On Tour: The Right Size

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The Independent Culture
The Right Size has a marvellous history of having vans either breaking down or getting stolen. Last time someone pinched our Mercedes van, with a pounds 3,000 set inside. It was taken from north London and the next night we had to play in Jersey. All that was left was the front-door handle. After much lamentation we went down there and did it. We faxed what we needed and the show was cobbled together with the audience bringing things. It was actually rather a triumph, everyone was going 'That's my plate'. Why anyone should want to steal a sluggish old van was beyond comprehension - the police were interested in case it turned up in Whitehall loaded with Semtex.

The other classic time was when we had our entire set taken away by Westminster rubbishmen. We left it outside a flat in Paddington. In the early days we didn't have much money and it was a moot point what was rubbish and what was set. It was very embarrassing. We'll have a van for this tour like Fort Knox.

One gig that stands out was when we did Flight To Finland in Ghana. Normally when you come on stage it all drops very quiet, but there was a huge party going on in the audience. It was very hot and I was in a suit. I got to a gag where I stopped miming to a French horn and a musician behind stage kept playing. I thought 'This'll shut them up', but it didn't. So I just stopped and stared at them and they suddenly burst out laughing. I think to this day that they thought I had made some sort of mistake and they were just feeling sorry for me.

Hamish McColl directs The Right Size in 'Baldy Hopkins', the Cochrane Theatre, London WC1 (071-242 7040) to 30 Apr. Tours to 4 Jun

(Photograph omitted)

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