We had a brilliant time at the Mrs Brown’s Boys live show last night. The trip up the A19 was interrupted by a visit to a well-known fast-food chain for a bite to eat (have you seen the Arena’s prices?!). Obviously it wouldn’t be right to mention the establishment by name, but my meal was very McPleasant indeed...
We arrived just over an hour before the show. The weather wasn’t great, but being able to park in the Arena car park was a timely reminder of last year’s floods that had not only closed the car park, but meant that a lot of people had been physically unable to reach the venue at all...
Work is pretty unsettling for both of us at the moment, so we were looking forward to the chance to switch off for a couple of hours and hopefully have a really good laugh in the process—and we certainly weren’t disappointed.
This was the third year we’d seen the show and this was the best of the three. There was the usual mix of previously televised gags and new—or better still, ad-libbed—material but the highlight came during a seemingly unscripted (but presumably not totally unplanned) exchange between Mrs Brown and daughters-in-law Maria and then Betty—or alternatively, real-life father and daughter and father-in-law and daughter-in-law.
The fun started with a witty line from Maria (Fiona O’Carroll) that prompted Agnes (Brendan O’Carroll) to reply: “The ball’s in play and the game is on..!”
She/he then had a bit of “banter” with Maria, before focussing attention on Betty (Amanda Woods): “So how is your mother?”
“She’s still dead,” came the clearly unexpected response.
“What did she die of?”
“What was she doing, chasing an Abominable Snowman?!”
“No, she was shopping in Iceland!!”
A proud father-in-law conceded a “touché” as I nearly choked on an M&M.
Much as that was the personal high point of the show, the most memorable moment of my evening was still to come. Like we had last year, we decided to wait and try and meet some of the cast. I got several autographs—sadly more than half were ruined by a fairly heavy downpour—and some great photos, which are included at the bottom of the page (I’m down to two chins on one of them!).
I asked Amanda Woods to sign a photo—and she only bloody recognised me!
She asked how I was and how the writing was going... to say I was surprised is an understatement that should really be preceded by one of Agnes’ trademark
expletives, but it was a lovely moment—thank you Amanda x
Soon after, the heavens opened and with photos taken and autographs smudged, it was time to head back to the car... and back to Middlesbrough. I realise comedy is subjective and Mrs Brown’s Boys might not be everybody’s cup of tea, but Brendan O’Carroll and the rest of the cast have brought so much fun and laughter into our lives—and for that I am genuinely fecking grateful.
All my own work... almost.