The Youngest of the Darling Daughters is standing at the top of a fire escape outside the Connaught Theatre trying to attract the attention of passers-by on the road beneath.
“Excuse me!” she keeps pleading. “I say, excuse me - could you help us, please? Excuse me…” Down below, folk occasionally glance upwards but mostly pass on their way.
They are probably thinking they don’t want to get involved with a couple of mad women on a fire escape. Me? I’m there too but I am not being much help, being beset with the giggles. You really couldn’t make it up…
My daughter and I have embarked on a trip out while her fella, Dunk’em Dave (his name, for readers who need to catch up on some background information, commemorates his antics
at many a family seaside day) keeps Mr B company. I will let you decide who has the better deal; suffice to say, I am grateful beyond measure.
The Youngest of
the Darling Daughters and I have booked tickets to see the newly released film of “Dear Evan Hansen” at a local cinema, and plan to finish off our outing with lunch somewhere. Meanwhile Dunk’em Dave is accompanying Mr B on his weekly Sporting
Memories trip which he is sure will be a whole new adventure. This is what I love about this son-in-law of mine - his willingness to see any new experience as an adventure. He should be fine, I reassure him, because I have already told the Sporting Memories
gang all about him and asked them to treat him kindly, given that he isn’t really into sport. He does, however, have the ability to talk about / voice an opinion on anything and everything which will go down well with the assorted characters at Sporting
Memories. We wave the two of them off on the Dial-a-Ride bus before preparing for our own outing.
We take the Pulse bus into town and my daughter comments
that she quite understands why I choose public transport above the car when it comes to such trips. No trying to find a car parking space and no payment for parking required. I am gratified that my green credentials are being recognised. I make a point of
waving my mobile phone about to show that I haven’t printed out our cinema tickets, thus saving two pieces of paper and the planet into the bargain.
the theatre box office, I proudly produce the evidence of my ticket purchase on my phone - the woman behind the screen points out that we are in the wrong theatre and need to go “next door.” It seems I haven’t read the information printed
on the tickets correctly. Not to worry, I tell my daughter, I know exactly where we are going - follow me! I say.
Which is how we managed to end up on the fire
escape, having (i) taken the wrong door; (ii) climbed the wrong stairs; and (iii) passed (inexplicably) into the open air - only to find the door we had just come through shutting behind us, locking us out. To her credit, my daughter doesn’t address
a single criticism in my direction, her only concern being that we manage not to miss any of the film. It is interesting that neither of us starts panicking. Perhaps, like Dunk’em Dave, we are up for new experiences, fresh adventures. I try to ring the
box office but, although we know for sure that it is open, a recorded message tells us that it is, in fact, closed.
Eventually three young girls hear our
pleas, look up in consternation, and head straight off to the theatre box office to relay our situation. In no time at all, the door is being unlocked and we are being led out into the open air and pointed in the right direction. Sadly there is no sign of
our gallant rescuers so we can’t stop to thank them.
“Dear Evan Hansen” is an ideal film for anyone blessed with the Usher Gene. We sob our way,
companionably, through all the many poignant moments. There is a particularly show-stopping song called “You Will be Found” which I will find myself singing for a good few days afterwards. It’s just a pity I hadn’t heard it before -
I could have stood with my daughter on the fire escape, trilling “We will be found!” as an encouragement to her as she tried to attract attention to our plight.
“Have you ever felt nobody was there?” song-smith Sam Smith wrote. He wasn’t talking about being locked out of a theatre and stuck on a fire escape, to be fair - but if the cap fits, don’t you know?
I’m so very glad that the Youngest of the Darling Daughters and I were, well, found…