It was with great anticipation that I went to glimpse the arrival Dr Who at the studio of Forgotten Dreams. His Tardis arrived late and minus his beautiful and youthful female companion – some said she was off with the imitation Paddy Pantsdown for a quick 30 miler and a session in the barrel, but that is speculative.
The Dr finally appeared in the strangest manifestation since his creation. Gone was the long blond wig, the sequined dress and ten inch high heels. It arrived as the poor mans Ken Dodd, somewhat lost as he sought the solace of the Opera House, in human form of sorts, with an accent my Aunty Mary may have recognised from when she was on the game in Scouseland. Somehow the adoring masses, both of them, appeared to have vanished in the damp mist of a foggy, cold, spring evening. Rapturous applause was heard below when a girlie snooker player finally vacated a table and let his prettier sister play. What would Brian London have to say to such shenanigans on his favourite table? Perhaps more than about that miserable pantomime being hammed in the hollowed theatre above the games room? Small wonder the TV cameras were chasing the news of the death of Tony Benn, Bless him.
Reverend Black and the Vicars arrived minus their instruments – a blessing as one geriatric band a year has been enough with the Stones appearance in that farmyard down South. Of the audience, the only five under retirement age settled down, listened respectfully for many minutes before beating a silent but premature retreat to the public bar below. Snooker and darts was more pulsating. No one asked for their views or even why they were leaving. In all honesty, no-one seemed to care less. It was not surprising that later one of the near moribund diehards asked of the speaker, “How are we to attract the youth vote?” I will have to consult my recording of the night as the reply was equally forgettable?
Finding out why this small group of intrepid youth had departed was left to the reporter who was met with, “It’s just like the Labour Party!” Forgive the writer for reporting accurately, but facts are facts and the truth will always be the truth. Here was the perfect opportunity to reach and converse with a captive audience, some for a change beguilingly young, and they not only let it slip but slaughtered their one and possibly only chance.
Where was the PieMan to add charisma and even a joke or two to the sullen diatribe of despair? Where were the masses flocking to join the cause? If thirty seven people are all that can be relied on to attend the pantomime under the hypnosis of the Dame in Chief, and then the performance will flop. Even the real Ken Dodd cannot perform miracles in front of rows of empty seats. I’ve seen the place busier, more animated and energised when only the cleaners were in. The late Len Blakelow must have been sat on his cloud wondering how far his beloved ‘Stute’ had fallen?
Conspicuous by absence was the entire ladies section from that part of town known as South Shore. It is sad to say that the South group, illegal as The Party says it is, has better attendance, recording history and participation than the wizardry that this Dr Who bonanza attracted. Sad to say that the Good Doctor may have got his bearings wrong! It is promised that The South would have a promotional extravaganza to put the Party on Show and expand the allure and media frenzy into the world of the deprived Deep South. Like the venue, now stripped of the memorabilia that gave it great character, the whole performance was shoddy and not worth missing a Chicken Curry for – Thursday Night at Wetherspoon’s?
When I read, as I am bound to later today, of the overwhelming success of this theatrical flop, I may just switch on the recording of the farce and pinch myself back into reality. But there are dreams and there are aspirations. Then again there’s Show Business. Thanks for letting me watch, how do the words go in that immortal Ethel Merman song? There’s No Business like Show Business. Well, she was definitely correct with the first part of the lyrics!
Now the show's over, return the cadavers back to the Co-op, please. It's only over the Bridge!