Janice Joplin: Full Tilt, Theatre Royal, Stratford.

Last week hubby and I were lucky enough to get tickets for Janice Joplin; Full Tilt at the Theatre Royal in Stratford.Janis Joplin 2

It is a bit of a trek, going on the Piccadilly line to Holborn and then joining the hell that is the Central line in rush hour on a Friday night to Stratford. Years ago, and not many at that, I would never have been able to even contemplate such a journey, but now I grab hubby, yell at him because he’s forgotten to wear his hearing aids that we are getting on the next train whatever happens and push him on board. And then we stand, so tight that you can’t even move your feet trying not to topple over with the stops and starts of the tube and shuffling, forever shuffling tighter and tighter together.

The pressure builds, Chancery Lane, St.Pauls, Bank, Liverpool Street, clickety-clack, clickety-clack, clickety-clack, Mile End, whoosh, ‘Mind the Gap, Mind the Gap’ and the pressure eases. Hubby and I look at each other, ‘one more stop’ is passed telepathically with the aid of a small nod and flash of a smile.

We cross wide busy roads well controlled with the aid of pedestrian crossings and tootle through a busy indoor shopping centre and then out again to find the Theatre Royal. As one pushes through the very old and heavily painted red doors the smells and sounds of a warm and inviting theatre meet your senses. The bar is busy with people eating and drinking and there is a friendly atmosphere all around. Hubby and I look at each other, a twinkle of pleasure pass between us, we are pleased we have trekked so far, the strain of the journey cast aside and forgotten.

We take our seats and wait for the curtain to lift. When they do we are hit with the one woman powerhouse that is Angie Darcy in her role as Janice Joplin.  The play, stroke, musical, stroke, live gig was spectacular, with deep dark moments of sadness intertwined with the madness that was and probably still is the record industry and the magnificent voice of Angie Darcy with an amazing backing group performing Joplin’s songs. It was a powerful edit of Joplin’s life without being too sentimental.

We bopped both in and out of our seats, ‘swing that raggedy ass baby’, we loved it. Janis Joplin 1

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