Friday, November 18, 2005

About time

Last night I came face to face with an intergalactic time traveler. And it's not often you get the chance to say that. To be precise I went to the theatre last night to see "A Few Good Men", starring Rob Lowe, Jim Fenner (Bad Girls) and Karen McDonald (Corrie). Female readers will be pleased to know that Rob Lowe is still gorgeous and still looks no older than 25. Meanwhile Jim Fenner (no idea what his real name is) is just as terrifying in the flesh as on G:Wing. Now, I've not seen the film "A Few Good Men" (I was probably revising when it came out) and so I had no idea what the story was about. So it was pretty gripping theatre. The only bit I knew was the famous "You can't handle the truth", which, in fairness, was delivered very convincingly by Fenner. It can't be easy delivering a famous line that's already been immortalized by another actor. (I once saw Judi Dench play Lady Bracknell in "The Importance of Being Ernest" and, to avoid any unfair comparisons with Edith Evans, she just mouthed "a handbag" instead of trying to compete. Chicken.)

Anyway, half way through the second half we get to the court-room scene. Rob Lowe is defending the two marines and the prosecuting attorney is a rather attractive, chisel-boned chap who looks frankly fabulous in uniform. The prosecutor begins interrogating one of the witnesses and my ears prick up. I've heard this voice before. This voice is very familiar to me. In fact, so familiar that I'm convinced I know this voice from real life. And then I suddenly realised. This is a voice that has been whittering with abandon in my living room for the past 6 months. Not literally, but via Scrappino's Dr Who DVD collection. This is the voice of Captain Jack Harkness.

For the uninitiated - you lucky people - Captain Jack Harkness is a time agent who bumps into Dr Who and joins him on his adventures, eventually being exterminated by a Dalek and then brought back to life by Rose who has the entire time vortex coursing through her veins after looking into the heart of the tardis and ingesting its symbiotic power (now do you have an inkling of what I've had to put up with this past year!?!)

Anyway, a little too loudly for the people sitting near me, I very excitedly shouted (well, not exactly shouted, commented really - but in a silent theatre auditorium with excellent acoustics the sound does travel unexpectedly well) "Oh my god!! Look!! It's Captain Jack!!" I am not sure whether Captain Jack heard me but I was certainly sitting near enough to the stage for him to hear. (The terror dividend is cheap theatre tickets in the stalls any day of the week). If he did hear, he was incredibly professional. Not a flinch. Exactly what you'd expect from a time agent.

I spent the rest of the performance staring at Captain Jack and boring the pants off my theatre companion with a repeated mantra of "Scrappino is gonna be SO jealous" and "Just wait til I tell Scrappino about this". I also managed to surreptitiously pinch the program of the chap next to me and read Captain Jack's biog. His character in "A Few Good Men" was Jack Ross. As well as playing Captain Jack he's played a character called Jack in the film version of The Producers and a character called Jack in "De-Lovely" with Kevin Kline (excellent film by the way - especially if you like Cole Porter). I'm not sure if he only plays Jacks or if he does other names too. (If he sticks with Jack his panto currency is going to be a bit limited.)

Anyway, we sat through the end of the trial (the marines go free - hurray - Rob Lowe is a hero - hurray - and Jim Fenner gets his just deserts - hurray). To be honest though, by this time I was too excited about getting a copy of the program for Scrappino and rushing round to the stage door for his autograph to really concentrate on the plot. Which, considering what we've learnt about Guantanamo Bay since the play was written is probably not the attitude a globally-conscience person should have. But then, this is Captain Jack!

After the performance was over I rushed to the foyer to buy a program (£4). I resisted the urge to buy a poster (£8) but did pick up a flyer for Cinderella, the Panto, in which he's playing the Prince (Prince Jack presumably). After waiting outside the stage door for five minutes in the arctic frost we decided to forego the autograph hunt (well, my friend physically pulled me away by the scarf) since it was far too cold to be standing outside waiting for a time agent to take off his make-up.

Scrappino was asleep when I got home so I had to wait til this morning to tell him who I'd seen. I can't convey in words the child's excitement. After he'd ascertained that I wasn't making it up ("Really?" "What, really?" "THE Captain Jack?" "No, really, the actual real Captain Jack for real in real life actually really???") he almost shook with excitement and was breathless with the sheer exhilaration of it all. Then came the hundreds of questions. "What did he look like?" "How tall is he in real life?" "Does he look the same?" "Does he sound the same?" "What was he wearing?" "What did he say?"

On retelling this to my work colleagues, one of them asked where Scrappino gets his obsessive excitability from? Really, she said, he should learn to calm down and chill a bit. It's only an actor for god's sake. It's not like he's a real time agent.

Not like he's a real time agent?? Honestly, some people really can't handle the truth.


Blogger MC Aryeh said...

This was so amusing. I haven't even a clue who half these people are, and was still amused. A story well-told. Loved that you called Judi Dench chicken! She probably doesn't get that much....

8:54 am  
Blogger R.x said...

thanks mc - not sure i'd say it to her face - she's a Dame of the Realm now...

9:48 am  

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