v.s'TECRASHER ;-. " 2'} a k. \.

:KJI‘ ‘<

().\' .\'() .»\(‘(‘()l'f\"l‘ work with children and

animals so says the old showbiz maxim. If

this coyers dressing tip as a crow and flapping your arms in front of a couple of hundred nippers then I can wholeheartedly vouch for it.

When the suggestion was pttt that I should

take to the stage for my fifteen minutes of

infamy. grand Visions of a (‘hekhoyian nature appeared before my eyes. These were shattered by the word “Happy”. The word '(iang' followed swiftly in its wake. and the realisation dawned that my hitherto untried acting talents would he stretched to somewhat different limits. Yes. I was to appear with the Happy (iang. one of Scotland’s foremost children’s entertainment outfits.

No mention had been made of aiding in the construction of the set. Still. my attempts to distinguish nuts from bolts helped take my mind off my ascribed part. I had been cast as (ius the ()ctupus.

As the curtain—raising moment grew closer. however. my bosses for the day Mr P ('he‘s soooo la/y' ). Spat/ (‘he’s soooo greedy") and Beth (“she’s soooo about to leave the (iang to


do something else') decided it would he less hazardous to the smooth running of the show if I was recast as (irandfather (‘row for the crucial audience—participation scene.

As the moying strains of ‘Ye (‘annae Shore Yer Granny Off The Bus‘ floated over the

sound system. the trio attempted to staye off

16 THE “ST 30 AC'—l.1?.'a\ 1998

This issue, our correspondent ventures into the r-warzone that is entertaining children..Cast as a crow, he waits in the wings and tries not to get

Bria .v y a giagraan. Craig Sanders .yji" - '


'.., I:

.r i~ , I

my rising stage—terror with troupers' tales: their rivalry with The Singing Kettle and their cherished dream of a day when they could employ roadies rather than lug their own gear. But no show is without its technical hitches. Mr P inform- ed me that one of his amps had blown. and that the stage here at l.args’s Barrfields Theatre was angled rather than flat. which caused some complications with the set. Later. this problem came into sharp focus when a box preyiously occupied by a snake not a real one. obviously slid away. Spatz dashed towards the offending prop and cattght it before it stage-dived into some wee guy‘s head. Nerve-calming exercise well and truly oyer. Sweat glands well and truly activated. The show began. and I spent nearly an hour alone backstage. trying to catch glimpses \‘ia a gap in the set and attempting not to trip over the wires. cables. cords and discarded outfits. As my fear heightened. the enormous bear suit started to look like a good place to hide.


Finally. the moment was upon me. I had been kept somewhat in the dark about my duties. but I anticipated some flapping of arms and uttering of crow noises would be required. Hopefully. no one spotted my rigorous rehearsals these inyolyed standing on my own in the dark. flapping my arms and

uttering crow noises. At last. I was ready. Cue the Crow Song. Then came an announcement from Mr P and I took to the stage like I was marching towards the gallows.

Although attendance had been quoted as

As my fear heightened, the enormous bear suit started to look like a good place to hide.

anything between 100 and 120. it looked to me more like a packed-to-the—rafters Weinbley Arena. 1 nonchalantly wayed to my audience who. I was grateful to notice. had resisted ripping their seats out and grappling with the bouncers. and were continuing to chat amongst themselyes.

l was joined by two Victims from the front row one of them. Tommy. showed confidence and looked ready to upstage me. I suspect he missed the dirty look I shot at him. The other. Gemma. was asked her name. then burst into a flood of tears. demanding to be reunited with her mummy. I knew how she felt. but where was my mummy'.’

My rehearsals had been futile. My graceful wing-flapping became a series of uncoordinated spasms. while my sky-splitting screeches became a 2()()-a-day splurt. Finally. though. the ordeal was complete.

As I left the arena around an hour later. when l was sure the saliyating groupies had dispersed there was a whisper behind my shoulder. ‘There‘s .\lr Crow.‘ I turned to say. ‘thank you. but no autographs. sorry.‘ only to be met by a smirking guardian whose eyes spoke of both pity and contempt. l was doing it for the kids. I wanted to say.