Tuesday, 17 May 2022

Take a stand!

Hurrah! With consummate timing, seventeen-year old footballer Jake Daniels has become the first out-gay male professional player in the UK, in a traditionally less-than tolerant sport - right on time for the International Day Against Homophobia (and bi- and trans- these days)!

If only other sports would follow suit (although the Olympics seems to be increasingly seen as a safe environment in which to come out in public) - and, for that matter, the world's organised religions, regimes and political bodies!.

From a statement to mark this annual event by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet today:

...Thanks to the arduous work of LGBTIQ+ human rights defenders, we have seen many positive changes around the world: decriminalization of consensual same-sex relations, the adoption of laws protecting LGBTIQ+ persons from discrimination, recognition of the gender identity of trans persons, marriage equality, and measures to combat hate crimes, harmful practices and advance social and economic inclusion.

LGBTIQ+ people are entitled to the equal respect for their dignity and equal respect, protection and fulfilment of their fundamental human rights, just like everyone else.

And yet, widespread violations continue: killings, torture, sexual violence, criminalization, arbitrary detention. Harmful practices such as “conversion” therapy, forced sterilization, surgery and treatment on trans and intersex people, degrading examinations. Widespread stigma, harassment, bullying and discrimination at work, at home, in education, health, housing, sports and access to public services. And the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have only exacerbated exclusion and inequality.

Despite advances, consensual same-sex relations are still criminalized in close to 70 countries. Only one out of three countries legally protect people from discrimination based on sexual orientation, only one out of ten protect people based on gender identity, and only a handful based on sex characteristics.

I am concerned by continued harassment against LGBTIQ+ human rights defenders, discriminatory restrictions on freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly, and new proposed discriminatory measures in a number of countries, including some that specifically target trans people.

I urge States to act swiftly to repeal discriminatory laws, prohibit harmful practices, including in medical settings, combat hate crime and violence, adopt comprehensive anti-discrimination laws and policies, legally recognise the gender identity of trans persons based on self-identification, recognise same-sex couples, and protect LGBTIQ+ human rights defenders.

Tackling these issues does not just require changes in laws and policies – it also requires greater acceptance, support and celebration of LGBTIQ+ persons by everyone in society, including within the family...

...The United Nations will continue to stand up for the human rights of everyone, including LGBTIQ+ people – today and every day.

For a full list of countries that hate us and discriminate against us, check Wikipedia.

And to each and every one of the bastards, here's our "Anthem for the Day"!

Look inside
Look inside your tiny mind
Now look a bit harder
'Cause we're so uninspired, so sick and tired of all the hatred you harbour

So you say
It's not okay to be gay
Well I think you're just evil
You're just some racist who can't tie my laces
Your point of view is medieval

Fuck you
Fuck you very, very much
'Cause we hate what you do
And we hate your whole crew
So please don't stay in touch

Fuck you
Fuck you very, very much
'Cause your words don't translate
And it's getting quite late
So please don't stay in touch

Do you get
Do you get a little kick out of being slow-minded?
You want to be like your father
It's approval you're after
Well that's not how you find it

Do you
Do you really enjoy living a life that's so hateful?
'Cause there's a hole where your soul should be
You're losing control of it and it's really distasteful

Fuck you
Fuck you very, very much
'Cause we hate what you do
And we hate your whole crew
So please don't stay in touch

Fuck you
Fuck you very, very much
'Cause your words don't translate and it's getting quite late
So please don't stay in touch

Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you,
Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you,
Fuck you

You say, you think we need to go to war
Well you're already in one,
'Cause its people like you
That need to get slew
No one wants your opinion

Fuck you
Fuck you very, very much
'Cause we hate what you do
And we hate your whole crew
So please don't stay in touch

Fuck you
Fuck you very, very much
'Cause your words don't translate and it's getting quite late
So please don't stay in touch

Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you
Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you


Speaking of "fucking"...


click to embiggen

...Happy Birthday, Baby Steve!

Monday, 16 May 2022

We want a balcón de la sol!

After the complete madness of Saturday's Eurovision party, I was hoping for a sunny Sunday to relax and potter in the extensive gardens here at Dolores Delargo Towers, but no - the weather changed to showery, humid greyness, and it's the same today.

How appropriate. "Greyness" is generally my Monday mood, anyhow. At least I have only one more week of toil in work to go, as we jet off again to Spain on Saturday. Whoo-hoo!

On this Tacky Music Monday, what better way to start the countdown to a much-needed holiday than with a touch of vintage Spanish campery, courtesy of Señorita Lola Flores?!

¡Que tengas una buena semana, querida lectora!

Sunday, 15 May 2022

I'm up in space, man

Wow.

For the first time in years, we have no need for our usual retort ”We wuz robbed!” For, at last night's Eurovision Song Contest, we most certainly were not...

It was a fabulous feeling in any circumstance to be hosting our first traditional glittering Eurovision party for two years! "Our gang" - the Madam and I, Hils, Crog, Baby Steve, Houseboy Alex, John-John, Sal, Lou, Russ and Joe - all dutifully "dressed for the occasion" [I nominate countries to guests, based upon John-John's analysis - he watched the semi-finals so we don't have to - one country for costume/flag, one for food and one for booze]:

John-John in particular pulled out all the stops, representing Sweden with his inspired "Regretta Turdberg" [Greta Thunberg], complete with scowl, dummy, squeaky teddy-bear and child-like badge...

We knew from the outset that with the current model of 50-50 jury versus popular phone-in voting, it would be a foregone conclusion that Ukraine would win it (their song, in any other situation, would not have been strong enough to get close):

However, we studiously sat through every song, whooping and hollering (and grumbling and moaning in turn) as the typical mixture of the good, the bad and the ugly performed (allocating marks for each on our scorecards as we went)...

Our "scores on the doors"? Here's our Top 5, in ascending order:

5 - a class act with a "Bassey-esque" choon:

4 - a rather clever, and catchy, meld of North African-style folk with some techno beats:

3 - a very jolly bop that bears more than a passing resemblance to an old fave from Ukraine by Verka Serduchka:

2 - had Sam Ryder not been so good, this utterly insane and irresistibly catchy number [Dailymotion video link here in case the YouTube one is restricted] would definitely have scored top in our house votes:

1 - contrary to my original judgement of it, the UK's entry [DM video link here, as above] has been a significant "earworm" for several weeks now - it's the most accomplished song and performer we have had for years:

Also rather popular was the camp totty from Romania:

Honourable mentions also went to Ukraine (of course), and Spain:

...this incredible performance from the Australian entry:

...and this slice of madness from Serbia:

The hosts in Turin Alessandro Cattelan, Laura Pausini and house fave Mika did the usual job of holding things together, while irritating the audience at the same time - although it was fab to see and hear Mika perform a selection of his hits (while balanced precariously on a tiny podium high above the stage). They were often the butt of the UK's regular host Graham Norton's sarcastic jibes, which made it more entertaining than it would otherwise have been, of course.

However, it was the voting results were were waiting for and, well - you can imagine the screaming, shouting and cheering from the palatial ballroom here at Dolores Delargo Towers as juries from country after country awarded the UK high scores.

We even got douze points from Belgium, Georgia, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, France, Azerbaijan - and Ukraine!

I imagine our neighbours thought there was a riot going on - especially when we ended up top of the leader-board!


[click any photo to embiggen]

Of course, this was followed by the long and deliberately-drawn-out roll-call of phone votes (where all the ex-pats usually swing the table from Western European performers to Eastern Europe) - nail-biting in the extreme - and, most amazing of all, "our boy" landed sufficient public support to come second to the Ukrainian avalanche...

Our best performance since 2007 (when Jade Ewen came in 5th place - a contest we actually missed because were were in Spain at the time) - and a "moral victory" in any circumstances!

Same time, same place next year? I think so!

Saturday, 14 May 2022

¡Azucar!

Having spent several hours getting Dolores Delargo Towers in a fit state to welcome visitors for our Eurovision party, it's time for a breather before I carry on sticking flags up, and then it's just the buffet to lay out... Phew!

All this on the sunniest and warmest day so far this year! Sigh.

Which reminds me - it's a double-header of excitement today, dear reader. Not only the Eurovision Song Contest final tonight - but it's exactly one week 'till we will be in our beloved Benalmadena again! What better way to celebrate than with one of my all-time favourite Eurovision moments, ever, as Spanish entrants Azucar Moreno (way back in 1990) strutted their stuff onto the stage (as the very first act), then just as quickly strutted off again as they could hear no sound through their headphones. That could have shaken-up an act good-and-proper - but my heavens! They showed no sign of any such nerves when they finally got to do their thing...

Brilliant! Or should I say ¡Magnifico!

Friday, 13 May 2022

That's what you got, that's what you got

Eek!

It may be the end of a working week, but I am keeping my fingers crossed all day, and will avoid ladders, black cats, and putting new shoes on a table...

It's Eurovision tomorrow, and we are indeed in a party mode, so, with a panoply of powder-blue Crimplene, a snap of our fingers and a synchronised twirl, let's Thank Disco It's Friday (the Thirteenth)!

Have a great weekend, dear reader!

Thursday, 12 May 2022

Pricking out, indeed

Relationship charity Relate has produced a condom range disguised in seed packets to promote safe sex to the over sixties.

The campaign follows research that shows an increase in STI’s in over 65’s, as most consider themselves to be ‘sexually adventurous’, however don’t necessarily feel comfortable discussing sex and rarely use condoms.

By placing the condoms in an environment that’s most likely frequented by its target audience, the campaign aims to raise awareness of the issue in a light-hearted way.


click to embiggen

The condoms, that are displayed in the seed section, feature cheeky suggestive illustrations of veg such as courgettes and aubergines, as well as plums, artichokes and onions.

Remarkably, this is not a Daily Mash satire, and April Fool's Day is long gone - it's genuine...

Made me hoot, anyhow!

[Thanks, John-John, for flagging this one!]

Wednesday, 11 May 2022

Tuesday, 10 May 2022

Love is never tragical when you got the magical feelings coming through


Magic's come a long way since the days of Tommy Cooper and Paul Daniels...

John-John and I went to see the latest Marvel blockbuster Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness last night (just three days after its première!). Needless to say, it was stunning...

...if perhaps a movie that is more aimed at "geeks" like us, given the depth of complexity to the plot and its ties to several previous stories including Spider Man: No Way Home and Wandavision. But it has sufficient fast-paced battles, scary chases and even a touch of gore (courtesy of director Sam Raimi) to please the audience.

Changing tack completely, here's an "appropriate" song to take our minds off the drizzle outside...

Lordy - haven't heard that in years..!

Monday, 9 May 2022

Trop de pingouins!

Oh, my aching bones...

After all that "humping and shifting" in the extensive gardens here at Dolores Delargo Towers this weekend, it's understandable that I greet the start of yet another working week with an inner scream, and the desire to just stay in bed and say "fuck it". I can't, of course.

Instead, let's have a wake-up call of the most appropriate kind. It is indeed the final of the Eurovision Song Contest this Saturday, and for the first time since before the dreaded 'Rona we are hosting our traditional bonkers party, that will see "our gang" all dressed in ridiculous outfits and whipping up the hysteria as we collate our votes among the unfortunate, and often borderline insane, entrants!

On this Tacky Music Monday, here, for your delectation, is one of the strangest ever...

WTF?!

Have a good week, dear reader!

Sunday, 8 May 2022

Cantaré, oh-oh-oh-oh

I spent all day in the garden today, on what was probably the hottest day of the year so far - I achieved a lot, including splitting and re-potting one of the Salvia uglinosa, moving loads of plants around to their summer locations ("playing Tetris"), and then watered and fed every one of our 200+ pots! I'm knackered now.

Inevitably, my company all day was BBC Radio 2 and, it being the run-up to Eurovision, a number of Euro-themed shows were on offer.

Most fascinating was Jack Savoretti's Made In Italy, in which he explored the breadth of Italian pop and its relationship with Eurovision [this year's contest takes place in Milan] - and with a whole load of songs that we consider "standards" today, such as these...

Dusty Springfield's You Don't Have to Say You Love Me began life as an entry in the 1965 Sanremo Festival thus:

Mostly due to a certain Dean Martin, this song has had a life of its own for decades, yet was originally entered in the 1958 Eurovision Song contest, only coming third:

Cilla's You're My World was originally Il mio mondo, premiered by Umberto Bindi, but sung here by Miranda Martino:

Finally, where would one of or treasured Patron Saints Dame Shirley Bassey have been without the pioneering team behind this massive hit for another Patron Saint, Mina?!

Viva l'Italia!

Saturday, 7 May 2022

Something happens to a woman when she isn't wanted... something dreadful!

After the promise of a nice weekend - with the brilliant sunshine yesterday while I was in the office - today it's grey and humid and drizzly out there. Of course.

Never mind, eh? A little visit from Steve Hayes, aka the Tired Old Queen at the Movies, is always a great pick-me up - especially when he's getting his teeth into a camp old Joan Crawford movie...

Faboo!

Fact: Miss Crawford departed, to cause mayhem no doubt, for Fabulon 45 years ago on Tuesday.

Friday, 6 May 2022

Justified

It's gloriously sunny out there - and at the end of a particularly tortuous week, to boot!

As if we need any more excuses to get into a party mood, yesterday would have been the 80th birthday of the Queen of Kitsch Miss Tammy Wynette - so let's boogie on down with the grande dame herself, and her ice-cream van...

...and Thank Disco It's Friday!

Have a great weekend, dear reader!

Thursday, 5 May 2022

What's to discuss, old friends? Here's to us!

There are few words I can use to express how superb Tuesday night's gala Stephen Sondheim's Old Friends - a Celebration truly was. Gobsmacking! Awesome! Stunning! - even these don't do it justice.

I mean - at what other occasion were we ever likely to see Dame Judi Dench, Julia McKenzie, Dame Siân Phillips, Petula Clark, Michael Ball, Damien Lewis, Imelda Staunton, Maria Friedman, Bernadette Peters, Jenna Russell, Rosalie Craig, Julian Ovenden, Janie Dee, Rob Brydon, Haydn Gwynne, Bonnie Langford, Daniel Evans, Michael Xavier, Charlie Stemp, Gary Wilmot, Clive Rowe, Anna-Jane Casey, Josefina Gabrielle, Jon Robyns, Helena Bonham-Carter and so many more top-class performers gathered on stage in the same show at the same time?!

Sondheim was adored by the theatrical community (understandably), and the love expressed by every performer, as his extensive back-catalogue was comprehensively explored, flowed from the stage. [Yes, I know we were actually only watching it on a screen, but that screen was so huge, the quality so immaculate, and in the glittering surroundings of the Art Deco Prince Edward Theatre, disbelief was well-and-truly suspended!]

Produced (and hosted) by Sir Cameron Mackintosh, with Maria Friedman directing alongside Matthew Bourne and choreographer Stephen Mear, we had a little bit of everything - and more - here. The evening opened with a heartfelt introduction from Sir Cameron, followed swiftly by the remarkable Daniel Evans with Sunday in the Park With George, before a "national treasure" took to the stage, to thundrous applause - arch-Sondheimite Julia McKenzie, making her first stage appearance in 24 years at age 81, with the opening bars of Side By Side - joined in turn by Ashley Campbell, Rosalie Craig, Josefina Gabrielle, Amy Griffiths, Bradley Jaden and Jenna Russell. I'll leave it to the amazingly comprehensive Theatremonkey to list the rest in his/her own estimable manner:


[carting Sir Cameron off the stage]

...[next was] Comedy Tonight with Clive Rowe, Gary Wilmot, the West End All Stars (the evening's hugely talented ensemble) and one Rob Brydon, who went on to admit that with Haydn Gwynne The Little Things You Do Together make marriage a joy. The real joy being Gywnne’s vocal and Brydon’s running joke about being too short for his stool.

Classic Sondheim ladies’ trio You Could Drive a Person Crazy had Anna-Jane Casy, Janie Dee and Josefina Gabrielle in a hilariously well-choreographed sequence and stunning outfits.

The mood changed a little as Clive Rowe gave a heart-wrenching Live Alone and Like It before Michael Ball segued into Loving You from Passion and produced perfect stillness.

Holly-Anne Hull channelled her inner “Vicar of Dibley” (incidentally, Dawn French was in the audience) to marry reluctant Anna-Jane Casey to Jon Robyns, Casey managing with ease the amazingly fast patter of Getting Married Today.

As the wedding guests pulled out lanterns, the West End All Stars took us Into The Woods, Julian Ovenden and Michael D. Xavier sharing their Agony over life and ladies, as Red Riding Hood lurked.

Throwing back her hood, the show stopped for the first time as the audience acknowledged Bernadette Peters, as she herself acknowledged I Know Things Now. Damian Lewis did too - Hello Little Girl made even more lascivious by his wolf ears and delightful tail.

Peters then pulled a diamond with Children Will Listen...

Out of the woods, time for A Weekend in the Country led off by maid Desmonda Cathabel ... She more than held her own as Janie Dee, Rob Houchen, Holly-Anne Hull, Julian Ovenden, Michael D. Xavier and the West End All Stars plotted a strategy to bring down their hostess with fun in the process.

Then a definitive moment. Dame Judi Dench. Send In The Clowns. Show stopped; standing ovation, which would have gone on longer had there not been so much more to get through. Nothing more to add. />

Lightening or darkening the tone, depending on your taste for slick melodrama, good use was made of the Les Misérables slums, re-purposed as Fleet Street for a visit to Sweeney Todd. Michael Ball and a gaggle of West End All Stars townsfolk gave us the background The Ballad of Sweeney Todd before Maria Friedman told of Mrs Lovett’s catering woes in The Worst Pies in London (spit into her apron, dear, wise advice).

My Friends suggested how Mr Ball might take revenge, Pretty Women was Jeremy Secomb’s last duet before Maria Friedman suggested a cunning plan to recycle him and Mr Ball finally got it, and A Little Priest found the sweetest spot of humour as well as satire as only Sondheim can do.

Sticking firmly to the liquid, Haydn Gwynne came up from the stalls to celebrate The Ladies Who Lunch in style before Daniel Evans, Bernadette Peters and the West End All Stars brought a harmonious curtain down on the first half with a heartfelt Sunday.

Such was the atmosphere, it was only by taking the auditorium lights down to half that the audience were persuaded to re-take their seats instead of enthusing in the aisle and let the second half begin with the Entr’acte Overture from Merrily We Roll Along.

And roll in they did, the New York street gangs, to give us a quintet from West Side Story. Shan Ako, Christine Allado, Lous Gaunt, Rob Houchen and students from the Royal Academy Musical Theatre Company and Mountview – both schools should probably consult police immediately to deal with the issue before the rabble get out of hand.

Speaking of rabble, the hotly contested Broadway Baby went from the Hey, Mr Producer! routine of Gary Wilmot as frustrated audition pianist dealing with Julia McKenzie to a battle for supremacy between Rosalie Craig, Maria Friedman, Josefina Gabrielle, Amy Griffiths, Hayden Gwynne, Bonnie Langford, Bernadette Peters, Jenna Russell and Helena Bonham Carter - the last swooping in at the last minute to take it. Standing ovation as the final tableau, what else could we do?

With all those ladies around, Roman sexism arrived as Rob Brydon, Damien Lewis and Julian Ovenden agreed that Everybody Ought to Have a Maid - and Sian Phillips set them right.

Burlesque reminded us that You Gotta Get A Gimmick and Anna-Jane Casey, Bernadette Peters and Bonnie Langford had theirs – Langford’s eye-watering end to the song [the splits] drawing more gasps than even Casey’s electric dress or Peters' trumpet.

...from Follies, Waiting For The Girls Upstairs was given proper nostalgia by Ashley Campbell, Rob Houchen and Bradley Jaden, Charlie Stemp summing it up: "Weren’t we chuckle-heads then?"

The Girl arrived - Petula Clark with I’m Still Here. One of the very best versions of the song ... a true theatre survivor giving us autobiography and growing through adversity to end on a note of total victory, and another standing ovation until she left the stage.

Michael Ball then asked Could I Leave You? and had the audience stunned into silence with his final answer to us, guess... he certainly had us doing so.

One-man Vaudevillian Gary Wilmot gave us Buddy’s Blues complete with counterpoint from a dim but devoted lover, well, until the next man produced furs. Another show-stopper in an evening full of them.

Against a beach back-projection, The Boy From.... by Janie Dee demonstrated Sondheim’s flair for pastiche, even of popular music.

The tone turned black as Bernadette Peters revealed she was Losing My Mind. Another perfection, another standing ovation continued until the lady had entered the wings.

Just when the evening couldn’t yield any more wonders, Imelda Staunton appeared, with her career high Everything’s Coming Up Roses, and the audience came to its collective feet once more.

A reminder of the Andrew Lloyd-Webber / Stephen Sondheim duet from Hey, Mr Producer provided a video breathing space and no little fond chuckling.

Not A Day Goes By when we who love musical theatre don’t miss Stephen Sondheim. To a backdrop of changing projected photographs of his life and career, Julia McKenzie, Michael Ball, Rosalie Craig, Maria Friedman, Bernadette Peters, Jenna Russell and the West End All Stars gathered beneath the screen to celebrate, remember and mark.

Michael Ball, Rob Brydon, Rosalie Craig, Hayden Gwynne, Bradley Jaden, Bonnie Langford, Julian Ovenden, Jon Robyns, Jenna Russell, Jeremy Secomb, Michael D. Xavier and the West End All Stars then reminded us of the importance of Being Alive to bring the full company and Sir Cameron Mackintosh onto the stage for Old Friends and Side By Side.

The final closure came from the young, as a truly stunning troupe of new West End performers of the future filled the side aisles in front of the proscenium, spilling up and onto the stage either side of the rest of the cast to deliver a pure gold Our Time.

Phew!

There were just so many highlights for us, including: Michael Ball's version of Could I Leave You? with a gay nod and a wink in its gender-bending that echoed the much earlier [and at the time - 1976 - even more shocking] rendition by David Kernan [in the original Side By Side by Sondheim, which also starred the aforementioned Miss McKenzie]; Dame Sian's mischievous wink; Our Pet singing a song that might have been made for her now she is 89; the brilliantly "Stritch-esque" Ladies Who Lunch in which Miss Gwynne showed [the overrated, in our opinion] Patti Lupone how this song should be done, Dame Judi's gut-wrenching-yet-perfect vocals; and (of course) the simply faboo Ms Peters. Truth be told, it's hard to pick, really.

Have I mentioned - we enjoyed it?

It was one of the very best things I have ever seen on stage in my life!

Wednesday, 4 May 2022

Gazing hungrily at a cylinder of meat

A woman was left disappointed when she opted to take a man home for a shag instead of ending her night with a doner kebab.

After waking up with a splitting headache, Lucy Parry wished she had found a half-eaten, meat-stuffed pitta in her bed, rather than an unattractive stranger.

Parry said: “I find clubbing atrocious now I’m in my 30s. The most enjoyable part of an evening out is having a chat with the guy behind the counter at Gangsta Wrap while eating some delicious shavings of worryingly low-quality lamb smothered in chilli sauce.

“A kebab is a much more fulfilling and wholesome experience than hooking up with a guy wearing too much aftershave for ten minutes of drunken pumping and an awkward conversation in the morning.

“Gazing hungrily at the tall, bronzed cylinder of meat as it seductively revolves is honestly more exciting to me than any Magic Mike-style hunk could ever be. And you never get those down Crackers in Cinderford anyway.

“Sadly I feel I can’t have a kebab for breakfast instead. I may have just spent the night with an ugly bloke I picked up in a nasty club, but I still have some standards.”

The Daily Mash

Of course.

Tuesday, 3 May 2022

So please, don't fart

It may be my first day back in the office after the long weekend, but - pah!

Madam Arcati and I are off to a very special evening tonight...

...a live screening of the otherwise sold-out gala Stephen Sondheim's Old Friends: A Celebration, starring a panoply of glittering stars including Michael Ball, Helena Bonham Carter, Rob Brydon, Petula Clark, Rosalie Craig, Janie Dee, Judi Dench, Daniel Evans, Maria Friedman, Haydn Gwynne, Bonnie Langford, Damian Lewis, Julia McKenzie, Julian Ovenden, Bernadette Peters, Siân Phillips, Jon Robyns, Clive Rowe, Jenna Russell, Imelda Staunton, Charlie Stemp, Hannah Waddingham, Gary Wilmot and Michael Xavier!

Knowing the ill-behaved rabble that constitutes West End audiences these days (I blame Simon Cowell, Strictly and the whooping, hollering, baying audiences they encourage on TV), I sincerely hope this particular set of commands will be stricty adhered to:

Gods of the theatre, smile on us.
You who sit up there stern in judgment,
Smile on us.
You who look down on actors… (And who doesn't?)
Bless this yearly festival and smile on us.

We offer you song and dance.
We offer you rites and revels.
We offer you grace and beauty.
Smile on us for this while.
You who sit up there stern in judgment, smile on us.

We offer you song and dance.
We offer you rites and revels.
We offer you gods and heroes.
We offer you jokes and insults,
We offer you (we offer you) paeans and pageants,
Bacchanals and social comment.
Bless our play and smile.

Yes, but first…
Some dos and don'ts,
Mostly don'ts:

Please don't cough,
It tends to throw the actors off.
Have some respect for Aristophanes
And please, don't cough.

Please don't squeak,
We haven't oiled the seats all week.
You wouldn't want to miss a single work of Greek,
It's hard enough for us to hear each other speak
So please, don't squeak.

If you see flaws, please,
No loud guffaws, please,
Only because, please,
There are politer ways.
As for applause, please,
When there's a pause, please,
Although we welcome praise,
The echo sometimes lasts for days…
(Days…days…days…days…)

But first…
(Days…days…days…days…)

Don't take notes
To show us all you know the famous quotes.
And when you disapprove don't clear your throats
Or throw your crumpled programs, coins and coats
Or tell your neighbour scintillating anecdotes,
And please, refrain,
From candy wrapped in cellophane.

If we should get rhetorical,
Please don't curse.
Wait till it's allegorical,
And in verse!
If we should get satirical,
Don't take it wrong.
And if, by a sudden miracle,
A tune should appear that's lyrical,
Don't hum along.

When we are waxing humorous,
Please don't wane.
The jokes are obscure but numerous…
We'll explain.

When we are waxing serious,
Don't squirm or laugh.
It starts when we act mysterious.
And if you're in doubt, don't query us,
I'll signal you when we're serious
(It's in the second half).
(Half…half…half…half…)

But first…
Please, don't leave.
It only makes the actors grieve.
We may have something better up our sleeve,
So please,
Don't leave.

Don't say, "What?"
To every line you think you haven't got.
And if you're in a snit because you've missed the plot
(Of which I must admit there's not an awful lot),
Still don't
Say, "What?" (What?)

Do not intrude, please,
When someone's nude, please.
She's there for mood, please.
And mustn't be embraced.
If we are crude, please,
Don't sit and brood, please.
Let's not be too strait-laced -
The author's reputation isn't based
On taste.

So please, don't fart -
There's very little air and this is art.
And should we get offensive, don't lose heart,
Pretend it's just the playwright being smart.
Eventually we'll get to the catharsis, then depart.

And now…

But first…
We start.

I can't wait!


PS It was David Beckham's birthday yesterday.


[click to embiggen]

You're welcome.

Monday, 2 May 2022

Her jewellery, her chinchillas

It may be the May Day Bank Holiday, but...

...it's still a Tacky Music Monday! And, with the sad loss yesterday of one of our cherished Patron Saints Regine, who better than she to start the week off in a fitting manner - complete with safety gays, bien sûr?!!

Quand vient l'mardi, la grande Zoa
Met ses bijoux, ses chinchillas
Et puis à minuit, la grande Zoa
Autour du cou s'met un boa

Y en a qui marmonnent
Que la grande Zoa
Ce serait un homme
On dit ça!

Which translates as:

When Tuesday comes, the Great Zoa
Puts on her jewellery, her chinchillas
And then at midnight, the Great Zoa
Throws a boa around her neck

There are those who whisper
That the Great Zoa
Appears to be a man
People say that!

Have a good week, dear reader...

[I was torn between two video versions of this song - so here's the other (live) version for your delectation, in which the "Queen of the Night"'s safety gays get even camper!]