Never say never again

IPSWICH'S own wanna-be-celeb-cum-would-be-jetset-playboy James Marston today reports on his latest exploits.I said the last one would be my last. I said never again.

IPSWICH'S own wanna-be-celeb-cum-would-be-jetset-playboy James Marston today reports on his latest exploits.

I said the last one would be my last.

I said never again.

Though what I say and what I do often bear no resemblance to each other - I said I'd be thin by Christmas 2004 and that never happened. I was sure that my appearances on stage had reached their conclusion. The final curtain had fallen.

But despite the sheer panic, fear, anxiety, increased heart rate, dizzy spells and utter terror of performing, I found myself treading the boards once again last week singing and dancing for the entertainment of others.

Alongside my plain-speaking-photographer-friend-Lucy, the not-to-be-crossed-Stephanie-the-diva and my-entertaining-blonde-and-Rubenesque-friend-Samantha, I and several other leading lights of the Ipswich frightfully Operatic and once again Dramatic Society (IODS) were to be found strutting our stuff on the stage of Felixstowe's Spa Pavilion.

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Now I admit there were a few hiccups.

Stephanie, who had the honour of dancing with me in one of the numbers, was a soupcon unpredictable as a performer - we either forgot the moves and remembered the words or we remembered the words and forgot the moves - and I admit I once or twice moved when I shouldn't have and on one memorable moment found myself on the wrong side of a stage just moments before I was due to step on it.

Nothing, however, can compete with the moment I came out on stage dressed as a Mummy with the immortal line “You have violated the ancient tomb and now you must die.”

As my journalist friend Lynne, who is very big in theatrical circles and very well known in the Ipswich amateur dramatic fraternity, said: “Darling, You were….What can I say? It was a triumph. As us luvvies know, one line is so difficult to deliver.”

A somewhat ambiguous comment I thought.

However, it wasn't the line that gave me trouble when I appeared as the mummy; the words were quickly followed by a dance routine during which my costume, ill fitting at the best of times and despite the last minute addition of extra strong elastic, had a tendency to slip around my middle.

Indeed, on the Thursday the audience of the Spa Pavilion were treated to a brief and what must have been unexpected glimpse of my underwear as I struggled to follow blonde Samantha in the Egyptian sand dance.

Lindsay -a longstanding member of the IODS and a lady who has seen it all before- confirmed my suspicions that something was untoward as I headed with hastened relief into the wings.

“Were they black James?” she laughed, as I whispered to her an account of my near total public humiliation.

“Yes,” I replied, too shocked to elaborate.

“I thought so. I spotted something as you moved around,” she added cheerfully, as she headed off to change into her frock for the second half.

“Never again,” I said to myself as I slipped on a sequinned waistcoat and reapplied some foundation.

THE trusty rusty Rover is in trouble again.

Now it has developed a most unpleasant scream as I turn right only cured by application of the brakes. What a strange motor.

To add to my worries the radio has stopped working leaving me bereft of a chance to catch up on The Archers and without the added comfort of Gardener's Question time on a Sunday afternoon-a programme which I enjoy but is somewhat slightly redundant to me as I don't have a garden.

OH isn't it fantastic? Strictly Come Dancing has started again. Though I haven't been asked to take part-a mere oversight by Bruce's people I'm sure -I expect I shall be viewing.

Indeed, I shall push back the sofa, slip on some slip-ons and turn my little Ipswich sitting room into my own ball room.

Although I'm no expert I have had a number of lessons, I wonder if they'd like me as a judge.

It's always handy to have a bottle of vodka near to hand. If you get stung by a jellyfish splash some Voddy over the affected area and things will soon start to get better as the alcohol neutralizes the sting.

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