Terence Blacker thought growing old would be a doddle. What went wrong?
Just when you’re getting going in your life, it happens. You catch sight of your father in the mirror and realise that it’s you. You start listening to your old Mungo Jerry albums. You feel the need to contact school friends you haven’t seen for years– even the ones you never liked. You join the National Trust.
Is this it? The start of a slow slide into Oldsville - comfy slippers, fussing over your breakfast cereal, talking at the TV, with the occasional Saga cruise thrown in as a treat?
Terence Blacker has been stressing over how to grow old happily and with style ever since he got his bus pass and, frankly, months of lockdown have not improved his age-anxiety one bit. Looking around, he has discovered that the world is every bit as muddled about age in the 21st century as he is.
Now, in his funny and perceptive new show, he faces up to the joys and pains of the passing years with songs, quotes and anecdotes. It’s as if Victor Meldrew met Tom Lehrer for a none-too-serious debate about the meaning of life.
The result is a spirit-lifting and timely celebration of the art of not taking the ageing process lying down - about being, in the words of one of Terence's songs, 'not quite done'.
Does The Shock of the Old finally reveal the great secret of the coming of age? Possibly not, but Terence Blacker shares a world of fun, warmth and wisdom looking for it.