Hello everybody, the Lodge Porter reporting again. Thats interesting, isnt it - porter is an anagram of report. Appropriate Id say. Anyway, Im digressing already which is a bad sign. So to the point. Elkfest 98. Another storming event, well up (or down) to the usual standard. Grand Master Billimott was nowhere to be seen, which given his ever increasing size is quite remarkable (David Coleman impersonation when reading the last two words before these in brackets, please). Rumour has it that he was hiding behind the hedge which was not involved in the cabaret this year, and that leads me on nicely to .... the cabaret, obviously.
This years elkfest woolly warmers were not only reduced in number (see comments later), but, talking of later, which I just did whilst hiding in my brackets, whereas this is in commas, were also late in starting, due to congestion in the car park, kick-off being delayed until nearly 9.00pm. However, this tardiness (no relation to previous Elkfests and Tardises) did not affect the quality of the performances.
First up, off or on, depending on your direction, was a variant of a previous cabaret act performed by the Mitchells of Lawford Lodge. This time it came from the Widdington Lodge expertly enacted by Paul and Mary. Entitled "A little grey magic", with the promise that it would be the most dangerous act ever performed at an Elkfest, the audience were gripped from the start. In brief, a playing card was selected by Mary from a brand newish pack , sealed in an envelope and forced to spontaneously combust (the envelope and card, not Mary). Using all her skills Mary was able to project the card to another envelope microseconds before it burst into flames and much to the surprise of the audience the card was found intact in an envelope which had been deposited with polly the parrot earlier. Unbeknown to the audience, Mary, Paul and the rest of the crew of Babylon 5, later examination of the pack revealed no missing card, so one has to upgrade the title of the act to "A lot of black magic".
Next on, after a quick change of costume for Paul, were the numerically challenged Three Goatees. Numerically challenged because there were four of them. This double duo of talentless, sorry, talented entertainers provided much merriment with a re-enactment of the (Alec) Guinness advert. Its just a shame that they didnt have a bit more rehearsal time as their timing seemed in need of some adjustment by the local garage. Still, at least after the punchline "Now theres a drink that takes a long time to pour", someone got the benefit of consuming the prop.
Act three, and enter stage left or right depending on which way you were facing at the time, the most amazing dance routine you have ever seen. Aluminium foil (or for our friends from the US of A, aluminum foil) was flying everywhere as Carol and Angie bopped, bipped, bapped and burped to the sounds of ABBA emanating through the ether (or kitchen). The only hitch in a flawless performance was a technical one delaying the start (just how do you get your boots on when they are sealed with aluminium (aluminum) foil)? Even this did not detract from the laugh a second performance (well Carol and Angie were laughing every second), with our Master of the Clipboard, Paul Mitchell filling in with tales (tails) of a dog.
The next act saw Dr. Philip Bailey produce a logical red briefcase and expound his theory of monetary policies over the years. Despite some heckling from the back (the only place to heckle from), the good doctor keep going .... and going ..... and going ..... until finally announcing 2p on a pint of beer and 10p on a packet of fags. Where would Elkfest be without a little education ......
To round off this years cabaret,
there was a welcome return to Phil and Hayden who, with last years Juicy Lucy, made
a really big splash (if you can do that with ice cubes). Rumours were rife that microwaves
and tapes were involved, but the main thrust of the act was to turn the focus on the
audience. Everyone was involved, some maybe a bit too much (Rob nearly had to be
restrained with his own handcuffs .... and Im still not sure if handcuffs are legal
at Elkfests), with two teams battling it out to recognise various theme tunes and be the
first to don the policeman's helmet (and theres another strange link to handcuffs).
Various prizes were awarded, although I think Id rather have kept the points). By
the way, there was a microwave involved, which was used to heat up one of the prizes.
Next was the usual attempt to educate us in the strange and mysterious music of King Crimson, and this years piece of education was Matte Kudasai, a tricky little number, but nicely tucked away, with Phil sensibly denying all knowledge of this one. The third song brought back an all-time favourite (of Pauls) with Walking on the Moon (otherwise know by Paul as dah dah dah, dah dah dah) by the Police (more references to handcuffs). Nice dah dah dahing. Now the band were well tuned up and ready to doze off, but were interrupted by one of the highlights of the set, Midnight Blues. Cool - especially as it was about 10.30pm by now. A quick dash through the Eagles' Long Train Running was followed by the last number (except the inevitable encore) which was a surprise to everyone, the band included. A superb display by Carol and Phil singing "WE DON'T GET ALONG SOCIALLY" which was originally a song called Socially by that really well known band the Sinceros (really well known by at least 4 people). And so to the encore - yes once more Mustang Sally was out riding around, wiping those weeping eyes. I think the version this year missed James' delicate vamping. Maybe next year.
Yet another short interlude and a cast of thousands took to the stage for a wonderful performance of that well known radio play, Star Trek - The Mixed Generation. Amongst the cast, merit awards should go to a superb Australian Dater and a touching Doctor McCoy impersonating Julian Clary. Also the most realistic Minnie Mouse voice of Captain Janeway must be singled out and destroyed on some far off planet. The audience provided some class sound effects as usual, especially Mary with a fine long zip, Mike with a tea strainer and Rob/Erica destroying a microphone with a can of beer (the bill, sorry another reference to handcuffs, is in the post).
And here are the later comments (see earlier comments):
Just to remind those of you who did not attend this year's Elkfest, it is a condition of lodge membership that you must attend at least one Elkfest every two years. Those of you who do not, could face heavy fines and compulsory clipping of antlers :-)
See you at Elkfest '99
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