Suggs: My Life Story – 4 May 2016, Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield


The band I’m most desperate to see live is Madness, being a fan of their songs from “Our House” to it “Must be Love”, their hilarious appearances in “The Young Ones” and of course their lead singer’s hosting of “Night Fever”, the only reason to stay in and watch Channel 5 on a Saturday night in late 90s/early 00s, so there was no way that I could turn down being in the audience for Suggs: My Life Story, aka Graham McPherson at Sheffield’s Lyceum Theatre this evening.

As the byline of the tour poster states, unbelievable Suggs has just turned 50, his kids have left home and his poor cat has died on his birthday. How does Suggs get through this? The only way he can by combining his natural storytelling and the songs we love, with a little bit of writing help from Toby Follett, directing by Owen Lewis and producing by Andrew Higgie.

As an audience it was an honour to accompany Suggs on his one man show of a journey, accompanied by pianist/man servant Deano, as he describes his personal quest to find the father he never knew via growing up in 1970s Soho and his first appearance on Top of the Pops on a journey that took us from the trapdoor of failure to the trapeze of show business success.

As my blog shows, I go to a lot of shows but this has to be my favourite show of the year so far, as Suggs performed to a packed house displaying comic timing any comedian would be proud of, storytelling to beat any series of Jackanory, an unexpected Tommy Cooper impression and a mind for details and memory that anyone would be proud of. Yes we all hoped that he would find his father but what we wanted was to have lived some of his extra ordinary live with him so far (and we have done for an evening) and have an invite to his next birthday party. Even better his set finished with him singing one of my all time favourite tracks and my current ringtone “It Must Be Love”, but this time on the stage of the Lyceum, not Buckingham Palace, making my desire to see him perform with the rest of Madness even stronger.

There is only one date left of the current tour of Suggs: My Live Story, which is tomorrow (Thursday 5 May) at O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire. For more information visit www.suggsmcpherson.co.uk/live-dates/.

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