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  • Les Dennis!

    I have just been out to the first show in Les Dennis's tour. A friend of mine got some tickets and we went along. I've never been a big fan of his but it was something to do. Plus there has been a fair amount of negative press about him and the ticket sales being low.



    Now, I would imagine that there were about 200 odd people in the theatre (certainly more than the 40 that were reported in the newspapers as being sold). Les did about an hour and a quarter talking about his showbiz life and, to his credit I, and the rest of the audience, did find it funny. He made me laugh out loud loads of times and my tastes in comedy tend towards Eddie Izzard and Jack Dee. I don't really see myself as a "workingmen's club" type of comedy person. Anyway, he got a really good response from everyone and the age range varied from teenagers to OAPs. No-one walked out, there were no dead silences and, at the end, he got a really loud cheer and a huge round of applause. In all, he did extremely well considering it was his first night and first nights of a tour can always be shaky. Plus he had all the negative press against him. I saw Lee Evans on his first gig of his tour last year and he was all over the place and was reading from notes in places. I saw him again at the end in Oxford and he had honed it right down to a hysterical set.



    The reason I am writing this (at 1.00 am BEFORE the papers have come out) is because about 15 minutes into the act two photographers came down during a quiet piece where Les was talking about Dustin Gee (his old working partner). The photographers flashed off a rapid number of photos - both at Les and at us in the audience - and then ran out.



    We thought this was a bit weird but Les didn't seem fazed by it (a little puzzled perhaps) but he just carried on.



    At the end of the evening we went to collect our car. Round the back of the theatre there is a pub with an outside beer garden area. Round two of the tables were seated 6 or 7 people all writing away on laptops. We reckoned they were press so we went over. It turned out that they weren't just the local press but one of them was from The Sun and the other was from the Daily Mail. We asked them what they thought and the guy from the Sun openly admitted he hadn't even seen the show but was posting his story telling us that, in his opinion, the show was "p*** poor". Those were his exact words. He even said that the Sun had already decided to slate Les Dennis no matter what. We asked him why and he said "cos we want to".



    The woman from the Mail also said the show was dire. She had left after 30 minutes to start writing the piece for todays paper.



    To say I was shocked about this is an understatement. I knew there was such a thing as a "gutter press" but I really hadn't realised just how pathetic and determined they can be in the ruination of someone. You will no doubt read these reviews in the papers.



    I am curious to see exactly what goes into print on this so, remember: everybody laughed, no-one walked out and he didn't "die" on stage. The press either weren't even there or only stayed a short while. The photographs were taken when the audience were hearing about how Dustin Gee collapsed on stage (so, if not many people are smiling, it's because it wasn't supposed to be funny).



    I hope I'm wrong and that the press will be kind as Les Dennis does seem a genuinely likeable guy on stage and why the Sun have decided to terrorise him I've no idea. If the reviews are as I suspect they will be in the Sun, you'll realise just what a society this is where we call the Sun a "newspaper" and that you should never believe all you read.



    1.03 am (yawn)

  • #2
    thats nasty!



    If any one mentions it to me I will put them straight!



    press...hmph

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    • #3
      I think that is absolutely disgusting. But I've never really had a high regard for the press. As for the Sun!! Well after all the lies they told about the Hillsborough disaster I wouldn't even use it in the cat litter tray!!! I'd already heard about a rather distasteful story they'd told about the death of a young father, not just distasteful but totally untrue which caused a lot of pain to that dead man's family.



      So it comes as no surprise that they would try to destroy a man's professional reputation just for the hell of it. Sun? sc*m more like! I prefer not to listen to critics. I like to form my own opinion without being told what to think.



      Thanks for that, Jeannie



      Misty
      "Almost anything you do will seem insignificant, but it is very important that you do it. You must be the change that you wish to see in the world." Gandhi

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      • #4
        It'll certainly be interesting to see what appears eh!



        Why don't you write to them and say what you saw/witnessed from the journalists and the show itself? Maybe if you feel strongly about it, you could contact Les Dennis' PR dept or whatever they have (agency?).



        Sounds like irresponsible journalism at it's worse! If in doubt, make it up!

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        • #5
          Ah well. After my rant nothing appeared in the press today! I nearly got kicked out of the papershop too for rifling through the papers (I didn't feel as though I actually wanted to buy one, for obvious reasons). Feel a wee bit foolish at the mo but will keep an eye out. If something negative does appear about last nights show then yes, Matthew, I think I will put pen to paper. My God, I never thought I'd see the day when I'd be writing letters of support for Les Dennis!

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          • #6
            Let us know if you spot anything Jeannie!



            Wonder if they might put something up on the online versions of some of these newspapers?



            Les Dennis - I must admit I'm not a big fan (aside from his lovely ex-wife Amanda Holden!). When I see Les Dennis, I always hear 'Mavis' from Coronation Street!

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            • #7
              The Daily Mail usually publish most of their 'Entertainment' (made up) news on Fridays.



              Misty
              "Almost anything you do will seem insignificant, but it is very important that you do it. You must be the change that you wish to see in the world." Gandhi

              Comment


              • #8
                Thanks for that insider info Jeannie.



                I quite like Les, I think he has been treated horribly by the press over the whole relationship issue with his ex wife.



                The only recent thing I've seen in the press is the fact that he's in discussions with ITV to return to Family Fortunes. Can't wait to see him back doing it have you seen the other guy who's been doing it? Dreadful! Not a patch on our Les - bring him back soon.

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                • #9
                  Holly, I've never really watched Family Fortunes. He said he'd stopped doing it because they stopped using a live audience which he didn't like. He did revive some of the funniest answers given though including "name a dangerous race" to which the woman replied "the Arabs!" and "name something you would find in a kitchen" which got the reply "your grandmother". Made me laugh anyway

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                  • #10
                    There was something in the Daily Mail today. It says that in Swindon he only had a half packed show. The second night he only managed to fill 60 seats of a 600 seat auditorium, that the audience didn't even fill the first four rows. Said he fluffed his lines and even forgot the punchlines to his jokes. They had a photograph but whose to say they haven't cropped it to make it look bad? If, as you say Jeannie, they left after 30 minutes, or didn't even see the show, how do they know about the fluffed lines etc? They made it up of course!



                    Talk about kicking a man when he's down.



                    Misty
                    "Almost anything you do will seem insignificant, but it is very important that you do it. You must be the change that you wish to see in the world." Gandhi

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                    • #11
                      Misty,



                      I shall have a look at the Mail later. For the record, the Swindon local paper said he sold just over 400 seats in the end (the venue seats 600). Hardly just half full. Horrible press!

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                      • #12
                        Oo er, get ready to throw your rotten tomatoes - I review theatre.



                        A few things here. Les Dennis is 'on' at the moment (a story that can be squeezed) due to his apparent public disintegration on 'Big Brother' and his split with Amanda Holden. Because of this a review of one of his shows at this time is going to be flawed and skewed - except by some independant reviewers.



                        A reviewer working for a particular publication will assess in broad terms what their average reader would like/dislike. An independant reviewer (like me!) stays true to themselves and tells it how it is.



                        A 'tied' reviewer also has other agendas, not least the political persuasion of the publication he/she is writing for - and if that person being reviewed is a 'friend or foe'.



                        To state that a theatre is not playing to capacity is a load of *******. Why should it matter that a theatre is half full anyway??? YOU might really enjoy that show. That statement is there for reasons other than to report on the quality and content of the show. Very few shows do play to capacity now - but the reviewer will fail to mention that fact as the point he wants to make will be lost.

                        My tastes aren't mainstream so it is of no importance that other people choose not to see what I want to see, so that statement is superfluous in my eyes.



                        I've given just one very bad review - and it was bad, and that was a few weeks ago. The show was insufferable and so bad I wanted out of the theatre - fast, but a reviewer has to watch something through - a reviewer leaving half way through something is not a reviewer in my eyes. It's also very silly as anything could happen in the second act - and if you're not there to see it...

                        It was my first 'bad' review and the show deserved it, as this man is selling tickets on his well known name and failing to deliver. I also listen to and watch other audience members - and believe me, they weren't too chuffed either.



                        As for Les Dennis, he still makes me laugh - and I don't think he made a pr*tt of himself on Big Brother. I can say hand on heart that if I reviewed him, it would be the content of his show I would be reviewing and nothing else.

                        I sometimes interview the people after I've seen the show and it's there that you get a fuller picture of the intention of the show and what if anything went wrong and if it sailed in the right direction. Only then can you write a full and truthfull review.



                        Spinks

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