I LOVE going to the theatre. Growing up in the Welsh Marches, there wasn’t a lot of scope for catching the latest West End musical, but once or twice every couple of years, my parents would take me and a friend down to London (or the nearby “metropolises” of Birmingham and Wolverhampton) to catch a show.
More often than not, I’d already played the tape a zillion times and knew all the song lyrics off by heart. And I’m sure I frequently embarrassed my parents by singing along with the likes of Marti Webb in Song & Dance, Barbara Dickson in Blood Brothers and the lovely Michael Ball in Les Misérables.
Here on the Costa del Sol, I enjoy nothing more than spending a winter’s evening in the stalls of the Salon Varietés Theatre in Fuengirola. As their name suggests, they stage a huge variety of different plays and shows regularly throughout the year. We’ve seen productions as serious as Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya, as farcical as Frayn’s Noises Off and as musical as Joseph and His Technicolor Dreamcoat.
Last weekend, we went to see two one-act comedies written by David Tristam – Last Tango in Little Grimley and Last Panto in Little Grimley. The story involved a small amateur dramatics group with a dwindling membership and declining audience, and their chairman’s attempt to prove that “sex sells”. The four actors were brilliantly cast and we all found Mark Rose, who played Bernard, particularly hilarious. (As we were leaving at the end of the play, two ladies were still in such fits of giggles that they remained glued to their seats, unable to stand up!)
The theatre box office lets you reserve tickets by phone as long as you collect them no later than one hour before curtain up, so we usually pick up our tickets and then pop round the corner for a tapa or two before the production starts. The nearby Plaza de la Constitución is full of bars and restaurants and is particularly worth a visit this month as their Belén (nativity scene) and Christmas decorations are already up and lit. At the theatre there is also a bar for pre-theatre and interval drinks and snacks. For parking, we use Parking Las Rampas (right below Dunnes Stores and just a couple of minutes walk from the theatre), where you get a bit of a discount if you wave your theatre tickets at the guard.
I can thoroughly recommend Salon Varietés for an evening of entertainment. I’ve heard people say too many times that there’s no culture on the Costa del Sol so, after I’ve reminded them that it is brimming with Spanish culture, I tell them that we should support places like Salon Varietes so that they don’t go the same way as those poor folk of Little Grimley!
To find out more about Salon Varietés Theatre, visit their website on www.salonvarietestheatre.com or telephone 952 474 542 weekdays between 10.00 and 13.30 or 19.00 and 20.00. Forthcoming performances include Christmas with The International Music Society Choir and Orchestra, Jack and the Beanstalk (traditional family panto) and the musical comedy, The Producers.