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Coupe de Théâtre

A man will appear at Melbury Bubb Magistrates Court yesterday charged with “Shining a light on magic” after he had leapt on the stage of the Pierhead Theatre, Canford Cliffs on 18th June this year, interrupting the second half of the popular Summer Varieties Show. It is believed that the man deliberately targeted the act of veteran magician and entertainer The Great Thrupini (aka, in an earlier incarnation, Bonkers Ali, The Barmy Swami) who had just placed pretty, versatile and, above all scantily clad, assistant Debbie Tante in the Cabinet of Mysteries prior to attempting to make her disappear*. Shocked audience members claim the man suddenly appeared on stage flashing and shouting Sic Semper Tiramisu - an utterance which caused many to form the opinion that he was "some kind of foreigner - possibly a wop".

* a classic case of misdirection - by encouraging the audience to focus on Ms Tante's near naked and provocatively bound assets, The Great Thrupini maximises his chance of accomplishing all kinds of sleights of hand. [See Harry Corbett [1884] Undisclosed Secrets of the Magic Circle: The Sooty Story [The Threadbone Press] as well as Fyfe Fingas [1994] Hidden Hand: The Magic of the Glove Puppet [The Batcombe Press].]

A recent publicity shot of The Great Thrupini in action. His assistant Ms Tante is seen wearing a rehearsal dressing gown and not the provocative bikini-based attire worn during actual performance. Ever the consulate showman, the Great Thrupini likes to leave some things to the last minute, but never to the imagination.

Speaking to the press prior to the committal proceedings, a shocked Theatre Manager - Packham Inne standing shoulder to shoulder with Box Office Administrator, Bumson Seytes - said there would be a full and proper review of theatre security in due course given that fake saws, retractable plastic knife blades and rubber swords might all have been involved in the incident. Asked about the measures in place on the night he was clear that all CONTRIK-69 protocols had been observed but was unable to say exactly how the intruder had gained access to the stage area of the unguarded, access-all-areas Theatre. He speculated, however, that the man might have bought a ticket, taken his seat, bided his time and sprung into action at the appropriate moment - scaling the 18” stage platform “with some - and in retrospect alarming - ease”.

The arrested man, who cannot be named for legal reasons is believed to be Mr Chandler Eare proprietor of Bulbs ‘RUs the "one-stop lighting solutions for everyone do-it-yourself bargain bric-a-brac convenience and discount store", in West Chelborough. An electrician by training, Mr Eare is no stranger to generated-energy-based illumination solutions, having made the transition from incandescent to low-energy bulbs over a 10 year period with little or no assistance from anyone else.

Classic 1920s poster for The Great Thrupini - one of Variety's longest-running acts. 2021 marks the centenary of the magician's first appearance on stage, though close observers believe there may have been more than one Great Thrupini over time, with each new incarnation taking over seamlessly from his predecessor.

The accused remained silent throughout the proceedings stating only his name and address when asked to do so (Chandler Eare; Lamplight Cottage, 28 Flourescent Drive, West Chelborough). He is also accused of damaging theatre props worth more than £12.50. These are thought to include escapologists' handcuffs, a straight-jacket, various other restraints and a person-sized gender-neutral lockable box. Legal experts believe that, should he chose to mount a defence, Mr Eare could claim [a] that he was involved in an anti-lockdown protest on behalf of Ms Tante or [b] that he is a lapsed S&M fetishist still awaiting CONTRIK-69-delayed rehab or [c] a desperate man in urgent need of a fancy-dress costume in time for the Rampisham Midsummer Fete*.

*Friday 25th June 7.30pm. Limited ticket availability. Social-distancing rules apply. No touching.

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