As featured in Lucky Bag: The Victoria Wood Song Book, 1st edition published 1984 by Methuen, ISBN 0-413-56140-2 (hardback), 0-413-56150-X (paperback).
Ooh yes, I’ve followed Virginia Woolf’s career for years. Lovely backhand. Oh, Victoria Wood. She’s been going a long time, hasn’t she. You should see her first thing in the morning. No, now ‘New Faces’ we first saw her on, I remember because our dog was barking and we said shut up Fluff the lady’s doing her best, then it turned out it had its tail up the hoover. She was never off the TV after that, for some time. You’d settle down for a nice serious discussion programme about the rates of vitamins, and there’d be Victoria in a friend’s frock, giving us three verses’ worth of pertinent ditty. And it wasn’t ‘That’s Life’ it was ‘Start the Week’ on the radio. I suppose a little song in the middle gave Richard Baker a chance to nip out to the doings.
Of course, she was working ‘live’ as they call it, quite often. Sometimes twice a year. I know one of her fondest memories is being booked as a blue comedienne at an all-male conference. She came off after seven minutes and blames the acoustics.
Well anyway, in 1978 she got some very nice reviews for a little show called ‘In at the Death’. A little comedy thing all about death. There was a girl called Julie Walters in it. They got on quite well. In fact they still do. Anyway, somebody said why don’t you write a play, and she thought, why not, it’s easier than laying lino. It was called ‘Talent’, this play, and they did it at a very nice theatre in Sheffield called the Crucible. Funny name. Well, she nearly went mad with writing plays afters that, two more for television, ‘Nearly a Happy Ending’ and ‘Happy Since I Met You’, and even a stage musical called ‘Good Fun’. She won quite a few awards, which meant borrowing another frock and meeting Princess Margaret, what a business.
Well, you can’t write all the year round, because your thumb goes flat, so she went back on the boards. (They only had boards because she’d never laid that lino.) She teamed up with that Spanish magician The Great Soprendo. He liked a laugh, bless him. They went all over with a show called ‘Funny Turns’. They toured all over England and Scotland with it, when they decided they should take it to London, because if you live there you need cheering up. Well, they packed them in at the King’s Head. No, really, people were passing out. Then it transferred. To the West End. Very posh. Victoria had to buy a new sponge bag.
Anyway, last year Victoria thought she’d do a show on her own. ‘Lucky Bag’ she called it, which is hardly going to bring the Japanese flocking. The show was just her, by herself. With nobody else there. Not even a fifty piece orchestra. Not even a man with a mouth organ. I though she’d flipped her boko, but she said it was going to be dead good.
Well, the critics liked it, but then again, they live off halves off mild and never get a square meal so their judgement is bound to be a bit dicky. And then she wrote a film and made a record, so why she hasn’t got enough money to line her kitchen curtains, goodness only knows.
And doing another television series. With luck, that won’t be on till my evening classes start. Or I might go and have my veins stripped.
And now you tell me there’s a book of songs coming out. I suppose if everyone starts singing them it might do the earplug manufacturers a bit of good, but I’m dubious.
I shan’t buy it. I feel there’s too many books in the world. In fact I wrote to Methuen’s (and don’t tell me there’s nothing foreign there) and said don’t bother publishing, use the paper for something we can all enjoy, but they seem to be going ahead anyway.
Go back to my home page.