Happy Not-Quite-New Year!

Hello, dear friends! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and a Happy Hogmanay wherever you are! My family Christmas was fine, thanks, until a nasty little coughing lurgy attached itself to me somewhere amidst all the farewell hugs in the last days before I journeyed back North.

I soldiered on, went back to work to earn my crust, ignoring how my whole body shuddered at each cough. Hogmanay was spent by the fireside with a hot toddy watching the telly til after the bells, well, there was no point going to bed earlier – those fireworks are very loud and they went on longer than ever this year!

New Year’s Day morn I rose with one mission, to climb the Seat That Belongs To Arthur, no lurgy was going to hold me back. And, by George, Andrew and Murgatroyd, it didn’t!! My adrenaline pumping, my dander up, I was gonna scale that Seat or die in the attempt. Dear reader, I nearly did! (thank goodness I had my emergency hipflask of Laphroaig to revive me)

Since then I’ve been confined to bed and fireside, but am starting to feel much better now, so I thought I’d drop you a line. Expect stuff soon on Dr Who, Dracula and Dark Materials, also some Tuck and squirrels’ nuts.

Yours truly on reaching the top…

20200101_122621

And after a reviving glug or three of Laphroaig…..

20200101_141459

Who?

Yes, I am referring to the new Doctor, Jodie Whittaker (just had to check that – one t or two, it’s one of those awkward names like Paterson), a Yorkshire lass and a fine actress. I do wonder if she can conjure up that otherworldly quirk of the Doctor, but so far since the Doc’s revival the choices have all been great, unlike some of the later reincarnations in the first run! And changing the Master into Missy was worked so well, Michelle Gomez was magnificent, so it’s not like the Doctor is the first timelord to change sex.

So, I got to wondering last night whether, in years gone by, did a young aspiring Jodie ever appear in a Fringe production? No, I don’t know, but I like the thought that maybe I saw the future Dr Who in a Fringe production. Maybe there’s a future Doctor performing this year, who knows?! Ok, so if you’re not a Who fan you may not be so tickled by this idea, but imagine if watching a Bond movie it dawned on you that you once saw Daniel Craig in a tiny fringe venue in a production of Bouncers? All famous actors began somewhere so why not at the Fringe?

The Fringe also has plenty of old luvvies at the other end of their careers. Well, when I say end I don’t mean, erm, oops, just not spring chickens anymore?! Rodney Bewes is back yet again, can’t keep him away! Twenty years ago he turned up with a little boat he’d built himself to do Three Men in a Boat (afterwards he was signing copies of the paperback, I still have mine!) and I don’t think he’s missed a year since. Some years later he left the boat at home and put on Diary of a Nobody, the last few years he’s been regaling his audiences with his own life story, forever a Likely Lad, a lovely gent.

And back into the Who-verse, Sylvester McCoy is popping up this year to do a new comedy play – you can’t keep an old dogter down (sorry), or their companions, 2014 saw Katie Manning at the Fringe. She and Susan Penhaligon played two aging actresses in a retirement home, a charming bittersweet play. Katie Manning played Jo Grant the first companion I really remember and I suspect I wasn’t the only one there because of old memories!

Oo, and if all the brouha over the latest Doctor has amused you, check out Jodie Whittaker is Doctor Who by the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre on YouTube, it may just tickle you.