Time was when if I wanted to impress friends who were Doctor Who fans I would tell them that I’d once sat six feet away from Louise ‘Leela’ Jameson while she got naked and had sex in a play. These days, with the all new Doctor Who series, I’d probably have to tell them that I’d once seen David Tennant in his pants (‘What the Butler Saw’ Lyttelton 1995 – as it happens) to earn the same kind of Doctor Who related kudos. Of course what I never mentioned was just how clumsy and awkwardly I thought Louise Jameson’s sex scene was written.
I mention this Louise Jameson stuff, obviously, because she was in the play but also to mark a kind of turning point. This was the first time I’d seen her play the part of an old woman, well not exactly old but late 50s. I think the phrase I’m looking for here is playing a part where she was no longer expected to be sexually appealing. Of course I haven’t seen her on stage for over 10 years nor have I followed her recent TV career so any switch to less sexually vital parts may have happened a while back and I’ve been too slow to notice.
Although the programme was full of blurb about the seventies, when the play was written, this production was updated for modern times. Doing this didn’t seem to involve much more than the casual mention of emails. However it did make the older couple (Colin Baker and Louise Jameson) seem even more old fashioned than they were originally written (50 somethings of today expressing attitudes of 50 somethings from 30 years ago) and now I think about it, the absence of mobile phones was a bit odd – although their presence would have made the second half of the play pointless.
Another point of interest for me was that my namesake Timothy Watson was appearing as the bed-bound character Nick. I’m never sure whether I want him to do well as an actor or not. He always seems to get pretty good reviews in the stage stuff he does but I haven’t seen him that often. Also for some reason I never got round to see him when he was in the Woman in Black for what seemed like a couple of years.