Eastbourne In Ten Minutes

| We're Due In Eastbourne In Ten Minutes - Photograph |

In the seventies there was a drama competition held every year and Salvo, represented by Colin F. Tufnell, entered religiously. In 1975 (ish, might have been '76) CFT entered a production called "We're Due In Eastbourne In Ten Minutes" a farce involving a very surreal Monty-Pythonish plot and very strange characters. The cast was Paul Herbert and yours truly as the married couple (This was a salvo-only production and there were no girls) Richard (later head-boy) Martin, Jeremy Goggins and "Jock" Kavanagh in a hilarious walk-on part. (There was one other whose name, I'm ashamed to say, I've completely forgotten.) There are two reasons why this production haunts me.

One is that it was incredible fun. We toured with the play and put it on away from Salvo. This meant going to a strange theatre, meeting girls (oh brother!) and getting a chance to see life behind the scenes at a different level. This travelling gave me the first "one night stand" of my life with one of the wardrobe girls at the Questors theatre. She was about twenty, (I was probably pushing seventeen) overweight big style and fully knew the score with back-stage shagging. I'd had a few beers, a shock and ... not knowing the post-coital etiquette for this event, and feeling more than a bit guilty, I managed to find out her 'phone number and gave her a ring the next day ... Big Fucking Mistake.

The second reason (which involves the first reason later!) I remember it is because of Paul Herbert dressed as a woman. Now let's get one thing straight here, this was not Paul Herbert in drag, this was Paul dressed, padded and made up by a very good theatre make-up department to look like a woman. And they did it rather well. It was so disconcerting, more than that; at first it was downright disturbing, because not only was Paul transformed into a woman ... but a rather good-looking one at that. Since the drama club involved lots of beer drinking, at one point after the performance, on the final competition day, I found myself with a few Newcastle Brown Ales in my belly, sitting opposite Paul, who was still made up (we must have been waiting for the results of the contest or something) and I, all of sixteen, realised ... I fancied her ... er him, no not him, her, yes her but it's a him, I mean...OH FUCK!!!! So I went next door and managed to shag the rather overweight wardrobe girl just to make sure that I wasn't turning ... you know.
(Robin Lambert 71-78)

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