Well I started Blogging to get my words and pictures out there. I’m not sure what you want to hear or see, so here goes.
This is a picture of me with one of my oldest friends, Scott. We went to school together. We formed secret agencies and gangs consisting of just the two of us, and occasionally one other kid that we could boss about. When we were 12, we’d already mapped out the entire school with all the secret passages and escape routes, so that we could avoid the bullies. We did this on graph paper, to scale… no wonder we were bullied.
Age 14, we started writing …well .. re- writing the comedy sketches performed on Not the Nine O’Clock News, so that we could use them to perform in front of the entire school. The impromptu rehearsals in the playground or in the shower rooms brought us gradual admiration, which spanned from initial mocking through general distracted amusement, right through to actual popularity. It also bought me the opportunity to cast my favourite girl, Tracy, as an extra in the variety show. She even allowed me to escort her to school for the occasion, which was for me at the time the best thing ever. We even threw in daredevil stunts to our comedy skits, such as getting a kid to throw himself off the top of the lighting gantry onto a crash mat! This was thankfully not a disaster, but I’m sure if anyone attempted it today, there would be a few lawsuits flying round not to mention a media frenzy: “Child forced to enact suicide jump for comedy sketch” No no..that would never do. The early 80s was a time when if a child actor needed to lose a limb to get the part of Long John Silver then so be it!
It was the after parties that we enjoyed the most in our brief acting career. The moment where the girls in the cast would get all tearful and give free hugs to all who would take them. Well we thought this was hilarious. Not only was it a chance to get an accidental kiss, but better than that, we could go overboard and lay in the middle of the road (yes the real road) shouting like Brian Blessed that we had no more reason to live, now the play was over! (great wails of over-acted despair and …shit) Luckily the street was empty.
We took part in more shows as the years went on, There was Big Al, a musical about Al Capone which gave us the chance to play like Bugsy Malone characters. Then there was Dazzle, the sci-fi musical which gave Scott the chance to wrap a turban over his head and roller skate blindly towards the female starlet’s breasts – with his arms out stretched like the buffers of a train engine. He never got close! Fair play for trying though.
Years later we discovered video and just did a load of Monty Python inspired skits with our trousers round our ankles and our 80’s loud pattered boxer shorts on full view, whilst wearing Groucho Marx Noses and glasses.
We also got inspiration from Paul Whitehouse and Harry Enfield, but those videos are lost to time now, just as the sketches that we performed in front of hundreds of people at Wakeford School, way before the days when everyone started filming instead of seeing.