Saturday, 8 October 2011

Went to see "the Painkiller" at the Lyric, which is a gorgeous theatre, with enormous impasto portraits of Paul Brady and Duke Special all over the foyer. Me neither. So a glowing review for the theatre; the play - not so much. The play was based on Francis Veber's 1971 farce "Le contrat" which became a film in 1973 as "L'emmerdeur", with Jacques Brel as a cuckolded shirt-salesman. It then became "Buddy Buddy" in America, one of Billy Wilder's worst films, and then again, back in France in 2008 as "A Pain in the Ass". So a fresh, untested property then.

It was...okay. It was very much like a 1970's French farce, men leaping through doors, losing their trousers, homosexuals getting the wrong idea about things; a silly sod triumphing over a middle class doctor. The physicality was impressive, Branagh getting most of the laughs for his over-played arseing-about; the gay room-service guy sweeping up the rest of them. It was just a bit...Rentaghost. (I should say that the audience loved it and it got a standing ovation - except from us three mardy-arses)

Afterwards we went for a meal at the Welcome Cantonese restaurant* where I had a delicious crab (all the better for not having eaten for two days!) and then we went out for a beer in town.

Belfast on a Friday night is an interesting place; "interesting" being a euphemism for "terrifying". There are a lot of drunk, near-naked children walking the streets of Belfast, pissing, vomiting and snogging, though rarely simultaneously. And incredible amount of screaming. Really everybody is screaming all the time. We (the "we", I should point out, being myself Dee and Chris, the pair of them kindly allowing me to ruin their date night. I should further point out that Dee was neither crabby or hungover at any point in the evening) went in and then immediately out of Laverty's (It was blaring "Dude looks like a lady" and there were no seats - I'm so very old!) and then on to Kelly's Cellars, where a little fey ginger boy befriended us by talking about sado-masochism and calling Chris a dead-eyed werewolf. Finally it was off to Muriel's which is decorated with hundreds of pairs of pants and was hosting a hen-party. We fled.

It was however a great night out. Thanks fellas.

*The Cantonese restaurant was called "Welcome". They don't specifically welcome Cantonese people - the service was fairly indifferent.

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