Well what a week we’ve had, snow came and caused chaos, roads were gridlocked, people were stranded and our first show was cancelled, apparently the snow was preventing people from getting to the venue. To celebrate the cancellation I opted for a bowl of soup. Out of the cupboard came the tin of broccoli and stilton soup that has languished there for around six months. As the B-52’s shuffle in the kitchen to play ‘Private Idaho,’ the soup bubbles on the stove. Now I know there’s nothing very exciting about a bowl of soup, it warms the bones and satisfies the hunger. However this bowl of soup was destined to have an adverse effect on myself later in the day.
Chloë and myself watch the old folks outside in the snow. One of the old chaps spends most of his time in a disability scooter, moaning about how frail he is. However today the gritters have arrived and a miracle has occurred, he has grabbed his spade and is running through the snow to steal some grit for his drive, he also finds the strength to help push a car up the hill. The three men stand chatting in the snow, and Chloë comments on them looking like the Three Stooges, and as she says this one of them swings around and hits the other across the back of his legs with his spade. Then the now recovered frail one, leaves the group only to slide down the hill before landing unceremoniously on his backside on his newly gritted drive. (That’ll teach you to steal council grit.)
By early evening the soup has started to have an effect upon my body, and I begin to pass wind, my stomach is gurgling and what then proceeds is an evening of unproductive farting, I say unproductive as nothing but noise is produced from my nether regions.
The shows begin, and after our first one I have an elderly lady, come up to me and ask me which part of Ireland I am from? I assure her I’m not Irish, but she wont have it, she is adamant that I have the lilting accent of an Irishman, I smile and walk away thinking to myself, ‘what a mad old bird you are.’ Later Chloë and myself take a trip into town, to wander around in the now churned up snow in the town centre. We’re passing a pub when we see and advertisement for a German band and can’t stop laughing as the band is called, Zigal and the Fannies, oh how we wish we’d been able to watch them perform.
We spot another advertisement that induces hilarity, it reads; 'Mary wasn’t fooled by the distraction burglars.’ We instantly go into performance mode, and stage scenes of people being distracted and their possessions stolen. Mary is knitting when she hears a noise…….Ping…..Looks down and her blouse has been stolen by the distraction burglars. (You get the idea?)
Friday’s first show is eventful, I’m doing my second song when a piece of the beasts furry head becomes lodged in my throat and I begin choking, I have to make an exit and as the rest of the cast improvise I’m in the bathroom being sick, and unable to breathe. Offending fur is removed and I return back on stage trying hard not to breath on the others.One of the essential elements of pantomime is the audience participation, and during this show we are reduced to tears by a heckle from a gentleman in the audience. My line is, ‘What do Cockney’s drop?’ to which the gentleman in the audience shouts out clearly, ‘Their bollocks.’ The audience and cast alike cannot contain themselves, and laughter abounds.
We drive back to our home base and stop for petrol, ‘I Thought It Was You,’ from the Sunlight album by Herbie Hancock is playing as I fill up the van. A man at another pump catches my eyes, I watch as he removes the child seat from the passenger seat and stows it in the boot of his Peugeot. Nothing odd about this, but then he removes his tie and then his wedding ring, before driving off. No doubt off to a secret assignation, elsewhere.