* Update 5.30pm: the Rev replies! Yes, really ... scroll down ...
There is a tradition upheld by some Barnet bloggers of 'the Friday joke'; taking the opportunity to post something of a humorous nature to mark the end of the week. As regular readers will know, Mrs Angry strongly disapproves of the use of humour in the world of citizen journalism, and deeply abhors this tendency, preferring always to concentrate on issues of real importance to the residents of Broken Barnet, and this post will be no exception.
It is not properly acknowledged, due to all the bad publicity worked up by certain elements in the community, that here in Barnet we have a thriving artistic and cultural community, entirely unreliant, unlike the Arts Depot, and the local museums, on subsidy and handouts by the local authority.
In Friern Barnet, for example, we have the marvellous enterprise run by local minister, the Reverend Adrian Benjamin, whose All Saints Arts Centre puts on all manner of interesting performances throughout the year. Mrs Angry was delighted to hear that one local amateur dramatics society is planning a new production for this venue in the near future, and have just contacted the reverend to make arrangements: she understands that there has as yet been no response, but we will keep you updated.
Dear Reverend Benjamin,
I am writing to enquire about the possibility of hiring All Saints Arts Centre theatre space for a forthcoming production by our amateur dramatic theatre company, hopefully in the near future.
We are looking for a suitable venue for a newly commissioned piece entitled: ‘Sunday in the Park with George (Orwell)’, a light hearted musical interpretation of ‘1984’- a happy go lucky performance with some dancing and quite a bit of good old fashioned slapstick humour. We are writing to local councillor David Longstaffe to ask if he would like to direct the show, as he has a great deal of acting experience and of course has sound political views which will ensure the tone of the production meets with your approval.
The show tells the story of a local community trembling under the repressive regime of a right wing totalitarian state, led by a comical, strutting, pompous little dictator, and his privileged circle of friends, including a 'turbulent priest' intent on supporting the regime for his own purposes, all accompanied by a cohort of blackshirted thugs who keep the populace under constant surveillance.
The final scene takes place in a tent in a public park, where the forces of evil battle with a courageous body of citizens and workers intent on rebellion against the jackboot governance of the dictator, and his regime’s ruthless suppression of civil liberties and freedom of speech. The dictator orders the priest to capture the rallying banner of the rebels, and declares victory over the uprising. Unfortunately he fails to notice that the rebels have set fire to his trousers.
The show does contain a fair amount of obscene language, and a good deal of nudity, but please be assured that in view of the nature of the venue, ladies have agreed to cover their bosoms and “downstairs departments” with a careful arrangement of uncashed cheques to the London Borough of Barnet. The gentlemen may be more problematic, but we will consult Councillor Longstaffe on this point. We intend to invite Councillor Brian Coleman to the opening night of the production and very much hope that he - and you - will enjoy the show.
We look forward to a response at your earliest convenience,
(Mrs) A. Winston Smith
PS, I must tell you that I have just read your comment in the local press regarding some reprehensible left wing troublemaking at Friern Barnet show, and am concerned to see your remark: ‘They can take it to the Pope as far as I am concerned’. May I remind you that in the Anglican Communion, we do not recognise the authority of the Church of Rome, and I sincerely hope that All Saints is not thinking of joining the Papist tradition, as we will then have to consider finding an alternative venue for our show
* Update, 5.30pm: rather amusingly, Mrs Angry has been sent the following reply to Mrs Smith from the Reverend gentleman this afternoon. It would appear that the old boy has a sense of humour. Damn.
Surprised not to hear he is a close personal of the Almighty's too: second only to Brian Coleman, of course, in the earthly paradise that we inhabit, here in Broken Barnet.