Friday, 29 July 2016

Welcome to Wongaland

Bouncing along on the crests of the waves once more, my chauffeuse drove me to work and the day started. This one is Day 5 of 5, in which the tiny dancers, aspiring actors and assorted hangers-on, camp followers and also-rans perform the play we've been learning all week. It is our chance to prove the subscription money was worth it, or just that we've had a really good time for a whole week of the holidays, and it's been 9-5 with few let-ups, I can tell you.
pirates of the curry bean kings theatre southsea summer school dramaLast year I did the same week and the play itself was a mish-mash of various West End musicals. I was new to the stage and found learning the dance routines difficult. But this time I am a little more experienced and have an ally and a more structured play - The Pirates of the Curry Bean!
We did a dress/technical rehearsal and then had our break, which was in the park by Robert and Johnny's school, where we played tag for the last time. So far this week, at the end of every lunchtime tag session, the 'it' carries over to the next day. This time, we all knew it would carry over to the next year so I tagged Admiral Hornhonker at the last minute, knowing he would be in the next age group next year and the 'it' would lapse.
All 50 of us queued for make-up which is not a pretty sight or sound and I had one of the 16 microphones stuck to my head and on we went. I did some gentle miming, excessive scurrying (Largest Rat) and everyone else did some quality singing, dancing and cracking of really corny jokes.
As with all productions auditioned, cast and performed within 1 week, there were prompts from the front, those special on-and-off mikes that only broadcast every third word, random blasts of music, gaps and giggles. Then I came on, resplendent in leopard, and did my little speeches. Well, you could certainly hear every word. My natural showmanship was curtailed somewhat by the director but I delivered my lines and adapted my accents and we all lived happily ever after.
Notable characters present in this 16th century maritime panto-drama:
* 2 extremely short Health and Safety officers in Hi-vis jackets
* A very good mop dance
relaxing after stage performance* Sydney with big pink beard and lots of lines
* Star Trek, Star Wars and other references
* Comic parrot, not deceased
* More changes of allegiance than the Vicar of Bray
Then the assistant director of the theatre came on and did EXACTLY the same speech as last year only he begged for money for the 1st floor toilets not the central heating system. The curtain came down for the last time, trapping one rubber haddock and a treasure chest in limbo forever. Us kids removed our costumes and make-up and were reunited with our owners and I was tired so Jof made me pasta, even though MacDougalls was offered.
Due to photographic restrictions, I will have to wait till the DVD comes out and try to do some screengrabs.

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