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?”
Sindy 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.
“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.
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.
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’ .
The shocked gasps rippled across the awe inspired auditorium as he slowly opened the magic box revealing……
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)
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.
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.
Just to show off Barry miraculously conjured not just one egg cup, but three.
Goodness me, this man had talent!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
“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.”
“Ho Ho, my wife has just come back from a holiday in the Caribbean?”
“No, Trinidad actually.”
“I say, I say, I say, did you know that my dog has no nose?”
“No nose? How does he smell?”
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.
Now we have all witnessed the variety of entertainers, who would you pick to win the contest?
©Juliette Dodd 2020