes, both sexual and otherwise, are like something so broad, disfigured and mutated that they belong in a hate propaganda pamphlet, not a sitcom. Thank you for suffering for our sins.