A Funny Thing Happened to me on the way to the Theatre

A funny thing happened to me on the way to the theatre 


I thought you would enjoy this, and if I turn it into a short story and stick it on Amazon, perhaps they will pay me commission when you buy it.


But I am running ahead of myself; let me start at the beginning.


In the early 1970’s my family moved to London to lead two congregations for a particular denomination. Samantha, one of the young ladies in the church, said to my wife, ‘I’ve got two tickets for Godspell, which you come with me to see it?’


Pauline is never one to say no to a freebie, so whilst I stayed at home to baby-sit, they headed off to the west end.


During the show the audience was invited to join the cast on stage in a on stage communion service. Pauline and Samantha were far away up in the balcony; a steward explained that to go to the stage they would have to leave the theatre and re-enter by the stage door.


Both of them were keen to join in the fun and left the theatre in search of the stage door.  In the west end, the theatres huddle together cheek by jowl. As they tried to enter the stage door they found themselves confronted by two burly bouncers who would not let them in, Pauline got into a heated and noisy debate with the men, to no avail.  The ladies eventually discovered they were trying to enter the wrong theatre; they had been attempting to join Diana Rigg on stage in Pygmalion. 


The following evening we were out for dinner with my old friends Dan and Norma Wooding of ASSIST News.  During the evening Pauline told Dan what had happened to her and Samantha at the theatre, and Dan, being the eternal journalist and at the time freelancing for the London press, asked permission to create some copy with their escapade.  Pauline shrugged and said, ‘why not, go for it!’ Neither of us thought any more about it.


The following week the daily papers began carrying the story, and many of our friends called us when they saw it in their paper of choice.  The largest spread was in the Daily Express and it even appeared in the notorious Private Eye.


A detail you need to be aware of, in the opinion of the denomination for which I was working, going to the theatre was frowned upon as a ‘worldly experience’ to be avoided at all cost, especially by the wives of ministers. Not, I should add, a view that I personally subscribed to.
Two weeks later I had a phone call from the denomination head quarters, the big boss wanted to meet with me. I received no explanation as to why, only the summons.  I headed off to HQ and received a dressing down for not keeping my wife under control, and was informed that my potential as a future ‘world leader’ was being jeopardised by such lax behaviour.  I was then given a generous payment to cover my expenses and I headed home.


At that time, in the early seventies, women’s roles were blurred and unformed, but one thing was clear, their place was at home, and my job, as the minister was not to be doing the baby sitting. Unfortunately, the attitude still lingers in some areas.  Pauline was exceedingly miffed at not being able to put her side of the story. To soften it, I took the family out for dinner with the expenses.


Six months later I had a call from my good friend Dr. Phil Moor, prior to a recent train journey he had purchased a book by Stephen Pile entitled Heroic Failures. The author, who classes himself as a failed writer had decided to compile a list of failures and turn it into a book, which went on to become a best seller, and made him a lot of money. Phil told me that Pauline’s failed attempt to get onto the stage of Godspell was one of the stories in the book.


Thanks Dan, someone made some money from Pauline’s story, all I got was a reprimand! 

For Adrian’s Blog
 www.adrianhawkes.blogspot.com
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Editor: A. Brookes

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1 Response

  1. adrian2526 says:

    PETER BAYLISS
    Yes a good read…..but then to anyone who knows Pauline !
    You do need i think to have some personal experience with Pauline
    to understand it at the point of the story……or is it that remembering
    her from years ago `colours` the episode that strangers might not see.
    Sorry Adrian, the story has been used with some success it appears
    so who am i to make any effective comment. Peter

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