For anyone who is obsessed with cricket like myself, or even just an interest in the sport, an evening with two sporting greats is not something that should be missed. If unaware, both Jonathan ‘Aggers’ Agnew and Phil ‘Tuffers’ Tufnell were well-known cricketers and retired decades ago. They are key figureheads of the game in terms of cricket commentating and personality.
Upon arriving at the theatre it felt rather strange. This was the first time I have been to the theatre and not seen a musical. Not only that, the audience was mostly men, a surprise – I think not! I do want to acknowledge there were women there! This completely changed the atmosphere, especially as it just felt so middle-class. I still, to this day, do not understand why. Many turned up in their suits and cricket ties! I was the youngest person there I could see by at least 10 years, but then does this matter?
I sat in stalls, right in the middle, which was by far the best seats I have ever had! Strange when only paying a little more than £20. Furthermore, any profits were going to the Professional Cricket Association (PCA) Benevolent Fund. This in short helps current and past players with support when misfortunes happen (if interested in finding out more see the video here). It is a very worthwhile charity. The staging was very simple, a table with two chairs and a projector screen behind them, but then what else would you expect.
The first half was simply about their anecdotes from not only in their playing career, but some very recent. It seemed like they had a tale for just about anything! Ranging from Aggers selection as a commentator of horse riding at the Rio Olympics to how Tuffers on an Ashes Tour ended up in a psychiatric ward. I cannot remember the last time I had laughed so much! Best of all, it was cricket humour!
Although you knew there were several of these performances over the country, they still personalised it, for example Hampshire is the local county team and referred to rising stars such as James Vince and it never felt scripted. It was simply fantastic! Some of the parts I remember most was how Tuffers had a hand gesture for just about everything, even dance moves for some, which I still do not understand till this day how he made them so funny. But then he is a born entertainer as was shown in his TV appearances in Strictly Come Dancing, I’m a Celeb etc., which, to note, stories were mentioned about!
On a few occasions, they used the projector to show various clips, mostly showing both their ‘moments to shine’ shall we say! I can remember listening to a commentary recording where Aggers had made some reference without realising and continued to go on digging a deeper hole, which was just hilarious! Being younger than the average audience member, some of the stories were before my time with players mentioned that I had heard of, but knew little about. I still enjoyed it!
As the second half approached, people had submitted topics/questions they wanted answered. Being as keen as ever, I had submitted on Twitter earlier! This went on for the entire second half and made you feel involved. The topics/questions were varied ranging from who should bat at number 3 for England to whether they agreed with Charlotte Edwards being forced to retire from the England Women’s team. It was so nice to hear the views and opinions from the professionals.
All in all, I had an amazing time! It was something different that I couldn’t recommend highly enough to anyone with an interest in cricket. It was a relaxing environment with such a nice bunch of people who share the same interests as you. You can only feel at home! Both Aggers and Tuffers have a way with the audience that simply does not for a moment leave you uninterested. Furthermore, it was cheap ticket and the proceeds go to a worthwhile cause! A win win in my books!