Three Men In A Boat



Our first show. August 1992 The Canal Cafe Theatre, Delamere Terrace, London.

Canal Cafe phonecall to Poor School: Does anyone want to do a show? We’ve had a cancellation.”

David: Yes

Canal Cafe: What do you want to do?

David: errrrr…… Three Men in A Boat?

Canal Cafe: Okay great, what do you call yourselves?

David aloud to Poor School corridor: What do we call ourselves?

Michael Healy: Ridiculusmus


Some time before this Angus and Jon came around to my bedsit in Nunhead for a party. We pretended to be apes. At one point we were all in the bath.

Later, Angus asked Jon and I to join him busking comic patter songs from the 1920’s and 30s that he would accompany on his banjulele.

In June of 1992 I gave my Dad a copy of Jerome K Jerome’s Three Men In A Boat as a birthday present.

In July I was on local audit with my day job in Edinburgh

Angus made three suitcases in the shape of a boat

Jon and Angus came up on the bus to Edinburgh and stayed in a flat in Haymarket. While I was working in the daytimes, Angus went to the folk music library in Glasgow and Jon worked on the text. In the evenings we put the play together.

Opening night was a flop. The reviewers that came that night panned us.

Time Out came a few days later, by which time we’d got things sorted. They gave us a good review.

Three weeks into the four week run Angus left for a family holiday.

Kevin Henshall, who had been operating the lights for us, took over his part. Without the banjulele we changed the songs and Jon played his oboe.

We remounted it in the spring and Autumn of 1994 for touring with the original cast.


After an intense two-month Summer tour of The Third Policeman around Ireland with two guest actors – Andrew Ashenden and Aidan McCann – I found it increasingly difficult to perform and prior to an outdoor performance in Dorset was incapacitated with hysterics. Medically evacuated to India Jon and Angus carried on without me.

Around that time The Poor School arranged a “How I started” interview with the Independent and I was “bagged” for the first time.



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