Monday, 30 November 2015

Thou Shalt Not Steal Other Performers' Material!

  Relieved to hear that a certain international showgirl is refusing to go abroad this Friday. I can keep swinging my ageing legs right up to the moment I go onstage in Denmark, and not have to stand with my ear to the auditorium wall to hear which of my lines she uses before I do go on. 
  Though, as it says in Ecclesiastes, there is nothing new under the sun, the archaic subject matter I have chosen to lampoon in my interactive drag ballet routine has given rise to some originality.  But certainly not enough to spare.  As TV producer Piers Torday once quipped to mentalist Chris Cox:
  'Don't worry that your new show's taking this long to write, love. Madame Galina has written one new line every eighteen months for thirty years and that's done her!' 
  And she doesn't want others using any of those forty-five lines.
  Yes, I know, it's easy for me not to have to steal from others - again, the archaic premise of my act has seen to that. And I actually feel guilty interrupting my opening ballet solo to curtsey to a punter who has wolf-whistled perhaps, or applauded a gag, or tried to put a fiver down the front of my tutu - because I got that from 19th century Prima Donna Adelina Patti.  
  Actually, not the fiver down the tutu bit... 
  Patti was appearing at Covent Garden in Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor. On the night of her arranged wedding in Lammermuir Castle, north-east Scotland, the insane Lucy murders her husband Arthur with his own sword, leaving him in their nuptial bed looking like a used pomegranate and cranberry infusion. She then goes back to her wedding feast, deluded that she is now getting married to her true love, Edgar. Patti came right out of character during this "Mad Scene" one night and walked simpering down to the footlights to curtsey to a baronet, who had called out something admiring. 
  Actually, he'd dropped his jewelled snuff box on his ankle and sworn. 
  It was Patti, furthermore - or maybe Tetrazzini? - who thought that the sporran was 'indelicate' and, as Lucia, wore her kilt back to front.  
  Making stuffing that fiver in it even more of a challenge. 
  Anyway, be all that as it may: don't steal other people's material. 


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