Monday, 18 November 2013
The Last O'Gowrie
Here, courtesy of Gareth & Sara at the Lass, we see Waris Hussein, the very first director of Doctor Who, and his partner posing with the Socks after our last ever show at the Lass O'Gowrie.
So it was that the Lass O'Gowrie was home to the last date of the Socks' Autumn 2014 Socks In Space tour. We have a couple more dates still to go, including two Christmas specials and some private parties, but the main bulk of our shows, those in which the Socks perform a 60 or 90 minute show, including this year's new Edinburgh sci-fi themed show, have come to a close. When we resume in the new year, with dates to be announced, we'll be presenting material from the new show, Art, along with a fresh assortments of tried and tested favourites.
This weekend's gigs saw us go from Hull's New Clarence (part of the Hull Comedy Festival) Thursday, to Barton On Humber's Ropewalk (pronounce it Rurp-walk, they like that) Friday, to Chorley Little Theatre Saturday and finally - with a slight Doctor Who special (as part of their Who At 50 celebrations) - to Manchester's Lass O'Gowrie.
And what a momentous but sad occasion the Lass show turned to be. For, just before a sellout show, which went a treat by the way, I discovered from Gareth (Kavanagh, the former manager) that the Lass as we know it is about to close. The brewery, Greene King, is seemingly unimpressed by the Lass's winning of the Pub Of The Year Award last year, and by Lassfest - the team's year-round assortment of live entertainment which has included the best in pub theatre and comedy, and is getting rid of its current tenants.
Gone will be the home of The Sitcom Trials in Manchester - it being The Lass O'Gowrie who chose to revive The Sitcom Trials in 2010 leading to the revived Bristol, London and Edinburgh shows - and a venue that the Socks have graced every year without fail for longer than we can remember (that is to say I can't remember whether it was 2008, but let's say it probably was). We have been the tiniest part of this fantastic venue's unique menu of events and it's change of use will be a dreadful loss to Manchester's entertainment scene.
I look forward to Gareth, Lisa and their colleagues bouncing back in other venues soon. But for the meantime I mourn the passing of a favourite venue which has done us proud and without which the last few years of my work would be very different.