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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Couch PotatoWell, I didn't get a message from my dead cat. I think Oscar was too busy sitting on God's sofa with his flab hanging out to bother getting in touch.

To be honest, my mention of him on Monday was a carefully laid trap for Psychic Sally. I wanted to see if she Googles for people attending her shows, in the hope of picking up info and wowing them on the night. But having watched her for two hours at the Theatre Royal last night, I'm pleased to report that Sally Morgan clearly doesn't cheat. If she had done, she might have been a bit more accurate.

We were basically treated to an evening of cold-reading, and not very good cold-reading at that, as a succession of desperate and tearful people struggled to make tenuous connections with anything Sally said. I found it all quite depressing. The whole act essentially hinges on people's desperation to have some kind of contact with a dead loved one, and as long as that desperation exists, Sally can pretty much say anything she likes. It's basically a guessing game with no wrong answers.

For example, Sally was chatting with the long-dead father of an audience member's ex-husband (it was tenuous from the word go), and having established that she definitely had the right person by the fact that they had the same (common) Christian name, Sally said this:

"I'm getting the name Corinne. Yes, Corinne. Or possibly Florin. F-L-O-R-I-N. Florin?"

To which the lady replied:

"My mother-in-law was called Joyce".

I think that says all you need to know about how desperate people are to get a message. Mind you, sometimes they're not desperate enough. At one point Sally said this:

"Who's Keith? Keith? Kevin? Kee... a name beginning with K? Or an address?"

That pretty much covered half the population of the country, but still managed to draw a blank. I don't think it was her lucky night. Mind you, she wasn't fussy with her hits. At one stage she said she had a spirit called "Daniel, or possibly Danielle", whereupon someone put up their hand and said they'd lost a Darren. Sally thought that was close enough. Personally I'd expect a bit more from someone who's claiming to be psychic. At least when we saw Colin Fry in 2005, he had the decency to liven things up by bursting into tears as he thanked his hairdresser. Sally Morgan didn't even reach that level of entertainment. Although she did manage to channel a cat. Just not my cat.

Obviously I don't want to give the impression that most of the audience were loons, but a lady stood up in the second half and said she'd been dreaming that her dead tabby had come back as a black & white cat. Sally responded by asking if such a monochrome beast had ever lived in her house. The woman said no, but there'd been one nearby. Sally asked "In spirit?". The woman replied "No, in my garden". After which Sally told her that her cat loves her, and promptly moved on.

That pretty much summed up the evening: Sally never had a decent message for anyone. She spent the whole show telling people "you've had an incredible message there", but most of the time, the dead people on stage could barely string a coherent sentence together, and never had anything constructive to say. Sally would just toss out a few names until one of them stuck, then she'd tell you they love you and move swiftly on.

All of which seemed to be enough for the blubbering bereaved. Personally I thought it was slightly immoral to be making money from the false hopes of the tearful. But what do I know. The Brighton Theatre Royal holds almost a thousand people, and was sold out last night, with tickets costing £23.50 each. That's more than twenty grand for a show with no production costs. And most of the audience went home happy. Frankly I need to get into the guessing game myself.


Phil's Mum said...

Well, Sally's obviously not stupid - which is more than can be said for the people who paid £23.50 a ticket ............!

Peter Chapman said...

That £47 could have been spent on Cheesecake.

Dave said...

I have the feeling I had a message for you from your cat.  Send me £47 and I'll tell you that she loves you.