"My Fat Lardy"
My Fat Lardy
My Fat Lardy was a musical, by Gawdy Blasted Shirt. It was later made into a film, called "Pigoutathon". "Lardy" was notable as being the first underground musical, after the police proclamation of 1836. A permanent ban on musicals was introduced, only days later, by gubernatorial decree [see Section 179, Paragraph 2 of the Governors' Big Dusty Book of Rules ].
On 17 May 1836, Supper Attendant Charles Goodetaste (Senior) banned "musical plays (and unmusical ones, for that matter)" within the city walls of Wonkytown, after a production of "The Mounds that Ooze Sick", had been judged to be "not inconsiderably injurious to the hearing and psychological wellbeing of the populace of the metropolis".
Goodetaste was, at that time, Head of the Criminal Music Department of the Wonkytown City Guard, known as "The Bangers", from the type of ammunition that they used. He was also a leading figure [rather like a "5", with a big belly and a cap] in the Robotic Language Revival movement. Although, Robotic itself was phased out within the police service after the Odorous Revelation, Goodetaste successfully campaigned for the right of the Petits Ruminants to have official correspondence translated into a sister language, Tortaltawsh. The effect of this can still be seen, today.
The Commissioners of Public Sanity ( or "Headbangers") were charged with keeping the peace and quiet [I didn't know that it was ever a criminal offence. Ooh, I gotcha- charged as in "responsible for". Sorry.], and feared that the city was running out of ear plugs. Impressed by his quick thinking and determination, they recommended Goodetaste for a gong but he said he'd far rather have a hostess cart, so the Governors gave him the one, which Dolly deTrolley had used, almost fifty years earlier. It had been on display in the Bored Room at Rareness Palace but they kept banging their knees on it, when they came through the door, and were actually quite glad to be rid of it. Happily, the famous trolley is still in the possession of the Goodetaste family, along with the fondue set which his son, Charles Goodetaste (Junior) (1835-1922) [aka "Cheesy Charles"] was awarded, by public subscription, for his research on Unexplained Mouse/ Expired Rodent UM/ER Syndrome, in the late Nineteenth Century.
On 17 May 1836 [You've done that bit- Wikiplodia]... Sorry, I was looking over my specs again. Goodetaste's prompt action resulted in the passing of not one but three Collective Sighs of Relief by the Governors, at an emergency meeting on on Monday 21 May 1836. They had all tied cushions to the sides of their heads, during performances, because Jolie Badnews's voice was able to penetrate masonry to a depth of 2 boings (about 26 inches).
Therefore, the cast of My Fat Lardy had to rehearse in secret. The performers pretended that they were taking part in a television show, in order to fool the police. This was a highly successful ruse. The poor policemen never suspected a thing because television hadn't yet been invented.
No, no, no, I meant "what happens in the play?"
Oh, well, um, basically there's this fat slob, Edna Eateverything (played by Jolie Badnews in the original version) [Original? You mean there was more than one?], and this fitness freak, Jimmy Joggins (played by Reckt Harrassed-Sigh in both versions) and he tries to make her thin.
Don't forget that there was no such thing as "slobism", in those days. Anyway, one day, while down at the gym, Joggins opens his big gob and says to his mate, Colin Pickernose (played by Gilbert Hair-Fright in the magic-lantern version and some bloke they stole from an old people's home in the original), "I'll bet you anyfink I can get take any fat bird and make 'er gawjuss. No, bettah than tha, I can take any fat bird, make 'er gawjuss END git 'er to run in the marafin."
"A Wholecupboardful o' Pencils says you cawn't.", replies Pickernose.
"Yer on!", says Joggins, squeezing Pickernose's hand.
I think that's one of the reasons why musicals were banned.
The first performance of the musical was given in the cellars of The Old Torture Chamber Theatre, Disacester Square, which was demolished in 1849, to make way for the Empire. However, with the Odorous Ruination still in the minds of the people, the idea of having an Empire, even if it was just a place of entertainment (supposedly), was "arhythma to both the missus and the new reggie", as The Dodgy Typograph put it.
This article alerted the authorities, who had no idea who this Reggie was but agreed with him, wholeheartedly. [They weren't at all worried what the wife of the Dodgy Typograph's editor thought.] They were concerned that, yet again, dismal theatrical performances were having an effect on public health. The Wonkytown City Guard were placed on alert. It is an indication of how seriously the Commissioners of Public Sanity viewed the situation, that policemen were restricted to visiting cafes no more than three times a day and tuck shop vans were borrowed from neighbouring forces, in case it would necessary to keep the men on duty for more than forty minutes at a time.
On 23 July 1855, the same paper reported that the Empire had, on the previous evening, been the victim of sunstroke by some nubile Vulgars. The government responded by demanding an explanation from the Vulgarian ambassador, until a Gibberish diplomat quietly pointed out that Vulgaria was a fictional country and that, therefore, it didn't have diplomatic relations with Gibberon. Another paper, Cotton Wool Weekly reported that a vulgar mobile, hanging somewhere about the theatre, had enraged the crowd.
Among those, who orchestrated the "invasion", were a disgruntled team of acrobats, the Skywalkers. These well-known stars had been booked for a four-week run but, during one performance, a few days before the riot, they had poked fun at the theatre's manager, Garth Vaguely, a man notorious for having no sense of humour (and terrible sinus problems). The Empire had struck back by sacking the Skywalkers and replacing them with a rival outfit, the Storm Troupers. Vaguely even tried to bully other managers into banning the Skywalkers from their theatres too.
Now, in the days before telephones were invented, many people found them difficult to use, so other methods of communication, such as shouting and placing messages in bottles [but not necessarily at the same time- what would be the point?], were important. The Wonkytown City Guard were reading the newspapers, at Break Time, on 23 July, and rushed to the scene. However, such was the disorder, that they had to be reinforced by the Band of the 19 Prancers, who were giving a concert in the grounds of the Rareness Palace.
The Prancers struck up with their regimental march, "Bah, bum-te-bummety- buh-bum-bum" [English: "I don't think they can take much more of this".] and the crowd immediately began to scatter.
That was the end of the Empire. Vaguely sold the building, soon afterwards, to Lancelot O Luvvlier, founder of the Gibberish National Artists' Theatre [GNAT], and it was renamed "Bratcasting House". Today, it houses the offices of the acting union, INIQUITOUS and its ugly-sister organisation EMNITY. Together with several other unions, the INIQUITOUS and EMNITY form the National Artists' Federation.
The former Empire is also home to a touring company for acting students, most of whom are enraged at the Gibberish Academy of Gramatical Arts [GAGA]. The company is called the National Artists' Federation at the Empire (Repeatory) (NAFFE(R)). Although the building has been altered significantly, some features, reminiscent of the Old Torture Chamber, can still be seen.