It was billed as the feelgood night out of the year; a fancy dress family spectacular to put the worldwide smash hit, Singalonga Sound of Music, firmly in the shade.
With so many similarities to the Julie Andrews sinister Nazi toe-tapper. the organisers of ‘Singalonga Schindler’s List’ believed they’d hit showbiz pay dirt with their audience participation version of the monochrome Liam Neeson classic.
In Singalonga Sound of Music, theatregoers dress up as nuns, schnitzels, Gretl’s hurt finger, naïve sixteen-year-olds, giant distributor caps, the gazebo from the garden scene, anything, in fact, remotely connected to the show. Hilarity ensues as they sing the songs and recite the dialogue throughout the film.
But as the crowds filed in for singalonga Schindler’s List it soon became clear that the evening would be somewhat different.
“Ze costumes were beyond drab, drab, drab,” complained Urs Schmidt, who had travelled from Bremen in his dad’s SS uniform especially for the event. “Pyjamas everywhere – where’s peoples’ imagination?”
“Ze only costume that showed an inch of verve was a young man in a trilby and overcoat holding an empty bag. He kept checking ze bottom of ze bag and wailing ‘I could have got more out’ over and over again. Lame-o.”
Chief backer and theatre-owner Jerry Hunter was frank in his assessment of where it all went wrong. “The mirrors, no doubt about it. Bit of an arse-up, handing them out to everyone in SS uniform and getting them all to murmur: ‘I pardon you’.”
Hunter turned away. “Things got a little chilly in there after that. In fact a load of people left before the end, kind of upset. Just didn’t have Ralph Fiennes’s clinical timing, that must have been it.”
Then he shrugged. “Sheesh, you never know what’s going to raise a giggle. We’d only just recouped our ticket costs on the Wicker Man Family Barbecue, and now we might have to postpone next week’s Killing Fields Buffet Nite until everyone’s lightened the feck up.”