Talent Show – Variety

A week before the talent contest, Barry dropped round at Sindys house casually handing her a bag full of his dirty laundry.

“Just a few more bits Sind darlin’, it’s only ’til I get one of my own, did you wash my lucky pants by any chance?”

IMG_6049Sindy had been rushed off her feet, ironing his socks and folding his going out shirt when she had discovered some incriminating evidence that he may have been up to his old tricks and decided to confront him.

“Barry, have you been ….gambling again?”

He was deep in her fridge with his mouth full of her secret stash of chocolate bars.

“What?” He answered in a confused way, then saw the playing card she was holding up.

“No, of course not, Sindy believe me, I don’t do that no more.”

She studied his simple face for the tell tale signs of deceit but he held her gaze steadily while munching away and her suspicions were quelled.

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“Oh Barry, don’t you ever eat at home?” She lovingly filled the bag with his freshly pressed clothes as he rummaged in her cupboards for the hidden crisp stash. Sindy had the best snacks and Barry was a very lucky man.

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Fast forward to the night of The Ritzys Talent contest. The enigmatic owner and tonights compare Darius, introduced the next contestant as ‘Magic Barry – The man of Mystery.’

The ladies in the audience cooed their appreciation at this fine figure of a virile young man, Barry lapped it up, basking in the adoration with a half hidden smug smile.

He had been secretly practicing for ages and now it was the big night.

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From out of nowhere a magic wand suddenly appeared in his hand as Barry began his performance using exaggerated gestures, all the while keeping a totally straight face.

A magic box was placed on the green baise table as the wand tapped it three times while he incanted the magic word ‘ALACAZAM’ .

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The shocked gasps rippled across the awe inspired auditorium as he slowly opened the magic box revealing……

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BARBIE!

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Barry’s first magic trick was incredible and the crowd went wild, especially after he carefully closed the box and deftly tossed it around on all its corners, there were absolutely no holes or gaps (maybe mirrors… but nothing was ever proved)

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Barry’s next trick involved three cups and a real egg, this got even more gasps from the amazed audience as the egg disappeared from the table.

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Only to reappear under his magicians Fez!

WOW! What a talent, how did he do that?

Although the cheap seats at the back couldn’t really see very much, even so they clapped loudly with the rest.

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Just to show off Barry miraculously conjured not just one egg cup, but three.

Goodness me, this man had talent!

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Barrys final trick was a classic slight of hand card illusion, asking a random lady from the audience to name a card, he magically produced this exact one ( the Queen of Hearts) from the pack. The back row were seriously unimpressed which, in hindsight, was not his best choice of tricks, it always went down well in the pub but sadly not in a theatre of this magnitude.

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Barry the ‘Man of Mystery’ was unceromniously ushered off the stage as the set needed to be changed while the interval rush for the bar kicked off. He didn’t even get his full applause but Darius reaped the profits.

Suitably refreshed for the second half, the curtains opened and welcomed to the stage the ‘Many Faces of Max’ – Impressionist extraordinaire.

Laughter peeled loudly as he stumbled and bumbled around as Benny Hill.

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His Tommy Cooper was hilarious, especially as Max used some of the same tricks as Barry but they all went terribly wrong to the great amusement of the now tipsy audience.

Barry was the only one not laughing.

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Max even got an encore for his inspired performance as the popular and precocious child star Bonny Langford, singing her heart out very loudly

“I’m just a girl who can’t say no…..”

They were rolling around the aisles in merriment and one old lady even had an unfortunate accident because she’d drunk too much in the interval.

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Darius introduced the hot new singing sensation KSSK ( vaguely pronounced Kissed) with their amazing vocal version emulating the popular Swedish group ABBA.

They had a phenominal stage routine with sycronised arm waving and everything.

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Their rendition of SOS was …almost …in tune.

When Sindy hit the high notes, the rest gave her some harmony almost loud enough to drown out the wavering finish.

Nonetheless, the girls flounced around the stage as if they were superstars and everyone could see how much they were all enjoying the limelight.

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They were just going into their second song ‘Waterloo’ when, for some unknown reason the microphones stopped working.

Darius ushered the confused performers off to stage right with a fixed grimace of a smile on his weary face.

It had been a long night.

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The final act for this frenzied and strangly laughing crowd was a total surprise to Old Mrs Sindy, who was sitting in the second row next to the lady who had wet herself earlier. She’d only come to support her darling daughter but now was amazed to see on stage, none other than her new gentleman friend, Sir Charles!

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“Hello Sargent Life Guard, have you seen Her Majesty the Queen recently?” asked Sir Charles.

“Yes, I have”

“And did she offer you a beverage?”

“Yes she did.”

“What was that drink?”

“A gottle of gear.”

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“Ho Ho, my wife has just come back from a holiday in the Caribbean?”

“Jamaica?”

“No, Trinidad actually.”

“I say, I say, I say, did you know that my dog has no nose?”

“No nose? How does he smell?”

“Awful”

And it truly was an awful performance, everyone could see his mouth move, even so Sir Charles probably received the loudest and longest amount of applause of the whole evening.

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Now we have all witnessed the variety of entertainers, who would you pick to win the contest?

 

©Juliette Dodd 2020

Talent Show – Ballerina

The Talent show compare and The Ritzy’s enigmatic owner, Darius accompanied by his glamourous assistant Jeannie, loudly introduced the next contestant to the already excited crowd. She was a picture in white satin and net tutu with the mearest glint of regal gold.

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The beautiful ballerina wafted around the stage as light as a butterfly and as elegant as a swan ( not the other way round) while the familiar music of Tchaikovsky enraptured the audience to some high brow entertainment ( for a change)

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There was a hush as they watched her graceful movements, from en point to pirouette as she teeterd across the stage while miming exaggerated dying swan movements.

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As arranged earlier ‘The Magnificent Burtini’ ( our hero Burt, in case you didn’t know) was waiting in the wings to support the ballerina for her final pas de deux – what a lovely couple they made!

As the audience was soothed with this classical performance, Burt withdrew and the music suddenly changed to something that can only be described as bawdy.

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In a blink of the eye this elegant creature whipped out an enormous sword and without further adieu began to swallow it right in front of the gobsmacked theatre!

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Slowly the whole blade disappeared down her gullet, the amazed crowd watched in shocked silence, as she carried on her ballet dancing in small careful tippy toe steps.

No one had EVER seen such an act before (or since, although it’s now been banned in every European country and most of the Commonwealth)

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Of course the applause matched this unique act and the wowed room were cheering and clapping with all their might; after a little curtsy the pretty Ballerina asked for a volunteer. Burt was determined not to let her take all the limelight away so fast and he was beside her as quick as a blink.

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Before he really knew what was happening he was expertly strapped to a huge spinning target, this was a bit of a shock to him but not as much as her next trick.

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Oh dear, poor Burt, he tried to keep his cool as every eye in the packed theatre was on him and their blood lust was tangible.

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The target started to spin as the ballerina pirouetted around and around on stage, she suddenly stopped and expertly threw the razor sharp sword, with a loud thud it was embedded deep in the painted wood ¬†– right between Burt’s exposed thighs!

If he wasn’t such a brave man, he would have shrieked in terror, luckily his years of grueling service in the Navy had taught him how to remain calm in a crisis.

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The crowd went wild and the hideous sound of primal screams could be heard from the older ladies at the front row.

Burt was still spinning and could hardly see what happened next but judging by the gasps, something even more dangerous was about to happen.

She had put on a blindfold!

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‘NO, please no!’ Burt silently shouted in his head as his face turned gravely pale and every muscle in his body tensed up.

She elegantly danced around and around precariously towards the edge of the stage as the audience fell silent, the eerie quiet was suddently broken by her next sword throw – THWACK!

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Burt could swear he felt the cold blade graze his shoulder as she threw more and more swords at the target, he closed his eyes and prayed this hell would end soon.

Now all her weapons had been deployed and the routine was over, at last.

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Almost a broken shell of a man he still was able to hold his head up high as she lapped up the enormous and raptuous applause, although his legs were shaking uncontrollably.

“I’m glad it worked this time.” she whispered.

It was only then that Burt noticed the dark red stains splattered around the spinning target.

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The next contestant is waiting nervously in the wings for their own story to begin.

©Juliette Dodd 2020