Saturday, December 10, 2022

Lord Bonkers' Diary: Facing in the right direction

I once saw Count Arthur Strong at the Leicester Comedy Festival. He spent his first few minutes at the back of the stage, facing away from the audience and trying to part the curtains there. When he finally noticed us, he complained bitterly to his offstage manager that he had been booked in a theatre that was "the wrong way round". He wanted all the stages on his tour to face the same way.

The Count, incidentally, is funnier live than on radio or television because you get more of the garbled theatrical memories that are his strongest point. 

Reader's voice: Never mind that. So what you are telling us is that you stole this joke?

Liberal England replies hurriedly: It doesn't do for these introductions get too long. Time for the diary entry!


Talking of Davey, I went along to his leader’s speech the other day – I suppose a leader’s speech without a party conference is what those fellows in suits dream about, but I missed the stalls area and the chance to clear my pipes and belt out ‘The Land’. 

I fear Davey was rather let down by his advisers, as he spent the entire speech Facing The Wrong Way. It’s true: the audience was behind him! My theory as to what happened is this: Davey was all set to make a speech in Brighton when September’s event was called off because of the death of our beloved Queen, and no doubt he had rehearsed at the venue – the Pavilion, the West Pier or wherever. 

There, I assume, one turned left on leaving the star dressing room to reach the stage, whereas at this week’s event he was required to turn right and no one in his backroom staff remembered to tell him.

 Gladstone, when he embarked upon his Midlothian campaign, employed a man to make sure he was facing in the right direction at all times, and Davey should do the same.

Lord Bonkers was Liberal MP for Rutland South West, 1906-10.

Earlier this week...

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