20 August, 2008

Talk about Scraping the Barrel

Ok so hands up if you remember hearing a couple of years ago that Keele University in the Midlands was genuinely offering a degree course in ‘David Beckham Studies’? Christ that was depressing. He was also under 30-years-old at the time which made it even more ridiculous, but I guess in a world where 22-year-old Coleen, famous for only getting ploughed by a ugly Scouser, can have ‘written’ two books, credibility just doesn’t come into it anymore.

Well, now at the grand age of 33, the time is apparently right for the next step in the cannonising process of one of our generation’s best British footballers. It actually pains me to write this, but currently in the works for a West End unveiling later in the year is a David Beckham musical, cleverly-titled The Theatre of Dreams. I really wish I was joking. According to the songwriter Mark Archer, who is undoubtedly a complete tool, “Beckham’s story is a modern-day fairytale of heroes, villains, love, Manchester United and what it means to lead your country. His rise from obscurity to international stardom, his universally acknowledged gifts as a supreme sportsman, and his Hollywood lifestyle all have the elements of an aspirational fable.”This guy really needs to have his tubes tied for the protection of the future of the human race: “With football and celebrity now firmly established as new secular Western religions, The Theatre of Dreams is set within a cheering football stadium – the modern-day church. The music is powerful, gospel-like rock to establish clearly football and Manchester United as a religion.’’ God this guy Archer is a tosspiece. At heart this is obviously such a cynical attempt to further milk the Beckham cash-cow, and to cook up some half-arsed artistic merit as justification is simply a bit embarrassing.

He continues somewhat hyperbolically: “With half the world supporting United and the rest worshipping Beckham, a musical about the iconic life of the Beckhams would be certain to attract huge attention!” I wish this wasn’t the case, but unfortunately he’s probably right; there are enough morons in this country that will genuinely look forward to dragging their kids along to watch some conceited look-a-like croon his way through Beckham’s thrilling life-story.

Apparently the musical begins with a delightful little ditty entitled The Promised Land, vividly detailing Ferguson’s desire to revive United and Beckham’s emergence. After eulogising about the influence of Eric Cantona – “incroyable, catalyseur, legende” – the Beckham character sings about England life in the Nineties:

“Talk about football coming home,
And then one night in Rome,
We were strong, we had grown,
And now I see Ince ready for war,
Gazza good as before,
Shearer certain to score,
And Psycho screaming.”

Come on people! Those are literally the worst song lyrics I’ve ever heard! Just because something rhymes it isn’t automatically acceptable! For fucks’ sake, the meter is completely wrong, and shoe-horning that tacky wink to Three Lions in just makes me want to kick this Archer clown in the stones.

Anyway, on meeting Posh, he continues:

“A change has come around,
As I worship this ground,
With you in my life,
We’re turning the world upside down.”

Apparently someone playing Gary Neville even harmonises. Again, I’m not joking. I thought that previous bit before was bad, but these two couplets plumb the depths even further. What does this even mean?!

On reaching World Cup ‘98, he then beautifully voices the difficulties he encountered under Glenn Hoddle. The nuances are exceptional:

“You spin me around and point me in the wrong direction,
Always walking over me and putting me down, You treat me like a fool,
You know you have lost affection,
And I won’t play these mind games any more.”

I’m just…I can’t…I mean…I’m just lost for words.

Obviously Beckham’s encounter with Diego Simeone in St-Etienne makes for natural theatre. “The misery of defeat in England’s dressing room is captured in Mourning Blues. Then crying on his dad’s shoulders as the Argentinians laughingly taunt him with La Folie, and he becomes the scapegoat figure of hatred for the whole country in Villain of the Peace.” I bet Archer thought that pun was so fucking clever.

And that is only the first half of this theatrical abortion. “In the second half, David toughens up with So Strong,” added Archer excitedly. A flying boot then ushers Beckham towards the Old Trafford exit. “Torn between United and Real Madrid, Which Dream has David deciding with Victoria to sign for the latter as a Galactico,” continued Archer. I’ll leave the rest of the second act for you to guess, but it is of course devastingly perceptive and entertaining. I wonder how the musical deals with the Rebecca Loos saga? Perhaps a short rap interlude featuring backing dancers pretending to fellate each other?

Tellingly, Beckham is yet to sign off on this horrorshow. Surely with all his endorsements and connections (on both sides of the pond) he won’t let this go ahead? I know he’s a brain-donor but even he must be able to see past his ego and realise how horrendous this is?

This whole incident begs the question of just what’s next though; the life and times of Perry Groves, told through the medium of interpretative dance? Kill me now.


chris c paul said...

on the rebecca looes incident

I screwed you looes
I screwed you through
but it made me blue
when I screwed you looes

and then you wanked a pig on telly

seriously though- those lyrics are terrible. they harldy even scan.

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