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.

IMG_6059

“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.

IMG_6060

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.

IMG_6068

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’ .

IMG_6083

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

IMG_6087

BARBIE!

IMG_6092Ta-da

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)

fullsizeoutput_99c8

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.

IMG_6108

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.

IMG_6116

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

Goodness me, this man had talent!

IMG_6122

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.

IMG_6124

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.

IMG_6134

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.

IMG_6136

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.

IMG_6147

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.

IMG_6150

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.

fullsizeoutput_99fd

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.

IMG_6159

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!

IMG_6167

“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.”

IMG_6172

“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.

IMG_6166

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.

IMG_6035

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)

IMG_5923

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.

IMG_5924

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.

IMG_5932

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!

IMG_5940

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)

IMG_5941

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.

IMG_5950

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.

IMG_5955

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.

IMG_5956

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.

IMG_5963

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!

IMG_5960

‘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!

IMG_5964

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.

IMG_5967

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.

IMG_5968

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

©Juliette Dodd 2020

 

Local Talent

Karen welcomed Old Mrs Sindy who was getting her notoriously frizzy and course hair done at Ken’s Unisex Salon, her regular appointment had been moved as there was an unexpected rush on this week.

IMG_5163

As usual the place was a hive of activity, buzzing with the sound of whisperd gossip, clippers and heady waffs of hair lacquer. Old Mrs Sindy watched as a confused young man tried to get the assistants attention.

IMG_5166

Karen just walked right past him several times while he tried in vain to get her to notice him.

“Er excuse me Miss”

IMG_5169“Miss?”

He looked very awkward until the suave salon owner Ken came to his rescue

“Have you got an appointment, love?”

“Yes, I’ve been here for my 3.30 trim” Both the young man and Ken looked at the clock, it was quarter to 4.

Karen whispered loudly, “I swear I didn’t see him.”

“Put your glasses on, you silly moo.” Ken chastised his assistant jokingly, “He’s wearing the same colour blue as the walls!”

IMG_5172As Ken ushered the confused young man to a vacant barbers chair, in walked the very smart and dashing Sir Charles; he rapidly scanned the waiting area and spied Old Mrs Sindy. ‘Perfect’ he thought to himself as he politly nodded across to her, ‘Splendid.’

IMG_5181

“Beautiful morning Madam, your hair looks perfection, if I may say so?”

“Ho ho, I haven’t had it done yet, young man!” she chuckled in delight, it had been many a year since she’d had a complement from the rougher sex!

“Ah, I will be interested to see how young Kenneth can surpass your natural beauty.” Sir Charles was incorrigable in his persuit of new prey.

IMG_5183

Old Mrs Sindy giggled and blushed.

“I haven’t seen you here before?”

“I’m new to town, recently moved on…I mean in,  not far from here but its only temporary until I can get settled properly.” Sir Charles looked wistfully off into middle distance, as if transpoted on a distant memory.

IMG_5187

Old Mrs Sindy studied this dapper military chap, his slightly dull brass buttons and battered cap, there were frays on his cuffs and his boots had seen better days; apart from that he was a fine looking man of indeterminate age.

IMG_5189

At that moment Ken bustled through with a final spray of lacquer on his latest hair masterpiece.

“And that my dear is how I create perfection….” He was in a very jolly mood today, although he generally was a happy fellow, there seemed to be a special skip and bounce in his step.

IMG_5192

“You, my dear are ready for the ball,” He exclaimed loudly,

“Are you entering the contest too, Ken?”

“I may be ” He tittered and winked and gave yet another final spray.

IMG_5197

“It’s all just too exciting!” Sindy entered to collect her friend for some more rehearsal practice.

Sir charles couldn’t help but ask what all the fuss was about and the girls were more than happy to tell him

“A Talent Contest at the Ritzy, there will be celebrity judges and maybe a TV show…” Mindy explained.

“Or record contract..” Sindy butted in, hardly containing her obvious enthusiasm.

“…and huge cash prizes.” Mindy finished.

IMG_5201

This was exactly what Sir Charles needed and his brain whirred into overdrive.

In the meantime he continued his persuit of the comely Old Mrs Sindy, even if he had to shout over the dryers.

By the end of his salon visit he had successfully arranged a date to take her out to the new Tiki themed cocktail bar next to the Wimpy on the High Street.

IMG_5209

As ususal it was adorned with the beautiful people being all elegant and fashionable, Ken  regularly popped in and out for a top up and to chat with his new friend the barman.

IMG_5623

“Oh isn’t it….colourful? I’ve always wanted to come in but not on my own.” Old Mrs Sindy was so glad Sir Charles had asked her.

“What cocktail would you like, my dear?”

“Oooh they all sound….so exotic, I really don’t know, I usually have a port and lemon but what do you recommend?”

“A Piña Colada…that springs to mind, dear lady….for some reason.”

“Oh go on then, you Devil!’ Old Mrs Sindy was ecstatically happy, for a change.

Jolly good.

IMG_5622

Meanwhile Burt was busy in the garden when Barry visited on his way to the match.

“Have you had one of these? Sindy is making me hand them out and I’ve only got three left.”

Burt read the flyer as Barry told him how impossible Sindy has been recently,

“She can’t speak of anything else but at least she’s let me go to the footie while she’s rehearsing.”

“Good for you Barry.”

“Well, are you entering then?”

“Hmmm.” Burt murmered thoughtfully.

IMG_5973

Later that afternoon, Burt’s mind wondered to his long distant dream of show business and the bright lights, he could almost hear the loud roar of applause and something deep inside him stirred into life.

YES he will be entering!

IMG_5987

So the night of the contest had arrived and there was a huge crowd queuing for tickets outside the Ritzy, all the way up the street and almost to the station. The contestants had been practising all afternoon, getting their props and stage routines perfected; everyone wanted to win, it was the biggest thing to happen in this sleepy town since the Tiki bar opened next to the Wimpy.

Darius, the enigmatic owner and proprietor of The Ritzy was to be compare for the night but the rumoured celebrity judges were still a mystery, you would not believe the wild guesses flying around, some were just plain obsurd!

IMG_6030

“Willkommen, bienvenue, welcome, please take your seats Meine Damen und Herren, Mesdames et Messieurs, Ladies and Gentlemen!’ It was all very cosmopolitan and the audience loved it.

“Without further ado, our first contestant for tonights extravaganza is …..(drum roll)…. The Magnificent Burtini.”

The crowed were so excited they clapped with all their might as the curtain opened to a darkened stage, the spotlights lit up and there, standing on his podium was a veritable beast of a man.

IMG_5909

Oh how the ladies swooned at the sight of his rippling muscles, the oiled thighs and sheer animal magnetism (I’m sure one even fainted!)

With loud grunts of pure energy Burt ( for it was none other than our old friend just using his stage name) managed to lift the enormously heavy barbell weights high into the air.

IMG_5904

Of course the whole auditorium cheered encouragingly at his amazing feats of strength, Burt was almost tossing it into the air with apparent ease, posing as each wave of applause reached a crescendo – what a man!

IMG_5902

At this point I shall break off and compose myself for the thrilling second half of this tall tale on a small scale.

You may wipe your brow too.

….to be continued shortly.

 

 

 

©Juliette Dodd 2020