So here you have it, a report by the actor who probably never gets seen on stage. The sad individual who sits in the wings wondering if he will ever get a chance all the while hoping for two horrible accidents.
The play was The Tram Track Tragedy or Little Nellie's Bloomers and was the finale to the whole Christmas show. The show itself consists of a whole load of short pieces performed by people who don't usually get up on stage. It's not strictly a HADDS production, we just perform at it. It's generally a good night out and generates lots of cash for the relevant parties.
As you can see there are only four pictures for the play. The reasons are twofold. Firstly the melodrama is only 20 minutes long meaning there isn't a lot of opportunity for pictures and secondly the dark background conditions made photography difficult. There are no pictures of any other acts, so don't even ask.
The 'plot' for want of a better description involves Little Nellie and her ailing son trying to persuade the evil Sir Putrid Canker to marry her and recognise the child as his. His intentions are far from honourable and he poisons the child and then ties Nellie to a tram track. Or at least he thinks he has. It transpires that Belle, Nellie's sister took her place and was rescued anyway by Claude Body a big game hunter. All this was watched over by a detective disguised as a gypsy and a messenger. Sir putrid finally reveals himself to be an Anglican minister and repents his evil ways. Or does he...?
If that sound complicated then in reality it isn't. It's a good short script from the well know playwright Michael Kilgarriff with lots of double entendres and neat lines. It's meant to be played very much in the coarse style. That means lots of hamming up and generally bad acting. Examples of which can be found in these two locations done by HADDS and BL Players
They are generally lots of fun to do and the cast had a good time. Joyce was Little Nellie although she sounded more like Nancy from Oliver Twist and Yvonne her clever yet strange sister. We were happy that Clive did not reveal any more as Lemuel the Gypsy/Hawkshaw of the Yard/The tram driver/The messenger and Paul was received a suitably negative reaction as Sir Putrid Canker.
I guess that leaves me. As mentioned above, I only did one night, the opening night as it happens. The first understudy Dave had the Saturday matinee and evening to cope with. My part was Claude Body the famous big game hunter. As can been seen from the pictures it was Jungle gear, pith helmet and a medium sized furry animal attached to my top lip. What isn't so obvious is the rucksack with all manner of attachments clattering around along with a monkey that one of my aunts made for me. What is also not obvious is that I had decided to play the character as a camp version of someone off the set of Eastenders.
I'll always treasure the memory of the startled look on the face of the old dear when, while wandering through the audience on my first entrance, I stopped at her table and said in my best Kenneth Williams voice 'oooh hello'. She even said 'hello' back which was nice.