The Lyceum looks set to open next Saturday with the Lloyd Webber latest – The Beastly Lords of Granbretan. A musical adaptation of Mike Moorcock’s Hawkmoon series previews suggest that whilst the source material and even story seems to have been adhered to (albeit and understandably compressed) how well that adapts is music is less certain. There are pieces from rehearsals to be found on the net and I’m not sure how I feel about such lines as ‘My German love’s flame lances to my heart’ and ‘Oh Baron Meliadus such a naughty wolf, take me, make me Eva to your Adolf’ (sic). Actually I’m not at all unsure how I feel about such lines. I know exactly how I feel.
It’s nothing like Hawkwind. The Chronicles of the Black Sword was the first proper, big venue big gig I went to. I’d seen all manner of weird blues, skiffle and banjo bands in the likes of the old Bacchus bar in Bournemouth (qv) but being whilst a teen thin, long-haired and hungry then of course Hawkwind were very important. Led Zeppelin important. Illicit pint important. Panting, urgent fumbling important. Important enough certainly that my first big gig being Hawkwind and Elric was breath-losingly, shakingly-excited, arrive four hours early in bloody Guildford exciting. And it was great, it was brilliant, it was in a way as with many things too, a little life changing.
I hope the same is true of The Beastly Lords of Granbretan, but I doubt it will. But I won’t know because I won’t be going. So I won’t see Michael Ball as Baron Meliadus or Jedward as Dorian Hawkmoon. I can’t even remember the name of the winner of last year’s Quest For Yisselda on ITV, but she’ll be in it you would have thought. They’ve got Rickie Gervais as Huillam D’Averc, and Ron out of Harry Potter as Oladahn.
Joe Pasquale is playing Count Brass. I’ve changed my mind, this I have to see. Joe Pasquale evil-goblin-voiced winner of I’m A Celebrity is taking a break from The Price Is Right to squeak out such immortal lines as ‘We ride, we ride on Granbretan! With my big pointy sword and brassy tan’, and ‘I am neutral, I am brutal and my two brass balls are fruitful’.
And aren’t all our two brass balls at that?