The End of the Pier Show
For one night only on 24th June, a splendiferous seaside pier entertainment was available, following in the traditions of the Pierrot troupes who began seaside variety shows in 1891.
Compere for the show, Beryl Hales, may have appeared to be strangely attired as a 1980s sad clown doll but she explained that her hat and ruff were copies of the original Pierrot entertainer’s costume. She led us into communal singing of seaside favourites such as ‘I do like to be beside the seaside’, ‘Summer holiday’ and ‘The sun has got his hat on’.
Between songs she introduced our stellar home-grown artistes: Chris Hyett who gave an illustrated lecture about Punch and Judy, Jan Collins reciting Gerard Hoffnung’s funny but painful recollections of ‘The Bricklayer’, author Marilyn Tomlinson reading us her true to life poem about a club trip and Sara Trayers who amazed us by attempting to beat the world record for the number of joked told in one hour.
As our comedian only had 2 minutes of joke telling, she had to tell 16 ½ jokes and raise a laugh or reaction from the audience for each one of them to reach the equivalent of the record 499 in an hour. Of course, she thoroughly exceeded the record although, if truth is told, she raised more groans than laughs.
Unfortunately, our dance troupe were delayed and were unable to perform. But as the audience had demonstrated how good they were at dancing from their performances of the Chair Charleston during our 90th anniversary year, they were invited to become the dancers for the evening. They gave a spirited performance of a chair line dance to the Steps hit, ‘5,6,7,8’ and added to the western atmosphere with their shouts of ‘yeeha’.
A cheerful finale rendition of ‘Happy days are here again’ ended our piece of seaside fun.
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