Despite it being slap-bang in the middle of town, I’ve never been to the Jinling Noodle Bar before. Pardon me, I keep typing Noddle. I’ll try to stop. Noodle. Noodle.
According to the reviews it’s popular with Chinese students. I certainly felt very occidental (/me imagines Chris making the obvious pun) as we walked in, although there weren’t very many people there at the time.
The wine was drinkable, the spring rolls were juicy, the noodly main course was generous and unfinishable, and the bill wasn’t too bad (insert joke about Chef’s absence).
Young Mr Heckford had the Ant Climbing Up Tree. Mushy pork, I think.
Avaragado’s rating: two soups
A short dawdle along the road to the Corn Exchange, where we joined an audience we all felt privileged to be a part of, mainly because we were younger than them. For it was Acorn Antiques: The Musical.
None of the stars, obviously. The cast – including the woman from the Philadelphia advert who goes “lovely”, you know the one – gamely did their best to emulate the original performances, but there was a whiff of the uncanny valley about it all. The actress playing Julie Walters playing Mrs Overall did a very good impression, but she wasn’t Julie Walters so it just wasn’t as funny. Better than Mike “Look, it’s Frank Spencer! Ooh Betty” Yarwood, but lacking the essential Julie-Waltersness of Mrs O; the joie de vim.
We had seats not more than three or four rows from the front. A hindrance, as it happens: the band were close by, and their tootling tended to overwhelm the cast. I’m sure we missed loads of gags in the lyrics.
I’d like to see the show with the original cast. I bet it’s much funnier.
Oh, there was a real-life cock-up at the start. A curtain failed to fully retract, which we all thought was part of the act, but it wasn’t; the main curtain swished across to an apologetic announcement. Cue a few minutes of Morecambe and Wise-style bustling behind the main curtain (I imagined grizzled old stage hands played by John Junkin lookalikes in long brown jackets and flat caps) before the show continued.
Avaragado’s rating: macaroons, obviously
Chris and Melanie then gave me a lift to the Fleur, wherein I dallied for a while with Andrew and Stuart. And then Robert turned up with Richard, and shortly afterwards the pub decamped to the Rose and Crown, where Artie mumbled drunken incoherent things at me, apparently lost the world’s orangest man’s jacket and wallet, tipped a small amount of drink over my head for no discernible reason, stumbled his way to the dance floor and was very soon escorted from the building. He’s from Poland.
Bed at, uh, just after 4am. Early night.