Old Specs and the Poetry of Potatoes; COMEDY Packed Lunch Lyric Hammersmith

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JOHN Hegley's enduring obsession with spectacles and dogs finally appears threatened.

Another motif emerged during the London premiere of his 2003 Edinburgh outing, Packed Lunch (in mini-rep with his gallicflavoured The Sound Of Paint Drying). An early poem features a traveller mistaking a person for a sack of potatoes. Later a hound is confused with King Edwards. Is the humble tuber monopolising Hegley's focus?

Probably not, although he does have a chip on his shoulder about fidgety fans, wagging a tetchy finger at disruptive whispers. The eerily youthful Costello lookalike still excels at gloriously whimsical wordplay. His Old English Folk Song lists some his divine obsessions, from Morrissey to Morris dancing. Schooldays are another inspiration. There is a stinging recollection of being caned, commencing: "Before you set to with that thin bamboo."

Rhyme and punishment indeed.

Packed Lunch is more than mere punupmanship. …


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