26 March 2011

From Man to Dame

I had the pleasure of seeing this performance again and remembered that I had blogged about it on the first occasion. So, while I’m still laughing at the star turn I thought I’d post it again so you can all have a giggle … with apologies to any bloggers who read it before.

From Man to Dame

What a pantomime the day was, or rather the afternoon. Being an invited guest and Federation representative at a WI event I was obliged to talk about the future of the WI as it approached its centenary year. The prospect was so daunting I had spent a couple of weeks preparing for it by nightly listening to my recorded word. Imagine my pleasure, therefore, when I found myself adlibbing like a practised speechmaker all because of the prevailing atmosphere in the hall.

My performance was followed by a different kind when the audience was given an insight into the world of theatre … in the form of pantomime dame. Entering from stage right (got the lingo, you see) a rather serious man in business clothes sauntered to where his props and outfits were laid out and proceeded to undress.

You can imagine the rapturous cries emanating from the mouths of ladies in their twilight years. But the guy had come prepared for beneath his pinstripes he wore garish bloomers and vest and a pair of multi-coloured striped socks. Heehee that was tough on the ladies.

There followed a demonstration on how to apply stage make-up, many tips being offered on the application of eye colour and how best to apply lipstick.

All the time our ‘dame’ kept up a humorous dialogue, frequently aiming hilarious comments to the ladies in the front row. At the end of this routine came the dressing which, of course, required help from the audience. Brightly coloured dresses, hats, wigs, and outrageous earrings were tried on and with each outfit came more patter aimed at selected members of the audience. Most of us wept tears as we laughed. ‘Oh yes you are, Oh no you’re not’ was practised to perfection, and ‘It’s behind you’ went with a swing. There was a singing contest, us against them, the volume increasing with each note that left most of us hoarse.
What fun it was to be transported to childhood in such a pleasant way ... who said us oldies couldn’t have fun?


  1. haha...never too old to have fun...smiles.

  2. Sounds like a lot of fun!

  3. OMG, I would have given anything to see this. I bet it was absolutely hysterical!

    And do you know what's really scary? I look just like him in makeup!!!!


    "Imagine my pleasure, therefore, when I found myself adlibbing like a practised speechmaker all because of the prevailing atmosphere in the hall."

    You GO, Valerie! I bet you were a Pro!

  4. Agreed, Brian.

    cestlavie22, thanks for visiting.

    Ron, I just KNEW you'd like this post. You're right, it was hysterical. The sides ached through laughing. Never a pro, not me, although I have been known to fool audiences into thinking I know what I'm doing. Not an easy task....grins.

  5. Memories eh!
    "He's behind you!"

  6. Lydia M said that "Childhood itself is scarcely more lovely than a cheerful, kindly, sunshiny old age." The fun they both have is no lesser than each other.

    The play sounds very fun and the colours are screaming out from miles away!

  7. My memory is not as good as it used to be and I blame it all on Kyle, but this story does read familiar. Regardless it is still always nice reading your excellent work and I am glad you share it with us. Take care my friend.


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