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Blog: Unsuitable For Minors

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When I bumped into my friend and colleague Mr S Hewitt outside The Green Dragon in Croydon at 3pm on Saturday we were feeling pretty pleased with our timekeeping. We were due to do the first of TWO shows at 4pm - a children's matinee performance of Dinosaur Planet and here we were an hour early! Well done us!

Imagine our surprised/dismay then when we got to the door and found a poster saying we were starting at TWO o'clock. URK! I'd sent the poster as a DRAFT several MONTHS ago but had since had emails saying FOUR o'clock (honest!) so we hotfooted it upstairs to find a fairly large group of parents and toddlers patiently waiting for us.

Yes - TODDLERS. Or YOUNGER. When originally spoken of we'd thought it'd be DELIGHTFUL to do the show for 8-10 year olds, as they're an age group who we'd previously found to ENJOY and UNDERSTAND the story and especially get all excited towards the end. TODDLERS, also BABYS, however - just how much interest were they going to HAVE in the importance of good academic research?

We were lucky to have Ms Jenny Lockyer in attendance, as she FLEW around setting up the stage, putting down cushions for the kids and, VITALLY, intently watching the show and APPLAUDING at appropriate times, for LO! it was not perhaps our most AUSPICIOUS performance. The parents did GAMELY laugh along for the first ten minutes or so, but I think they may have realised even before US that this CLEARLY was not going to work. The children wondered off, the parents tended to them, and so all the bits about VIOLENT MURDER and the ripping apart of bodies went THANKFULLY unheard.

We did quite enjoy ourselves in a slightly perverse "What a crazy situation!" kind of way, and I must say I was EXTREMELY proud of the way Mr Hewitt conducted himself - when he eventually leaves my tutelage he will surely be the equal to ANYONE in the Carrying On Regardless And With Good Humour STAKES. Well done sir, well done!

We DID miss out the whole explanation about Iridium bit, as I REALLY didn't think there was much point, but DID do the whole rest of the show, and went downstairs afterwards with heads held high for a WELL deserved pint, certain in the knowledge that we really are NOT Children's Entertainers.

There followed some BEER, some DISCUSSION, a farewell to Jenny (heading into town for her OWN gig) and a HELLO to Mr Tim Eveleigh, with whom we journeyed through Croydon for a CURRY. We know how to TOUR, me and Steve.

We headed back to The Green Dragon ready for our SECOND show of the day, scheduled to start at 8pm. We got upstairs on the dot of 8pm to find an audience of... NO-ONE! We decided to give it ten minutes and then, if nobody came, have another BEER and go home. It would be WRONG of me to pretend that this prospect wasn't at least SLIGHTLY attractive, but Tim went for a wander and found four people who had come to see us, so the show was ON. First of all thought there was a STAND-UP section, as me, Tim, Steve and 25% of the audience took it in turns to stand on the stage and tell a joke. This was BLOODY GRATE, and entirely set the tone for the MUCKING ABOUT that was to follow. For LO! now that we actually KNOW the show it's become rather ENJOYABLE (as opposed to SCARY previously) to do it after a few BEERS and we have space to get a bit LAIRY and a) mess around b) PLAY UP some parts and generally c) have a LOT of fun!

We certainly DID do that, and our four person audience (along with the man who watched most of the first 20 minutes, the various people who came up for small bits, and MAYBE the pair of blokes who got to the top of the stairs, saw two GIANT ROBOTS across the room, and went straight back down again) seemed to have a jolly good time too. HOORAH! Afterwards we settled down for a final pint and a chat with Tim, also Jenny who'd returned from her OWN gig at high speed, before heading off into the night and home once more.

Never let it be said that I am the kind of TRAINING PROVIDER who gives dull, same-y work to his apprentices!

posted 29/11/2010 by MJ Hibbett

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