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Tuesday, 27 October 2015

P stands for Pantomime.

When I was in my teens I  auditioned for a

 


role in Pantomime at our local community centre. This was the beginning of many years of 'treading the boards'. The first Pantomime I was in was Robinson Crusoe, where I was in the chorus line, playing the part of a villager then a 'hula girl' on a  tropical island.

 The following year A Star was born...... I was taken from the chorus line and given the leading role of Jack, in Jack and the Beanstalk.

 


It is customary in British Pantomime to have role reversal, of leading roles: Therefore, the Pantomime dame traditionally would be played by a man and the leading male part would be played by a female....Don't ask..... It's just an old British tradition!

 Also it is customary to have a Pantomime cow or horse.

 In Jack and the Beanstalk we had a cow called Daisy, not a real cow mind but one made of fabric with two men operating it. One would operate the back end legs (Dave) and the other. the front legs and head etc.(Tom).

 Now then, Dave was rather fond of a drink or two and on the last night of the Pantomime, he called in to the village Pub for a drink"To steady my nerves", he would say! When he eventually arrived on stage as the rear end of Daisy the cow, it was apparent he had more than one drink and he weaved all over the stage in a state of inebriation. To say he was legless was an understatement.

 Eventually he found his feet and managed to dance in time, until the end of  the routine, then he stepped backwards over the footlights and ended up dangling over the drummer, who was seated directly below the stage.

The audience went wild with applause and gales of laughter, thinking it was part of the act. Tom at the front end of Daisy, unceremoniously hauled him back on stage, he was absolutely furious with him. Dave, now encouraged by the rapturous applause attempted to repeat the performance, only to be thwarted by Tom who gave him a sharp kick in the shins, sending him howling to the floor, ending up in a heap of cow on the hapless drummer below.

 Fortunately nobody was seriously injured and the show carried on. I've heard of the cow jumping over the moon but not over a set of drums.



My thanks to Denise a Paragon of Perfection and to the perpetually patient Roger for his hard work in the administration of ABCW.

Also not forgetting the team of helpers for their participation each week by visiting other sites and commenting too !   

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

M stands for The Mr Men and Little Miss's stories.

Roger Hargreaves author and illustrator of The Mister Men and Little Miss stories. (1935-1988). Roger worked as an advertising copy-writer. He died unexpectedly, after a series of strokes. His son Adam, said of him, "Dad had always been this huge man in every way, he was 6ft 5' and he always seemed larger - than - life and healthy". Adam recalls, when he was aged 8, that one day, whilst playing at the breakfast table with his Father, he asked him, "Dad what does a tickle look like, my dad looked at me and laughed, he then went away and drew a yellowy-orange man with long arms, sketched in an appealingly bold style, in basic colour---------- Mr Tickle was born.  

 

 Abridged version from Mr Tickle.

 Mr Tickle was walking along looking for anybody to tickle, eventually he came to a school, he peeped into a classroom; there were children sitting at their desks and a teacher writing on a blackboard.

 Mr Tickle's extraordinary long arm went right up to the teacher, paused, and then- tickled! The teacher jumped in the air and turned round very quickly to see who was there. But there was nobody there! Tickle kept on tickling until the teacher was laughing out loud. 

 All the children were laughing too at such a funny sight. There was a terrible pandemonium.

 Eventually Mr Tickle thought he'd had enough fun, so he gave the teacher one more tickle for luck, and then, very quietly brought his arm back through the open window, leaving the poor teacher to explain what that was all about!



Mr Tickle became the first character in what would be the stratospherically Mr Men and Little Miss series. "

 It was the day that changed our lives", says Adam, age 48,  Roger Hargreaves's  son.  Adam is also a painter and cartoonist. It was 1971 and Roger was trying to find a way to escape his daily commute into London to work. Then Adam helped change all that by asking a quirky question about tickles!

 His father went on to write some 46 Mr Men and 33Little Miss books, which illustrated a simple humorous tale about the trait in each character's name. They were pocket size and originally 15p, Each was an instant collectible and made Hargreaves the UK's best selling author after J. K. Rowling and Dan Brown. Sales exceeded more than 85 million copies worldwide. The stories have been made into animated movies, achieving worldwide acclaim. All thanks to a young boy asking 'that question' ! 


I intended to write about one of the LITTLE MISS books but ran out of time... maybe another day!
 
My sincere thanks to the MARVELLOUS Denise for devising ABCW and the equally METICULOUS Roger for keeping us all MESMERISED in our search for a suitable subject to write about. Not forgetting the team of helpers too!
Cheers Di. .ABCW team.