Hilarious new one-man show takes on one of the great challenges of our time – growing old with style
Age is having a moment, according to the songwriter and author Terence Blacker, is currently touring his one-man show The Shock of the Old in theatres across the UK. Getting old in the 21st century is more complicated than it has ever been, he believes – a fact he celebrates with guitar, ukulele, songs and stories in his funny and irreverent new show.
‘The generation who once sang that they hoped they’d die before they get old now really is old,’ Terence Blacker explains. ‘They’ve started a new revolution – about how we behave and how we are treated as we hit 65, 70 and beyond. Some people love this new kind of ageing and quite a few don’t, but it’s happening and it’s worth singing about.’
Terence has been telling stories for adults and children for most of his working life. His last CD Playing For Time was selected by the Sunday Times as one of the top 100 albums of 2020 and his songs have been described by Gyles Brandreth as ‘witty, wistful, fresh, funny, fabulous.’ The journalist and comedian Virginia Ironside has welcomed The Shock of the Old as ‘a bittersweet, life-affirming show full of humour and terrific songs, giving two fingers up to old age.’
The inspiration for the show was personal, Terence says. ‘I had always thought reaching my sixties and seventies would be straightforward but for me it turned out to be an emotional roller-coaster. Then I found out that, talking to people of my generation, I wasn’t alone. Ideas about age are going through a big change – and that can be funny, challenging and sometimes downright weird for those who are in the thick of it.’
The result of that journey is The Shock of the Old, a hilarious, spirit-lifting celebration of the art of not taking age lying down – about being, in the words of one of Terence’s songs, ‘not quite done’.