Azerbaijan

Qatar had everyone reaching for their atlases when it was announced that it was to host the World Cup. Now Azerbaijan has become the question on everyone’s lips, as in Azerbaiwhere?

Apart from it being one of the only countries where Natural Theatre has not performed, like most people I knew little about it. That’s all changed now this strategically placed country has won the Eurovision Song Contest.

And if you want to know more, why not ask an Azerbaijani yourself? For I bet there will be a few of them hanging round on June 2nd when Bath stages its own version of the song contest. I can imagine them lurking at the back of the Forum because the Song for Bath finals are going to be really something! Distinguished judges (including you if you are there), a world-class backing band and some cracking entries: those Azerbaijanis are certain to pick up a few tips on how to stage a hot show.

OK, there won’t be a mind-blowing laser extravaganza of the kind we saw in Düsseldorf, but there will be giant screens projecting the words so you can sing along. Now they don’t have that at Eurovision (Thank god, you say, one can have quite enough bing banga bongs!)

Actually, the Naturals had to think twice as to whether we had graced the streets of Baku, Azerbaijan’s capital. We’ve been to quite a lot of places out that way, including Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan. We found that Mr and Mrs Ordinary in these exotic Scrabble-winning destinations are well up for stopping shopping or milking the donkey or whatever in order to have a laugh at the crazy Brits. Though a mad bus driver did kidnap us mid-performance in Ashgabat.

These are all places you probably won’t be going to unless sent by a bonkers theatre company. But who needs to traipse to Baku when we have our own Eurovision-type show taking place right here? The organisers invited my alter-ego Lady Margaret to grace the proceedings, but she’s having a well-earned rest. And besides my dears she wouldn’t like to be seen at an event that only costs five pounds for a ticket.

Though at that price, it has to be the concert and the bargain of the year!

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