Another evening in Stratford – at the Royal watching Come Dancing, a musical about the Ilford Palais in the ’50s written and performed by Ray Davies.
It was very well-performed. And I liked the cast, the band, the social commentary, and Ray. The dancing was very good. Some of the songs were corkers. And the rock and roll revolution pushing out big band, with R&B coming up alongside was very well done, I thought. My problem was that I wasn’t at all interested in any of the characters. And that is sad to admit because it was autobiographical (the Kinks song ‘Come Dancing‘ is about Ray’s sister Julie) – but then again, I think it’s more to do with Ray’s writing than his family. I agree with The Londonist – it isn’t quite finished.
And there was a musical eulogy about moving to Stevenage which was exquisite and very touching considering how much those new towns have had the piss ripped out of them by snobs over the years. That was the only time I nearly cried, thinking of blitzed London. The end was sad too, though.
P.S. Ray, what with you being a North Londoner you might not have realised, but Ilford is not the ‘East End’. It is Essex. It’s true that Tony & Guy in the shopping centre set up a campaign to turn us into E19 and defeat parochialism once and for all. But ultimately this failed.
We remain Essex forevvarghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.