Tag Archives: production

1960. A standing ovation

Ricky was in his last year before going to High School. And what a thrill it was when he was selected to play the lead in the school‘s annual stage production!

He was to play a pirate. Short Tom Paddy was the King of the Pirates. Ricky would have a patch over an eye and wear a head scarf and have a parrot on his shoulder. Not a real parrot of course, because who would want a real parrot to fly off into the audience during a performance? But a stuffed parrot; a fluffy toy parrot.

Mr. Adams the teacher said to Ricky, “Ask your mother to bake half a dozen muffins”. Parents were always keen to help out with props and the like. In fact, since it was a little country school the whole population attended such concerts and everyone got involved. It was a community exercise! And so Ricky’s mother gladly baked some muffins, and arranged them on a fancy plate.

The performance began. Everyone was there – except for old Mrs. Leach who had a patch of the gout and couldn’t attend. There, sitting on a table in the middle of the stage, were Ricky’s mother’s muffins. The girl playing the part of the Captured Princess said, “Help yourself to a muffin, Pirate Short Tom Paddy”, and so Ricky grabbed a muffin and began to eat. It was dry and solid. After all, the muffins were over a week old. It took a good four minutes to finish the muffin, and the Princess said her line: “I see you have eaten all six muffins.”

“No I haven’t,” said the pirate, “I’ve still got five to go.”

It must have taken twenty minutes for Ricky to finish all six muffins. With every bite, with every chew, the audience became more and more helpless with laughter.

“I see you have eaten all six muffins,” repeated the Princess.

Ricky’s efforts got a standing ovation. It was the most enjoyable production in years!

841. A final bow?

841bow

Alex was into amateur theatre. It couldn’t be said he had the lead role in the latest production. In fact, it couldn’t really be said that he had even a minor role in the latest production. Towards the end of the play, Alex had to carry the front end of a bier onto the stage and place it down solemnly. Someone else carried the back end, and then they would walk off. The body on board had to breathe as little as possible to make it look like a corpse.

Alex was nervous about appearing on stage. After all, despite all the hard work by the cast, the production had a season of just the one night. He’d waited in the back room for three quarters of an hour for his moment to arrive. He played cards while he waited. He’d never been on stage before. He had sweaty hands. What if he dropped the body or something?

Then he heard clapping. It was applause coming from the auditorium. Clearly the audience was enjoying the performance.

What’s this? A standing ovation? But it’s not finished yet, surely?

Alex’s moment of glory had passed without him.

To listen to the story being read click HERE!