A play based around the music of Ian Dury and The Blockheads? How can I NOT go to this? 🙂 Directed by Jenny Sealey, artistic director of disabled-led theatre company Graeae and featuring a talented cast, this is definitely a must for Blockheads fans.
The story takes place in 1979 when the song “Reasons to be cheerful (part 3)” is climbing up the charts (where it would eventually peak at number 3). Vinnie works in a supermarket with his mates and they all want to go to the Blockheads gig at Hammersmith Odeon but it’s sold out and they’re all skint anyway. What follows are their attempts to wangle tickets while we find out more about their politics, love lives, parents and working relationships interspersed with a blast through all the favourite Blockheads tunes (some neatly worked into the flow of the script and some just blatantly performed ‘cos we want to hear them (“it’s always the right time to do ‘Blockheads’…”).
The cast perform with an enthusiasm and an obvious affection for the songs and look to be loving every minute of it. Particular stand out being John Kelly, a man who’s never let his disability define him (much like Ian Dury). A nice touch is that whilst the play is going on a backdrop shows subtitles of the dialogue and there’s also someone interpreting the dialogue in sign language, something that seems obvious to do in a theatre but doesn’t seem to happen nearly enough.
The script is exactly like an Dury song, at times funny, sad, irreverent and never afraid to laugh or be silly. Given the thumbs up by all the Blockhead members, and many fans of the band, this is an uplifting take on the music, lyrics and spirit of the great Ian Dury.