DCLXVI – The Numeral of the Beast - Part 30

A way to promote my fantasy trilogy - Breaking the Tranquillity of Solitude…

Part 30

The Nerves Kick In...

When the big first night came everything was going well and we were about 20 mins in. I had made my way round the back of the stage, not via the changing rooms this time as no costume changes were required, just hat changes. Being the Sargeant Major required me to wear a peaked cap instead of the Steel Brodie that the others wore. I got to my side of the stage and looked across to the other as the scene before mine was finishing and to my horror saw one of the others carrying my cap. I had lying by the curtain a battered Brodie. Panic kicked in and I knew there was no time to run round so I had to find a way to sort things. In all honesty I was thinking of just fronting it out and hoping nobody would notice.

Then as we went on and I took up my position, centre stage at the front with the spotlight narrowed on me, casting the troops behind me into darkness… I saw the front row… The mayor and lady mayoress sitting next to two smartly dress-uniformed and highly decorated gentlemen WW1 veteran, Chelsea pensioners. The school had organised them to visit us that week as guests of honour, we had met them during various ceremonies and rehearsals that they had attended but I was not expecting them to be on the front row centre and now was under pressure to do them proud. It might have been the lights, but I was now sweating into the wrong hat and even if the audience didn’t notice, they DID!

So as the music died and it was time for my first line, which should have been something like

“Right you lazy b******s… Atteeeen-tion !

Instead I blurted out, at VERY high decibels in the angriest scream you can imagine…

“Right you bunch of no good bas****s, which one of you has stolen my f*****g cap, I’ll have your b******s on a pole.” I spun round and whilst nearly all the oxygen was being sucked out of the theatre hall by the audiences gasps, I marched towards the one with the cap on, pretended to punch him in the stomach and as he doubled up in total surprise and disbelief I took the cap off his head and slapped the Brodie back on it. Everyone except the two war veterans, including me was in total shock. The two veterans burst out cheering and laughing. When silence fell, I shouted again…

“Get your sorry a**e back to the barracks man, and see me after you have done 100 press ups and cleaned everyone’s f*****g boots you horrible piece of s**t!” The soldier in question ran off stage, two others tried to follow… “Get back here you two w*****s unless you want the pointy end of my boot up you’re f*****g a**e” They came back, but by now one was struggling not to fall over laughing and the other had tears running down her cheeks, starting to streak the Pierrot make up. “Right… MARCH!” The lights went off 30 seconds earlier than planned and we scurried off to rapturous applause. We left the scene exactly as it was every night and it went down a storm…

Oh What A Lovely War!

Far Left (ME)

O What A Lovely War Eddie Johnson
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