King’s Lynn Festival presents Clive Anderson Me, Macbeth and I at St George’s Guildhall
Clive Anderson performed ‘Me, Macbeth and I’ to a thrilled audience at St George’s Guildhall as part of the Lynn Festival on Tuesday evening.
The main premise of the show is that by saying Macbeth aloud, the famous play by William Shakespeare, it brings terribly bad luck.
Clive said: “They are hard to analyse statistically but an awful lot of things have gone wrong. The main bad luck was starting at all.
“I was going to start in 2020 and the whole world came to a grinding halt and I had to wait two years to start my tour.
“Once I got going it was alright.”
I can vouch for that, having interviewed Clive a couple of weeks before his solo show and saying Macbeth a few times in that conversation, my car broke down. Well, I ran out of petrol so really it was my fault.
His one-man show opens with the well-known presenter of Whose Line is it Anyway? and chat shows strolling onto stage in full Macbethian costume. A custom-made kilt, eagle-feathered cap and leather wrist bands that he ordered from the internet.
He tells of the many disasters associated with uttering the word Macbeth, with paranoid luvvies renaming it the Scottish play or the Scottish tragedy to avert such terrible feats of potential death.
Clive describes awful associations with the play, from audience members being maimed with props, to actors being killed, perhaps even murdered, though it was never proved, during onstage scenes, and worse, his own tumble dryer setting on fire.
With earnest and emphatic enthusiasm akin to a favourite history teacher, he describes Macbeth as one of the greatest plays ever written, perhaps more popular than Agatha Christie's Mousetrap.
The play is relevant particularly to Lynn in that Robert Armin, a comic actor of Shakespeare’s time, was born in the High Street. It is also reported the great Bard himself acted on the very boards, back in 1593, that Clive himself trod in Lynn.
The show also includes anecdotal tales, audience participation and inside details about some of the ‘disastrous’ interviews, including the Bee Gees. For those who may have seen the interview, there is a bit of a mix up with their original name Les Tossers and a joke that wasn’t taken as funny.
There is hardly a chance for him to breathe as he rattles off stories about his career, famous people he has interviewed and his dream to play Macbeth, a speech from which he recites to finish.
“Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury signifying nothing.”
Clive Anderson may have practised law, but he has mastered comedy.