Our August meeting brought back many happy memories of our dear friend Mo Howarth. His picture was up on the wall, his top hat was used to draw the raffle and he even popped up on screen himself to present once again his delightful Josephine act, filmed at the Eastbourne convention of 1990.
Most importantly, however, we welcomed back our good friend Dave Andrews with Mo’s old pal Johnny Green, the vent figure made for his mother Josephine Langley and now well over a hundred years old.
In the first part of the afternoon, Dave treated us to a talk about the art of ventriloquism, teaching us the basics and showing the many figures he has used (or at least purchased!) over the years. These ranged from a huge cuddly bear (who made the tiny tots cry as soon as it started to speak) to an animated doughnut, and included a dog specially knitted for him by an admirer. Dave demonstrated his skills with Jessica – some sort of duck who was assembled before our eyes and then dismantled again to great comic effect. He also presented his ‘voice from bottle’ routine which was particularly admired by Mo, and concluded with a rendition of part of one of Josephine’s specially commissioned scripts, ‘assisted’ by yours truly.
When Mo opened his cigar box to take out the sticks of makeup he kept in there, he always saw, printed on the inside of the lid in large capital letters, the word ‘SMILE!’ Well, Mo had made us smile again through the talents of Dave Andrews. The whole session had been a joy, delighting not only members of the League but also many of the MML’s extended family and friends.
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