Diary

The Devastation of Mr Egg

19 July 2019 | Diary

I’m looking forward to seeing this.

I agree with Stewart’s Brum-baiting remark that Birmingham “has a great history of rejecting its culture.”

As well as rejecting the King Kong statue featured in the film, another fibreglass statue–“Forward” by Raymond Mason–was never popular, on the grounds that it optimistically and apparently irreverently depicted Birmingham’s graduation from heavy industry.

It was finally incinerated by vandals 2003. A sibling sculpture survives contentedly in my other hometown of Montreal.

I like the Nightingales a lot (I treasure memories of Robert Lloyd singing loudly into my wife’s tiny face in a Glasgow pub basement) and, of course, I have much love Michael Cumming and Mr Stew.

As it happens, the last time I trod the Rotunda-shadowed streets seen in this trailer was to see Cumming’s own Oxide Ghosts at the Arena Theatre in Wolverhampton last year.

It was a deeply nostalgic trip: I’d performed at the Arena a few times as a student (most memorably as “a demon pouffe” in a daft version of Anansi Spider Stories) but Wolverhampton was also where, agog, I watched Brass Eye and bonded with others over it, and set my sights on a lifetime of nonsense.

On the same trip, I was shocked to learn of the refurbishment (the DEVASTATION!) of Mr Egg, a late-night lifesaver near to the Glee Club.

Stewart Lee has mentioned Mr Egg somewhere and, oddly enough, Richard Herring refers to the refurbishment in his podcast this very week:

“I was hanging out at Mr Egg the other day… just late-night, having a bit of an egg… the original Mr Egg was there, not the new one, the original Mr Egg, the good… the proper one.”

Anyway. Yes. I find myself earnestly hankering to see King Rocker. I email my Mum to ask if she remembers the King Kong statue from its six-month Bullring residency in 1972. She does! She also remembers it being in Edinburgh.

The ape seems oddly familiar to me (and there’s apparently a maquette in Wolverhampton Art Gallery) but, alas, I do not consciously remember it from either location, despite their significance to me as places.



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