My Life Story in Words and Music
Grand Theatre, Swansea
LOVEABLE Nutty Boy Suggs invited us to step into his bath on Saturday night "amid the bubbles and the ducks" and as it turned out, the water was lovely.
The bath was an appropriate place for the Madness frontman to have a eureka moment of sorts, with his being a bit of a midlife crisis. He had just turned 50, his beloved cat had fallen off its shelf — literally — and his thoughts were turning increasingly to the mysterious but squalid death of his estranged, junkie dad.
But this being Suggs, a man with the perennial air of a bloke who has got life sorted and who faces this grubby old world with a grin and a slap on the back, his response to his emotional quandary was to get suited and booted and to set off to find his pa, and along the way to sift through some of the gleaming memories of his well-lived life.
Happily we were all invited, and this show, part uproarious stand-up, part heart-tugging memoir, part song cycle, and all heart and soul, turned out to be the most enjoyable night of theatre I've ever seen.
The tales came out like pinballs, along with an inspired tribute to Tommy Cooper, and expert thumbnail sketches of Dire Straits, Status Quo and Oasis.
A singer he may be, but Suggs proved himself to be a sharper, funnier comic than most comedians on the circuit. And with perfect pacing, no filler, oodles of light and shade, pathos, sweetness and vim, this show is genius.