The Frank Spencer Trio.   1 comment

IN THE BEGINNING.

Hands up those of you who have seen The Frank Spencer Trio perform, If you haven’t been to a Smycms After Show Party then you won’t have had the pleasure. Here is a brief reminder, the year was 2000 and SMYCMS were performing the musical Anything Goes by Cole Porter, as tradition dictates, the majority of cast and crew, after the show each night would make their way to a suitable drinking establishment namely the Nova Hotel at Bruntsfield. It was there on a dark and stormy night that the fiendish, nay, cunning plan to perform a musical interlude at the After Show Party for the amusement of the company, first reared its ugly head. The three The Frank Spencer Trio.plotters, namely Graham, Alan and Tony, would sit giggling in the corner with their cider and babycham for company, and they would produce an idea that was so simple yet would be awesome in its reveal.THE IDEAThe Song picked was an obvious choice, “Be Like A Bluebird” which as you recall was sung in the show by Kevin who was playing the character of Moonface Martin, a small time crook. It was also picked because it was easy to learn. Next came the costume, which again picked itself, Moonface Martin as one of his disguises dressed up as a Minister, this combined with the Beret and Raincoat of one Frank Spencer, what’s that you say “Why Frank Spencer?”, Well, anyone who knows Kevin will say what a great guy he is and a fine character actor too boot, unfortunately the character he keeps thinking of is Frank Spencer. You wouldn’t believe the hours the three of us stood in front of the mirror going, “nnnnngggghhhh” and smiling out the corner of mouths aka Frank. Perfection doesn’t come easy, anyway I digress from my tale, we now had a song and a costume, al we would have to do next would be to choreograph a routine but wait Graham wasn’t finished with the costume for he had something up his sleeve, sorry I should say up his trouser leg. This small attention to detail would ultimately provide the BIG END that we needed to maximise the punchline, but it also nearly consigned our ideas to the waste paper bin as we started to get cold feet.
THE COSTUME
The Frank Spencer Trio Too
In this enlightened age the sight of  two blokes going into a toilet together  wouldn’t raise an eyebrow now would  it, But back in 2000 these things were  never seen, at least not in the places  I visited, and so it was that the only  place for some privacy was the toilet  on the corridor leading from the  dressing rooms up to the stage area.  Graham and Tony snuck in quietly and in secret to the toilet. obviously they wanted no one to see them and ask what they were up to also they didn’t want folk to think there were doubts about their sexuality, Oh how folk talk, ” Here did you see that Graham and Tony going into the toilet together, didn’t I tell you there was something going on between them, have you seen them in the pub after the show they always sit whispering and giggling in a corner, I tell you there’s something brewing and its not Tea.” It was Saturday between shows, the matinee had finished and they had had something to eat, it was time to put the finishing touches to the costumes. It was Graham who had come up with the idea, though he had wanted to drop their trousers fully but Tony and Alan had knocked back  that idea so they all settled for a compromise and so there stood Tony, in front, bent forward as Graham set to work with his scissors  to cut two large holes in Tonys trousers. Tony could feel the hot breath lingering on his now exposed cheeks something was stirring……(ED. can we just get back to the story please.) I’m Sorry I was getting carried away there, anyways Graham says to Tony ” Right come on get your other trousers on and we’ll get back to the dressing room we don’t want to arouse suspicions.” Tony looked at him, mystified ” What do you mean OTHER TROUSERS!!” Graham started to laugh, ” You mean you’ve not brought a change, how are you going to get back without being seen. What a DIV.”  Slowly it dawned on Tony, what a Tube he thought to himself, soon they were both laughing, Graham at Tony!  Quickly they hot footed it back to the dressing room, Tony first with Graham following closely, bringing up the rear (ED. A sort of rear guard action.) Everything was slipping in to place (ED. I thought you said there was nothing going on!!!.) What I mean is they now had a song, costumes and a routine all that was left was to Rehearse, Rehearse, Rehearse and they would be all set for a live performance.

 

THE REHEARSALS

Alan was wondering what he had let himself in for, as he gingerly pulled on his newly adapted trousers.
(ED. You mean bottomless don’t you.)
You remember Alan don’t you, the third member of The Frank Spencer Trio. Level headed, talented, sophisticated and good looking too boot.
(ED. why does my copy say “as an old …”)
Alans job was to keep the other two in check, giving them just enough rope to be creative but little enough so as to quickly rein them in should their creativity get the better of them, ” C’mon guys” he would moan, eyes rolling skywards, “Stick to the script”, then he would remind them that preparation is the key to success, plenty of rehearsal and attention to detail would mean a performance that would be slick and professional.
(ED. For those of you who have been to an After Show Party, I’m sure the word OIL springs to mind.)
Alan always liked to be prepared, while the other two would quite happily wing it by the seat of their pants, though on this occasion they would have two large holes cut in the seat of their pants.
(ED.tell the reader what the holes are for.)
Oh I’m terribly sorry, have I not said, I do beg your pardon. Let me just consult the dictionary, ” To Moon, to wander about and gaze vacantly at anything.
(ED. Hey! that pretty much describes the cheorre, chorryigra, movement.)
Hold on it’s the line below and I quote, ” Moon, To drop ones trousers and Y-Fronts while bending forwards thus revealing your moon cheeks”, only this time our intrepid trio would not be dropping their trousers, they would merely be bending over thus revealing the punchline…..?. Hence the holes in the trousers. Six holes, Six lily white cheeks, Six letters…M..O..O..N..I..E… Who managed to keep a straight face?, How did she manage to keep a steady hand, Who thought it tickled?, and why did Boots No.7 Lipstick have such a lasting effect for one of the Trio?. Find out these and other answers as we reveal the lady who was asked to write the word MOONIE across six cheeks using Ruby Red Lipstick?.

THE PUNCHLINE

The countdown had started, was it a question of sport or just pleasure, that was the 64,000 dollar question for our three intrepid (ED. so much better than insipid, don’t you think) heroes. Would they hit the bullseye or would it be a wipeout only a mastermind could say. Which one would be the weakest link, and who would…(ED. hey do I detect a theme here?) Shhhh, I’m setting the scene for the next part of the story (ED. oh I’m Sorry.)

Can you imagine the scene, (ED. haven’t you just told everyone?) as Graham attempted to raise the subject of the entertainment at the After Show Party, and the need to borrow some lipstick, (ED. For legal reasons we can not reveal the identity of the person who was to ultimately brandish said lipstick like hot iron across those lily white cheeks as if she were branding cattle, in Grahams case it was more like, “this is not just any cattle, this is Aberdeen Angus cattle at the Ponderosa Ranch, YEEE HAAAR”.) For the purpose of our tale let her be known as Ann, though she did look remarkably like Grahams good lady, Graham assured us that he had met her down at the docks, I think he said she had a business down on Salamander Street. Come to think of it there used to be a Demolition Company there, and he did say she was good at blowing things up, for a small fee.

“Ann dearest”, simpered Graham, “Yes Graham my hunky wunky hubby wubby” replied Ann, ” How can little old me help liddle old you” she lookd up from her copy of Exchange and Mart only to see Graham standing before her with nothing on except his working boots and a pit helmet, holding a gold cushion upon which he had placed his crown jewels, as he sang, ” Frys Turkish Delight, Frys Turkish Delight”. Well what do you know, it worked, Ann agreed to everything, use of lipstick, application of lipstick etc., Graham The Frank Spencer Trio almost reveal allhad an uncanny knack of persuading people, how else do you think he got Alan and Tony to agree to do this party piece.(ED. I don’t remember Graham having a gold cushion, oh yes I do, it was the one his good lady used for her pins when she kept them in her wee sewing basket, Boom Boom.)

Ann was surprisingly shake free, considering she was laughing, as she carefully wrote M…O…., that was Graham covered, then O…N…, and that was Alan sorted, finally I…E… and Tony felt relieved. It was just as well Ann could spell  because we would have looked complete divs if we had turned round and revealed  O N I E M O, Thank you Ann for you help, but there is just one thing that has puzzled me for all these years, did you just put the lipstick back into your make-up bag or has it been sold on EBAY….(ED. of course she didn’t put it back you div, after she’d written MOONIE across your three fat arses there would be nothing left, I ask you!!). Join us next time when we reveal the Crit by Tom Dustbin, that was never published, of the performance by the Frank Spencer Trio. This is Frank Exposure reporting from the Gents Toilet at Marco’s Leisure Centre, saying Goodbye.

 

REUNION TIME

In 2006 Smycms staged Guys and Dolls and for two reasons this was an unusual year as firstly it saw Smycms having to move away from its usual venue The Church Hill Theatre and relocate to the George Square Theatre, and secondly it marked the reunion of the original line up of The Frank Spencer Trio. The last time they had performed together was in Anything Goes back in 2000. Graham had rejoined the company to play the part of Lieutenant Brannigan, and a fine job he did of it but it took him ages to get the accent right, as he always used to say “if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right”. Soon it wasn’t long before thoughts turned to the After Show Party and the half time entertainment, Alan, Tony and Graham decided they would reunite as the Frank Spencer Trio, ideas began to flow, some discarded, others left to simmer until finally it was decided we would parody the Committee picking next years show. Alan was entrusted to write the words, Tony would edit where required and print the finished sketch while Graham came up with the idea of wearing costumes, Whose bright idea was it to wear costumes?costumes from the Wizard of Oz actually, the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion and the Scarecrow. We should mention at this stage that it was Tony who came up with the play on words of Dulce de Leche, the drink that Sarah gets drunk with in Guys and Dolls, and flat-u lenche which is a side effect of having too many milk shakes. Now in order to recreate this affliction Tony had to buy a Fart Machine. (ED:For anyone who doesn’t know it’s a small battery operated box, that, when the remote control is pressed it emits a sound just like a ……., lets just say it does what it says on the box) Unfortunately the Fart Machine hadn’t been purchased when the trio had their first run through at Alans flat, but unknown to them something was about to happen  that none of them could have anticipated. Remember that scene in the film the Pink Panther, when Peter Sellars is in the lift with three other guys and they are all looking tough, then you hear a loud fart, apparently it took ages to film as Peter Sellars kept corpsing, and they couldn’t stop laughing. Well that’s exactly what happened to our trio, as they began to rehearse, a neighbour who was having work done in his flat began drilling, now this drill just sounded like a long hard Fart, and of course no one could keep a straight face after that, it was priceless.(ED: it would have been brilliant on the night of the After Show Party had Tony remembered to take the Fart Machine out of his pocket. There he was pressing the remote like billy-oh but the sound was muffled by the fur of his costume. What a Numpty.)

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Posted November 27, 2011 by tony mcdonald

One response to “The Frank Spencer Trio.

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  1. Really nice style and good written content, nothing at all else we want :D.

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