Expect a Brexit twist as former MP Michael Mates does cabaret

Michael Mates
Michael Mates

You know the song Baby, It’s Cold Outside? Stand by for a rather more mischievous Brexit version from former Tory MP Michael Mates.

Michael and William Godfree are offering an evening of cabaret performed café style at The Norfolk Hotel, Arundel on Friday, March 8 at 7pm.

Following their acclaimed Memories of Flanders and Swann, the duo has come up with an evening of cabaret for café with songs by Noel Coward, Tom Lehrer, Stilgoe and Skellern, Kit and the Widow, Victoria Wood and others.

Between them they are promising a saucy but gentle journey through the human condition touching on the meaning of life, old age, current affairs, style, dancing, show business, xenophobia and love.

And Michael is promising it could get a little topical.

After all, it’s just too tempting to add to the Baby, It’s Cold Outside line “I really can’t stay” the little addendum “My dear Mrs May.”

It will all add up to a lot of fun in a Friends of St Nicholas’ Church event. Tickets are £25 (to include a welcome drink and canapés) and are available from St Nicholas’ parish office on 01903 882262.

“My partner William Godfree and I have been doing this for 22 or 23 years. We started by accident, as all good things do. He was a master at Highfield School which was part of my constituency.

“The idea was an evening of musical fun for a summer’s evening.

“But I was a minister in Northern Ireland at the time.”

Michael said he didn’t really have time for a full show, but suggested instead a duet “which would be rather less demanding.”

And so they began, in 1996, exploring the possibilities of Flanders & Swan.

For Arundel, a couple of decades on, Michael is promising a mix of songs from figures including Tom Lehrer, Cole Porter and a few pieces of their own.

“He is the pianist and I am the singer.

“We have done all sorts of places. We did the Minerva theatre to save the old King Edward VII Hospital. We have been up and down the country doing it.”

There is huge enjoyment to be had – and also a steady demand to be met from people keen to enjoy all the fun.

“I suppose we do something every couple of months. We don’t offer ourselves. We just do it when we are asked.”

And it is great fun: “I have had a wonderful career. I have had two careers.

“I had 20 years in the army and loved every minute of it, and I did 36 years in Parliament. I stepped down in 2010.”

And now the musical side of things is continuing to offer plenty of fun.

“I thought it would all simmer down, but it hasn’t at all!”

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