Today, my lady and I journeyed to the catacombs beneath Glasgow’s Arches, where we were beset by aliens lurching at us from smoke filled corridors, as marines screamed encouragement at us along the lines of “Run! Move!” while strafing the beasts with automatic firepower. Great fun, and well produced. I’ll say no more, in case you want to go yourself, but my enduring memory is of one girl in our party grabbing my arm as an enormous alien pulled her away, kicking and shrieking, into the shadows, as we were once more told to “Run!”. The Arches, a set of grade A-listed Victorian tunnels beneath a railway bridge that has long been a centre for the arts in Glasgow, is a lovely venue, used right, and this did so.
Being year end, it also made me a little nostalgic for my theatrical days, where I performed there several times. From memory, I think I appeared in Heart of Darkness, Antigone, The Tooth of Crime, and Jim Smith, Princess of Wales there, each of which has distinctive memories.
Heart of Darkness – playing the Company Man, on a vast, scratch-built riverboat containing both cast and audience.
Antigone – playing Haemon, and being beaten to a pulp nightly by the marvellous Mark Coleman, playing Creon. My fault, as I did tell him not to hold back in rehearsal, then felt too embarrassed to retract it when he took me at my word. I had bruises for weeks.
The Tooth of Crime – playing Star Man, but also being dressed as a cheerleader with three other guys, while singing acapella (really, and no, no photographs exist that I know of).
Jim Smith, Princess of Wales – playing a character whose name I can’t remember, but who was basically Michael Caine in gangster mode, shouting, and stamping, and showing off.
They are, believe me, excellent memories to have.