Oct 18, 2019: Austentatious

You know, it’s actually much more of a ball ache to go and see Austentatious in Leeds than it is to travel to the Edinburgh Fringe and catch them up there.

You’ve got the whole it being at the end of the day thing, which was fine for me because I’ve had an easy one but Carole’s been dealing with flooded buildings for most of the day on top of an already busy week so it’s a close run thing between sitting on the couch and relaxing and driving into Leeds.

Then there’s driving into Leeds. Which Carole hates. Because it’s really complicated. I cannot comment on this because I don’t drive (but I don’t think it is that complicated). But it’s complicated. It’s awful. Carole touches her face a lot. Ask her to drive anywhere she’s never been before and she’s golden, get her to drive to Leeds – which she has done many, many times and everything tightens.

But, obviously, the thing about going to see Austentatious anywhere is that it’s fricking brilliant. It’s always brilliant. When it was free it was brilliant. That time someone threw an apple core on stage and then Amy threw it back into a different part of the crowd it was brilliant. And it was really brilliant when we were in the queue for it before the dreaded clicker counter hit venue capacity. And it was still brilliant when we had to pay. And it’s still been brilliant when we haven’t even been in Edinburgh at the same time it was on. And it was brilliant today, as we snuck into its comfy warmth at the City Varieties to enjoy Jane Austen’s “The Highway Man’s Guide to Yorkshire”.

Another Austentatious, another title I didn’t write. But hey ho. One day. One day, Bodzilla – King of the Bodices, one day!

It was a brilliant story of soft Southerners and strong Northerners, a highwayman, and an owl who was the son of the owner of Elland Road Cottage. An owl, entirely imagined, but beautifully formed wearing human clothes, but owl sized. I could explain more. But I won’t. I will say the owl was the real hero of the piece, possibly fuelled by eating the shrunken, desiccated remains of the Southern brothers parents (who tragically fell into some salt they planned to sell, not only dying but also ruining all the salt so that it could not be sold). It was a masterpiece of improvised idiocy. It was brilliant. I loved it.

I also enjoyed the interval, where people all around us were doing a ticklist of who they had seen in it and who they hadn’t, based on the flyer. There was some annoyance that they weren’t seeing Rachel or Cariad, not realising that the cast of Austentatious rotates in much the same way as the pods for Thunderbird 2. Which is to say, you might want pod 4, but don’t always get it. Not that the others aren’t brilliant, because they’re top notch and all sorts of excellent. Again, much like the pods in Thunderbird 2. The mole was freaking awesome, and those things that fired out suckers to pull things out of holes… oh man. I digress.

Carole made a friend, because Carole. She befriended a woman who had come on a whim to see the show, booking a last minute ticket next to us. She filled her in on all the ins and outs – original cast, who joined later, and all that stuff.  I saved one of the staff of City Varieties from a – not angry, but very firm woman who was asking when she would see Rachel or Cariad. I feel we both did some top notch PR work.

Not that they need it. They fricking kick ass.

And can spot a field mouse from a mile away.