Thursday 31 August 2017

Double Act

Linda Casper 

lemon and ginger herbal tea

It was another full house.  May noted that the audience was mainly made up of middle aged ladies with eyes firmly fixed on Frankie.  With his youthful figure and his full head of hair, he was quite the silver fox.  May thought back to the time when she was the main attraction of their comedy double act as they toured prestigious venues; the Tower Blackpool, big hotels at Scarborough, the Spa at Bridlington and City Varieties in Leeds.  In those days she would wear slinky, low cut, mini dresses with sparkly high-heeled shoes.  Young men would be waiting for her at the stage door, sometimes with flowers, often with proposals which she never took further.  Frankie would be jealous but May had always been a faithful wife.  

May knew she still looked good on the publicity posters but nothing short of cosmetic surgery could conceal her true age under the spotlights.  This was not an option for her; she had seen too many female performers trying to hold on to their youth but ending up looking more like freaks.

The show was going down well.   The “knock, knock” jokes were always a good icebreaker and the mother-in-law stories always raised a laugh.  The banter continued and the audience was responsive.  After years of working together, Frankie and May’s timing was excellent.

“Who was that lady I saw you with at the bus stop?” May asked.

“That was no lady, that was my wife!” retorted Frankie.

“Who was that lady you were seen with at the Red Lion on Tuesday?” May asked.

The hesitation was apparent and May saw Frankie visibly pale beneath his stage make-up before he collected himself and answered, “that was no lady, that was my wife”.

The audience was puzzled and even more confused when May began to storm off the stage, pausing only to slap her husband across his face on her way out.

You may be wondering if that was the end of the double act.  Not at all, only now it was billed as Frankie and Hayley with the latter getting most of the attention from the audience.  

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