pub review

Round Table (Leicester Square)

Arnold (Diff'rent Strokes)

*Ten past ten on a Monday night and Lil'Arnold has made his nightly entrance into The Round Table; a nice discreet little cubby hole of a boozer, tucked away behind the Noel Coward theatre. Arnold is in full thespian mode,…drumming the bar with his fingers, keen for his pint, obviously buzzing from the nights performance (in Avenue Q). He is holding forth to the barman Liam who nods, both graciously and knowingly, as he reaches to pour Arnold’s pint,…Arnold is convinced that Liam is called Matthew,...*

“To be or not to be, that is the question Matthew,..whether 'tis nobler in the mind,.. “

"Evening Gary."

"Alright Matt,…..Yes,….Oooooh, to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,.. “

"Usual Carling Top yeah mate?"

"Yeah cheers, thanks…and,..err,..oh yes…..Or to take arms against a sea of troubles. And by opposing end them. To die,…to kip………perchance Playstation.”

“Not bad Gary, not bad at all,…you want this pint over at the table do you? Tell you what, you go on over there and take the weight off and I’ll bring it round. Good show tonight was it?”

*Going over taking a seat, shouting back over his shoulder* “Matthew,..I was ELECTRIC out there tonight, E-L-E-C-T-R-I-C! I had em firmly by the balls, in the palm of my hand. They loved it young Matthew, even if I do say so myself.”

*Smiling to himself* “You’re carrying that show I reckon Gal!” *bringing pint over*

“Oh, Matthew, Matthew you flatterer you! However, it would possibly be somewhat churlish of me to disagree on that one,…being as I am, patently the star of the show…..*gesticulating to door leading down to the toilets* Et tu Brute!!!.......Erm,….Friends, Romans,..Countryside,……”

“Nice one Gal.”

“Thanks,..and speaking of the show - strictly between you and me Matty, I’ve booked a meeting with the producers next week; where I intend to propose a new banner for the posters,..and fascia for the theatre hoardings.”

“Oh yeah Gal? You should definitely do that mate, I reckon,…You’re the only one that people have REALLY come to see in that show. The others well?...Well they’re just muppets ain’t they!”

“Exactly Matthew, exactly!! In fact,..i might put that to them (the producers) yeah. I’ll propose a new layout and tagline, which gives ME top billing. Maybe something along the lines of ‘THE Gary Coleman and The Muppets Star in Avenue Q’?”

“I wouldn’t even say “The” actually Gal,…just leave it at “some” Muppets I reckon,..or maybe even just “Muppets” sans prefix? Perhaps put the supporting act references in a smaller font as well?”

“Brilliant Matthew! Brilliant, you’re a mind-reader! What about this – “80’s Legend, cum Shakesperian actor - Arnold from Diff’rent Strokes (Arial, 20, Bold), stars in Broadway (and now West-End) smash – Avenue Q,…with muppets (Arial, 8)?”

"What about just 'contains muppets' at the end instead Gal?"

"You da man Matt, da man!"

“That would be perfect i reckon Gal, perfect. And no less than you deserve in my opinion. By the way, I was meaning to ask you about all the Shakespeare guff that you were reeling off. I haven’t seen you spout all that stuff before; what’s all that about then?”

“Broadening horizons dear Matthew, spreading ones metaphorical wings, mixing it up a little. You can’t be a one trick pony in this day and age my son. All the worlds a stage Matthew my boy, and I am a serious, albeit miniscule, player.”

“Ah I see Gal, you're practising a bit are ya?”

“Exactly Matthew, you’ve gotta keep your 'hand-in' in Showbiz baby, if you stagnate, you’re dead in the water. For an actor like me, getting typecast would be career suicide!”

“Got it Gal, so you’re mixing it up a bit are ya? I understand now, it’s just that you aren’t normally like this.”

“Well that’s right Matt, I’ve no need to impress YOU all the time, have I chum? When I’m in here (in The Round Table) for a few ‘Apres Show’ pint’s, I usually just wanna wind down from the gig and sink a few, with you and Dave don’t I,…no need to audition for you two cats!”

“S’pose so Gal yeah,…Err I mean,…yeah right ‘Aaaarnold’,…course, you can always be yourself in here.”

“That’s right. And that’s WHY, ‘Tonight and every night (in here) Matthew, I’m gonna be Arnold Jackson (from Diff’rent Stokes)’…and when I’m in here, I’ll be happy, knowing that I’ll be drinking with my favourite barman Matt (that’s you), and my best mate The Hoff! What could be better?!

...In fact,…that’s a point, where is he tonight by the way, I said 'ten on the dot?!'......*looking around the pub* "Alas poor Hasselhoff, he was ma homie,…I know him well etc….Whachoo talkin’ ‘bout Willis,…

...Seriously though Matt, where is he? It ain’t like he’s got drink driving worries is it!? Not with that motor!”

“I don’t think we’ll being seeing Dave this evening Gal. He was steaming last night if you recollect, and he had that GMTV interview first thing this morning. I reckon that he’ll probably be still sleeping it off now. And remember what he always says Gal, ‘Never hassle the hung-over Hoff. Never!'....*under his breath* Your step-sister was fit weren't she!!”

“Don’t be stupid Matt! He also says ‘If you weren’t slaughtered by the end of the evening, you’d demand your money back!’ Always bear in mind that, Me and Dave go back a long way. I am ‘In tight’ with The Hoff! I’ll bell him and get him down here, he owes me fifty quid anyhow,…ahem,.not that I need it you understand! It’s the principle as always, I AM successful and loaded after all!

“Of course Arnold, you’re the boss.”

"That, I am Matt,..that I am!,...*dials up on the mobile*....It’s ringing,…………..DAVE!…Dave it’s me,….me, Arnold!....Arnold!,….You know, Gal!,..Yeah right,..anyway rise and shine,..get yourself down here to The Table mate, it’s all going-off!...huh?!,…..where?,…SKINT?!,…Whachoo talkin’ ‘bout Hoff!!....Dave!,...Dave?" *Gal lowers the phone, Dave has obviously hung-up.*

“Don't worry Gal,..he'll probably phone back in a minute, you know what he's like! *walking back towards the optics, smiling to himself* In the meantime,...have a little short on me."

The Hoff maybe skint, but that is perhaps the least of his problems,...

Arnold’s rating for The Round Table – 9 / 10


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picture of Round Table (Leicester Square) 26, St.Martins Court, London,

26, St.Martins Court,