4th April 2018, Haunt, Stoke Newington
Host: Good Ness Gracious
Stage Manager: Poppy Liqueur
Line up: Lotta Love, Winnie Pelteez, Eileen Bothways, Vicious von Vixen, Lydia Wildauer
This is our, um… tenth… Apothecary, I think…and our sixth in a row – which is pretty cool. But anyway, to hell with an introduction, let’s get some restoration courtesy of MARIPOSA BOP. Over to you Bop!
Bop: “This mic stand is too high!… cos the host is taller than me!”
“Welcome to The Apothecary volume twenty-eight!”
“This light is so bright I can’t see!” says Bop. “I’m just going to do this like this…”
As she stands up to shield her eyes from the light…
PLONK! The mic falls off the stand!
“Hello… hello” says Bop, picking it back up. “…don’t touch the microphone!”
Ah, but all seems better now… at least for us!
“My feet are starting to hurt from standing on my tippie-toes.”
“It’s my pleasure to welcome to the stage… your host for this evening… this gorgeous chameleon…”
GOOD NESS GRACIOUS!
Ness leaps out of the shadows and onto the stage: blonde hair, red dress, tall, gorgeous, voluptuous.
Ness: “I am Good Ness Gracious… Call me Ness!”
“That’s a nice dress, Ness!”
Audience: “That’s a nice dress, Ness!”
“What drink do you like best, Ness?”
Audience: “What drink do you like best, Ness?”
Ness: “Oh, a gin and tonic, please!”
“How are you feeling?”
“I’m here to keep an eye on who and what you’re feeling?”
“I want to see some oohs, ahhs, and oh yeah babys”
“I’m gonna sing you a song…”
“You has plenty money…1922…you let other women make a fool of you… why don’t you do right like some other men do… get me some money too…”
And with that… Ness begins to wander the audience: lookyloo at the picture down belooo:
Ness: “Our first act: he’s going to take you on a journey… he’s going to stun you. Who’s ready?”
“Put your hands together for…”
VICIOUS VON VIXEN
Vicious arrives on stage… tall, dark, handsome, devious, attired in a black suit… he’s dapper. He’s going to do some magic and some predictions and some downright brilliant hocus pocus.
V: “As a mentalist I am able to predict the human mind…”
“To commence the production, I will learn the process of the mind…”
Vicious brings some apples out of his pocket, throws them loosely and nonchalantly into the crowd. Two people catch these apples, look apprehensive about what to do with them…
V: “Those of you with the apples stand up… throw the apples across the room from you…”
“These two human beings… how easy can they read… I shall now place a blindfold over my eyes…”
“My friends… gentlemen to my left… raise your hand high into the air…”
One man raises his hand.
“Is it the right hand?”
“To my left… raise you hand…”
Another raises his hand.
“Is is the right hand?”
Very good… but what about his next act?
We have five billiard balls on a table, and a lady in a black leather jacket from the audience to participate. The aim is for the lady to hide the balls about her jacket and trousers, and then Vicious will guess which ball she has in which pocket.
“Take my balls when you’re ready…”
“Look at one of the balls, ingrain the colour into your mind. And now place the ball into your pocket.”
This continues until four balls are placed in her pockets, and she’s holding the fifth behind her back.
“I believe in your right jacket pocket you have the BLACK ball?”
“In your left jacket pocket you have… the GREEN?”
“The right trouser pocket… YELLOW”
“Left trouser pocket… RED”
“And in your hand… you have the BLACK”
Ness: “Our next act is slightly unusual… a strange clown…”
“So give me plenty of oohs, ahhs, and uh huhs!”
“I have no idea what we’re about to see…”
Oooh, a little clown has appeared. Dark hair, moustache, big eyebrows… the clown wears a black suit and a gold hat. Boom-boom jazz music plays.
The clown wanders into the light a little more, poses, admires the audience, opens his jacket and PULLS OUT A POLKA DOT HIGH HEEL SHOE!
A shoe fetish clown!
The clown parades the shoe… it’s love, love, glorious, mad-dancing clown, LOVE!
But this shoe is not enough. Not enough love for this shoe. The clown wants more!
Tip-toeing over to a member of the audience, the clown strikes… falling head over heels in love with a pair of laced boots:
Untying the boots slowly, gently, lovingly, the clown removes the boot and turns back onto the stage. The clown idolizes the shoe, dotes on it, romances it…
Ah, pretty boot… sexy boot… that boot was made for clowning!
The trousers are stripped! Flung away into the back of the room…
The shirt goes flying after… Biceps… FLEX!
The clown’s wearing what looks like a yellow Corona beer wrestlers getup. How cool!
The clown bounces around seducing and playing with the audience… a business card handed to one, a glittery dick out his pants for another…
But that’s it… the love machine has simmered down… returns the boot to the audience member and retires into the darkness.
Oh, and here’s Ness for a little Ukulele sing song about Mariposa Bop. Sadly, the lyrics are lost on me right now…
But it leads into a crazy little game…
BOP & POPPY’S GAME!
Bop: “We need two teams of two… this is a cross between an egg and spoon race and a three-legged race…”
Oh, but it’s much different than that! Tiny spoons, Kinder Eggs and a whole lot of mayhem.
Bop: “You have to race to the end of the stage without dropping the egg, and then race back again, eat the egg and make the toy.”
And. Here. We. Go!
They’re off… eggs falling off, twisting, turning, this is better than the Grand National… and they’re stumbling and bumbling… but they make it in the end…
Now a race to eat and make…
I have no idea what they made, but apparently the result is a tie.
Ness: “We want to be tied to everyone!”
And yes, it’s true.
Ness: “Our next act… please welcome to the stage… a comedienne and much more…”
Chelsea leaps on stage: glasses, quiffed hair, she’s a woman of action! And she has some jokes in her locker. Jokes about Alaska, Trump, America, Trump’s America, Canada, how long it takes to travel in Alaska, Brits, British teeth…
As it turns out, Chelsea has more going than just jokes. It turns out she’s a singer. An opera singer. And a bloody opera singer.
But… this is opera with a kitchen sink difference…
“I forgot to put the bins out…”
Ah, if only British kitchen sink dramas involved opera singing…
Smoky in Rainy Stokey
Ness: “Welcome to the second part of the show…now we’re going to see some sexiness…”
“I’m very excited about this next performer… she’s come all the way from Brussels… she’s going to take us all down the rabbit hole…”
Blue dress, head bow, rabbit in her hands…
Some odd plink-plonk music… discordant and strange.
Rabbit undoes her belt… and the rabbit even strips.
Ohhhh… Winnie’s going down the rabbit hole…
And she emerges… a teeny-tiny bottle of something in her hands… which she drinks..
GLUG! GLUG! GLUG!
BIG ELECTRONIC MUSIC!
A spinning striptease!
Winnie’s dancing, spinning, falling to the floor… and writhing, twirling on the stage…
BUT MORE MUSIC!
BIG BUNS HUN!
Ass shake… bottom dance!
Ass shake… ass tassels… a clock, a teapot…
Ness: “Did we all enjoy our trip down the rabbit hole?”
“Cabaret is a place where you can do all sorts of things…”
“Our next performer… is a drag performer… and wow… it’s…”
Eileen’s looking very sharp and striking tonight. Purple hair, black latex dress w/leopard print breasts, a leopard print jacket.
Sound FX: “I’m not of this world…”
The jacket comes off!
And Eileen goes raving and rumbling across the stage…
Fearsome… tough… strong… wicked… throwing fireballs and lightning… a thunder goddess!
And now the latex is peeling off… FLUBBER! FLUBBER! FLUBBER!
[I know that sound and feeling well]
And down to knickers… but not staying long… some trousers are being pulled on… a shirt buttoned up… the wig comes off – short dark hair slicked back underneath…
There’s some audio commentary about young people today…comments on snowflakes.
SLAP! Eileen slaps a snowflake to their chest…
Some music! WE’RE NOT ALONE by PEEPING TOM
Eileen rants, raves, punches along to the music… the rolling thunder continues, explodes, annihilates…
Ticker tape explodes across the room!
And they’re gone… vanished in a cloud of shiny paper.
One hell of a performance!
Ness: “Our last performer of the night…go wild for…”
Darkness, eerie music… Lotta Love slinks onto the stage…
Long dark hair, black underwear, heels, long shiny gloves and not much else.
Sitting down on a chair she begins to move and slide her hands around herself.
These are slow moves involving the senses and their temptations. It’s a smouldering act of fire, heat and proportion. Each gloved hand moves around, each time covering her breasts… the hands move up her chest… up her neck… wrapping themselves around her…
And back into the darkness…
All photos credit: Jon Ellis at JME-PHOTOART