this old boy on top of a young girl. The boys in blue tap him on the shoulder to give him all that “Excuse me sir, but we’re police officers” bit, but the old boy just carries on about his business. “I don’t care who you' are, I’m going to finish what I’ve paid for” he tells them, and the police had to let him. Stood in the room and watched. mind you.’
‘Actually, I started my parties in the first place because men get very nervous visiting a call-girl’s ﬂat. They don’t like in ‘n’ out affairs because it makes them feel even worse. My ad said Afternoon parties for tired businessmen. Fair play assured , and by giving them four hours of good fun I was providing a service. In the end a lot ofthem came for the ocmpanionship.’
‘This was the early 70s when I started. but for £15 you got your drinks. a sex show, a girl, and then poached eggs on toast to help you get your energy back before you went home again. You gave your money to me at the door and I gave you a luncheon voucher. Oh yes. and it was £3 off for OAPs. Half price ifthey were completely past it.‘
‘I was really only interested in men over 40. The further over 40 the better in fact, because they were less trouble that way. I think it had a lot to do with my father because he lost my mum when he was still quite young. and I saw him going to pubs and just getting depressed about it. Men have to have it, you see, and ifthey‘re not getting it at home they have to go somewhere else. I just gave them the right environment. Saved a few marriages I reckon. and it made me feel wanted too. I was always more of an organiser than a doer.’
‘It was always educated men too. Lawyers, barristers, ex-army men. You could tell they were educated because of all the things they wanted us to do. There was one bank manager, he wanted to be covered in mud, but we couldn’t really bring all that muck into the house so we just emptied Hoover bags over him. Who else? Oh, then there was one we called “the knicker man". He
had the girl put on seven pairs of panties, and she’d swan round the room taking them off one at a time. You can guess what he was doing with himselfwhen all this went on. Right little sergeant-major he was too.’
All this and much, much more went on within the very ordinary walls I saw before me. A well-kept detached villa in a tree-lined avenue, it could well be your auntie’s house. And for all her sauciness. Cyn could well be your favourite aunt, the kind of liberated distant relative the rest of
' For £15 you got your ‘ drinks, asex show,
w.-. L." a girl, and then , poached eggs on j i toast to help you get ’ your energy back ’"' betore you went home again.
the family rather frown upon. Completely
free of airs and graces, she reels off her stock
of best repeatable stories with only the odd pause, being a lady with a fuller figure, for necessary adjustments to the corsetry department. I‘m rather reminded of Mollie Sugden’s loveable old cove, Mrs Slocumbe. an impression reinforced when the household’s ginger pussy plants itselfdown beside its mistress and accompanies all the juicy bits with a particularly fervid attention to its own nether regions.
Sticking to the format of her forthcoming show, Cynthia finishes her 35-minute monologue to allow time for questions from the floor. The whole Edinburgh jaunt. it seems, has come about because of Cynthia‘s appearance on New York Jewish comic
Jackie Mason’s recent TV special. where her
scene-stealing comments on the British and
‘He said-to me that I should do my own show, take it up to the Edinburgh Festival,’ she continues the story. ‘But I never even knew there was a festival in Edinburgh. My general knowledge is appalling. Anyway, I was with this old boy, Lord Tiverton, and he said “Yes, she’ll do it! I’ll explain it all to her later”. So here I am, I can’t believe that anyone is going to want to pay six quid to hear me speak. but I suppose that’s what producers are for.’
Since her release from Holloway, the movies and the media brouhaha have undoubtedly changed her life. These days she earns appearance money on the celeb PA circuit and does a nice line in after-dinner speaking. Still, fighting the £150,000 tax assessment she had from the Inland Revenue — which she rummages around for and shows me, by the way — took both time and money to go through the courts before it was overturned. ‘People probably imagine that I’m rich or something, but the income I get for doing chat shows and the like is only really pin money.’ she sighs. ‘Only an old air force boy left me all his money or I’d have to be out of this place. I wouldn’t be able to afford it otherwise. I’m still waiting for the day when I have to go to a smaller flat. It might seem like I’m out for all the attention I can get, but how else am I going to make a living now that I don’t do the parties anymore.’
With a cheery wave at the front gate. it’s time to go. But not before a hearty last laugh. ‘Ooh, I don’t know what the neighbours are going to think. Over the past few weeks what with all the people coming to interview me, there’s been a real stream of these nice men going in and out ofthe house. I bet they‘re all peeking out from behind the new curtains thinking “Aye, aye, she’s at it again. then”!’
Cynthia Payne At Home (Fringe) The Pleasance (Venue 60) 556 1513, 9-31 Aug
sex caught the eye ofproducer Harvey Kass. (not 12, 19, 27). 4.30pm, £7 (£5.50).
‘I don't care who you are. I'm going to ﬁnish what I've paid tor.‘ Art imitates lite in Terry Jones's Personal Services.
The List 9— 15 August 199115