The Magic Theatre – Vive la Difference!

We are all so similar at the basic level of basic necessities, love and security so why do we spend so much time and money killing each other? I’m sick and tired of war, and religiously inspired war in particular. Religious apologists may try and claim that religion is subverted by bad people, but I’m sorry, it’s the reverse that is true. Religion narrows peoples minds and shuts down their ability to embrace difference. It is just plain wrong.

Beyond our basic needs, we humans are astonishingly diverse and it’s that wonderful spectrum that makes humanity so interesting. Cocooned in my own little life, I sometimes lose sight of just how extraordinary people are. Last Saturday though restored my faith in the ingenuity of spirit of mankind. I visited the Rivolli Ballroom in Lewisham which was hosting “The Magic Theatre”. The Magic Theatre is in effect a fancy dress party, a BIG one. I think that over four hundred people attended. There is no theme other than that of “be whoever you want to be” and the result was spectacular! Many people just dressed up “to the nines”, but there really were all sorts there. I could not begin to list all the different costumes, but here is a small sample. There was a girl in Kylie Minogue style gold bikini/hotpants combo as part of an athletic dance duo. There was an immaculately dressed WWII captain called Paulo who was lovely, and very kindly consented to a photograph of me (as Penny) with him. There was a bubbly actress called Jemma, dressed in a 1930s ‘Chicago’ the musical style outfit with tassels that looked wonderful as we danced together. There was a cartoon style bad man in a black leather coat, several period costumes, a fellow who looked like a cross between the narrator and Frank-n-furter from the Rocky Horror Show. There was a very friendly American girl with curvaceous figure, pink hair, pupils as wide as soup plates and a memory like Dory (from ‘Finding Nemo’) who kept on saying to me in astonishment ‘but you’re a wo-man!”.

I grinned like a lunatic the whole evening at the breathtaking honesty, openness and friendliness of everyone there. Special mention should go to a transvestite called Angel, who apparently has a circus background and who wore a big, white, hooped skirt and white lace gloves and carried a macabre diorama in a box! Inside was a freak show of Sylvanian Families figures in parodies of famous horror film characters, lit by a set of flashing pink and blue lights. Inside, one poor little bear, two inches high, had a head full of pins a-la Hellraiser. Genius! Pure genius!

My steadfast TV friend Tina was with me on this night out. She’s one of the few who really makes an effort to keep in touch. Tina got to the hotel before me and when I arrived she looked as convincing as ever. I rushed from my work on Saturday to slap on my makeup and my girly clothes (skirt and blouse care-of-Miss.T). Felt good, looked like a dog…well, actually more like a bloke in drag. Ah well! Our taxi driver fell for Tina on the way to Lewisham…atta-girl! At the bash, I bumped into several friends, notably Tara and wife K. It was great to see them again, but this caused a split with Tina at the end of the evening when, after repeated failures to locate Tina, I shared a taxi back to Greenwich with them. Oh dear! When I rejoined Tina at the hotel, she was livid. She’d tried to contact me on my mobile which I didn’t have because it is too unladylike and there wasn’t much room for it in my handbag and anyway I didn’t think I’d need it. It was a desperate situation; we each thought the other had abandoned us. In the end we hugged and made up and many thanks to Tina for her good nature. It was my fault really, I should have known she wouldn’t have left without telling me!

The Magic Theatre is a must for anyone who loves life and a celebration of personal choice. Vive la Difference! I’m not sure the music would have won any awards but it wasn’t bad. The BIG disappointment was the bar at the Rivolli Ballroom. What shower of twits ‘organised’ that? A queue of over two hundred people built up and cluttered up the dance floor for almost the whole night. If you’re planning on going, take a big handbag or deep pockets and expect to make one or two trips to the off-licence two doors away! It would be a sad thing if the sheer number of trannies put off the straight folk from attending. I may even attend in male attire next time – perhaps as a WWI fighter ace or Ghengis Khan. What fun!

What a shame if religious extremists ruled the United Kingdom! Harmless fun like this would be probably be banned.

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