The hottest theatre ticket in town this week isn’t anything to do with a Streetcar Named Desire or Rogers and Hammerstein, believe you me (or perhaps don’t). It’s more to do with a one man show from a bloke better known for talking to a sock on his hand when he isn’t participating in events with names like ‘hell in a cell’.
It is, indeed, the one, the only WWE hardcore legend Mick Foley, who takes to the Olympia stage for his first ever Liverpool date tomorrow (Thursday).
Mick, who despite his fightin’ background and reputation as one of the toughest SOBs ever to roll with the punches in the wrestling ring, has taken to touring with a comedy show – which isn’t as odd as it may seem.
MADEUP loves a bit of the old WWE, perhaps even more for the funnies than the art of graplin’, and it’s no secret Mick was and is an absolute star on the mic as well as in battle. As his wrestling alter-ego Mankind, he created a puppet character – Mr Socko – that became a cult all its own. Eventually, when he teamed up with the equally game for a laugh, yet slightly more beautiful Dwayne ‘the Rock’ Johnson, they became the amazingly named ‘Rock ‘n’ Sock Connection’. And this is the type of thing they got up to:
Our man on the inside at the Olympia gig, so to speak, will be Maghull’s very own Sam Avery, who landed a slot supporting Foley on his first UK tour last year and hasn’t really come down since. He says:
“The first I knew about supporting Mick Foley was getting a text from promoter Chris Brooker last year and reading through it like I would do with any other generic gig offer. Date, time, fee, etc, etc. Then at the very end: ‘PS. You’ll be supporting Mick Foley.’
“I pretty much jumped out of my seat screaming at the other acts in the dressing room, ‘Mick Foley! Mick Foley!’ to which they replied, ‘Who?’
“’The Hardcore Legend! You know, MICK FOLEY!!’ I texted back straight away to say that I didn’t know what I was doing that night but I’d cancel it, whatever it was.”
He recalls: “The gig I did with him on the first tour last year was possibly the most fun I’ve ever had doing stand up. Besides chatting to Mr Foley for about 90 mins in the dressing room — a lovely chap, and all too eager to talk wrestling — the show itself was a delight; 500 wrestling fans all going bonkers for the slightest reference to WWE or anything grap-related.
“In fact the gig was so much fun that I was unsure initially whether the upcoming gig at the Olympia could get close to it, but the nearer we get I’m confident that a Liverpool-based, wrestling-savvy, boozed up audience will prove me wrong.”
MADEUP caught Foley on his Manchester date last year and it was great fun, to say nothing of the fact he takes the time to meet and greet anyone who wants to say hi after the show, no matter how long it takes and what kind of buffoonery he encounters (and check out that quite amazing leopardprint/ lumberjack combo; as a friend of mine put it, ‘masculine, yet in touch with his brassy barmaid side’.):
Mick, we loves ya. Hope he enjoys Liverpool.