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 words. Imagine my pleasure, therefore, when I found myself adlibbing like a practised speech-maker.
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. 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. It was extremely funny and 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 and who said us oldies couldn’t have fun?