I should have known. All the reviews have been ‘pleasing’, kind and refer to ‘chuckles not belly laughs’. I am sure it is hard for the critics to be completely honest about four great actors and a good director. But honestly. What a complete waste of time and money.

I have been excited about going to see Good Evening at Theatre on the Bay and I had to make a special effort to get there, finally managing to shlep Big Friendly to this afternoon’s final matinée.  Hoo boy am I sorry. And is he! We did our usual interval escape. I couldn’t face a second half of more of the same.

Good Evening by Roy Smiles, directed by Alan Swerdlow and performed by the talented foursome of David Clatworthy, Malcolm Terrey, Russel Savadier and Graham Hopkins is exactly the kind of show that makes theatre goers think twice about ever going to see a show again. It is relentlessly, unadulteratedly dreary, and not the finest actors, most creative director or pretty lighting can redeem what is essentially a history lesson with all jokes and humour removed. The poor old matinée tannie next to me (with the loudest wrapped sweets in her bag) tried so hard to love the show she forced a laugh and clap twice.

Good Evening is based on the backstage relationships of Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, Jonathan Miller and Alan Bennett who were Beyond The Fringe, a review show that turned British comedy on its head. Now, I used to listen to Cook and Moore on stolen cassettes (I think most of their filthy material was probably banned in SA) and they were the funniest thing I had ever heard. “The worst job I ever had was taking lobsters out of Jane Mansfield’s bum” is still one of the funniest things I can remember. Well, there is absolutely none of that in this Good Evening.

I don’t get why Peter Toerien put this on. This is theatre of the deadest kind. Truly, frighteningly boring. We didn’t have a very Good Evening.

Lucky me though. I’m off to the final show of Shez Sharon which is warm, funny and totally engaging. Well done, us!