Casting CallActing was a big part of my life for some time before The End, and I had spent quite a lot of time in theatres over the years. I'd even studied drama at college and had hoped that one day I'd be doing it as a profession, but life had other plans for me and I'd ended up being an office drone. Although I didn't act as a career, I still kept my hand in by doing plays, drama festivals and making short films with my friends. Was I dissapointed by the way my life had turned out? No, not really, as if I had gone down the acting route chances are I'd have ended up on a soap (the number 1 cause of actor demise)
I wasn't the best actor, or singer, or dancer, but I had good timing and a knack for playing character parts that landed me some good roles in my past. This would work against me in what was Panto Season, and after the events that happened I swore on the corpse of the dear friend I lost during that time, that I would never act again...
Bin Nutter and Jayme More had saved us from Chavs but had only done so, so that they could take us for their own. Hagley and I were once more prisoners. I could have made a break for it, but two things were stopping me. The first being that as crazy as she was, I didn't want to leave my pal Hagley with these guys and secondly Bin Nutter and Jayme More were built like brick shit houses and the years of playing Rugby that they had accumulated between them would mean I wouldn't get far before they tackled me to the ground.
The journey, from what I remember, was un-eventful and soon we were back in my hometown and at my local theatre. In some ways I was looking forward to going to the Theatre as my family might have sheltered there, but I was also worried about my long suffering lady wife Louise, my cats, Molly and what was awaiting me inside.
The Theatre itself looked normal from the outside, as if The End hadn't happend at all, but there were two large posters that read "PANTO AUDITIONS INSIDE! ALL WELCOME" pasted onto the walls. I'd seen an "all welcome" sign before and that was at the home of Ray and Shav who were eating people, so I wasn't exactly comforted by the welcoming welcome that welcomed Hagley and I.
Bin and Jayme took us through the lobby and into the Auditorium to where all the action was happening. The seats were all empty apart from the middle row where a single video camera was positioned facing the stage. The orchestra pit had a solitary piano, which was manned by someone but from where I was, I couldn't see the pianist. The Stage wasn't lit except for a single spotlight the shone down on the centre of the stage, and in that light was yet another person I knew.
I recognised instantly the figure standing in the spotlight, it was a guy called Dick who I'd been in a production of Half A Sixpence with (he was known for creating silence after he finished his lines, as the actors he was on stage with were gobsmacked by the lack of talent this kid had). He wasn't the sharpest tool in the shed and his acting really was atrocious. So Hagley and I watched on as he began to sing his version of Sex on Fire (which for a song about VD, I felt was highly inappropriate for a panto)
I can honestly say that I'd never heard that song played on an old piano before and there was a reason for that... it sounded awful, but at least it was drowning out a bit of Dick's awful singing.
Dick had gotten up to the chorus before the powers that be decided that he wasn't what they were looking for for their Panto. Usually in an audition the director would thank you and send you on your way, telling you you'd recieve a phone call, leaving you with a little false hope, but that was before The End, before insanity was normality and before mutated people made up 99% of the population. Dick was about to sing the start of the 2nd verse when the spotlight turned red. The Piano immediately stopped and a horrified expression manifested itself on Dick's face.
He had just enough time to shout "No" before a laser beam fired from the camera in the auditorium, and vaporised Dick into a cloud of dust. The spotlight went white again and a disembodied camp voice said "Next"
Jayme muttered something in his language, I turned to Bin for a translation. "Your turn" he said.
"I'm not getting up there!" I protested, but I didn't really have a choice as Jayme pointed this crossbow he'd used to dispatch the Chavs with, at my face.
Nervously I walked down the aisle, and slowly ascended the stairs till I was on the stage. I heard a noise behind me and turned round to see that Bin and Jayme were forcing Hagley to join me. So not only did I have to pull a musical number out of my backside from nowhere, but I had to do it with a slightly un-hinged teacher who not so long ago soiled herself in front of me whilst trying to teach a class full of dead children!
As we arrived under the spotlight, the disembodied camp voice spoke "Well, this is super, we had no idea that the pair of you were still alive. We really enjoyed you both in those Youth Projects you did. Well, looking down the list of characters, we need a comedy duo, so do a comical song and dance routine for us. We do hope for your sake that you're what we're looking for"
I don't know whether it was the familiar theatrical surroundings or not being in a room of dead children, but Hagley was suddenly lucid! She whispered to me. "If we don't do something good, we're never going to see Myke or Molly again."
Hagley suggested we do a number from Anything Goes called "Friendship", so I knelt down to ask the pianist if he knew how it went. The person sitting at the piano however had been dead for sometime, but the Piano was alive. You couldn't make this shit up!
So the music started and Hagley and I began to sing and dance for our very lives! It was one of the best performances I had ever done, and in true musical style, we both somehow pulled the choreography out of nowhere and although we had the pressure of death by ray gun hanging over us, for the first time since The End, I actually enjoyed myself.