Over on Facebook – where, I might have mentioned, you can ‘like’ us to your heart’s content right here – someone had the bright idea of setting a challenge to select a song a day on thirty different topics. As music is such a big part of my life anyway, I thought I would combine that idea with The Memory Blog during April (April having the right number of days). Which means that you get a new post every day this month, with a song at the end, too.
Despite growing up in a theatre-loving family, I have always distrusted musical theatre of any kind. For many reasons, this is because, whilst any theatre requires a certain suspension of disbelief, asking me to accept that everyone, everywhere, goes through their life singing rather than talking is simply a bridge too far.
In fact, only two musicals have ever inspired me to see them again. One is Les Miserables, which even I have to concede is a work of almost unremitting genius (provided that the God-awful Frances Ruffelle isn’t in it) and the other is Spamalot, a work of almost unremitting silliness.
Nothing else I have seen, on stage or screen, from Miss Saigon to My Fair Lady, has made me think anything other than ‘stop that and just talk to me’.
Somewhat unfairly, all of these fine shows must also overcome the deep seated emotional trauma that was inflicted upon me at the age of about seven by the following song. It’s saccharine sweetness means that you can feel your teeth rotting as you listen to it. No matter who is singing it, the song always sounds like someone scraping fingernails down a blackboard whilst simultaneously rubbing dampened polystyrene on a windowsill. It is enough to make you commit infanticide, it really is. Listen at your peril.