by Penny Blake

Amelia

This is the ballad of the semi-mythical time traveller and inventor Amelia Manylentils, as written and performed, at great expense to both themselves and the long-suffering public, by Charlie Wainright, Johnny Moonstruck and Joyce Jameson.

The vague plot of this production seemed to hinge upon the obvious fallacy that the child genius, Amelia, had invented just about every piece of technology the modern world had seen… and even some it hadn’t.

This flagrant abuse of artistic license didn’t stop the raucous crowds flocking to fill every seat at every performance, although critics postulated that their enthusiasm had more to do with the ‘participatory’ nature of the show, during which the audience were encouraged to blast each other with water cannons, decapitate china mannequins and hurl the heads at the stage, blow pea whistles as the stalls were filled with steam from an elaborate replica cream engine at the side of the stage, and don aviator goggles and pith helmets as Amelia’s giant winged rocking chair was hoisted into the ‘skies’ by a complicated set of ropes and pulleys.

This, the critics argued (coupled with the fact that on many nights the stalls were filled with a notorious group of Tea Fiends known as The Garish Theatre Regulars, who insisted on singing the Revolutionary version of The National Anthem: Wiz Save The Cream, often instigating riot, arrest, and much hurling of cake) was the genuine reason for the show’s popularity.

The Ballad Of Amelia Manylentils

 

Wizmas morning papers, ribbons, string

Were scattered all around

Amelia beneath the tree

Her present she had found

It was a

Quite fantastical

Marvellous magical

Never before been seen

Super spectacular

Defies vernacular

Musical box machine

Amelia was now entranced

She’d never seen the like

This miracle mechanicon

It filled her with delight

She took it straight up to her room

And pulled the thing apart

All cogs and springs and whirry things

It was a work of art

It was a

Quite fantastical

Marvellous magical

Never before been seen

Super spectacular

Defies vernacular

Musical box machine

Amelia she looked around

To see what she could find

These cogs and springs and whirry things

They now possessed her mind

And then upon the bed she saw

Her dolls of porcelain

And suddenly

Their inactivity seemed quite a shame

She set to work with all her springs

and whirry things and cogs

To bring the dolls to life and so

Create the first robots

And they were

Quite fantastical

Marvellous magical

Wilder than anyone’s dreams

Super superfluous

Polite and courteous

Automaton machines

And there upon the road she saw

A little horse drawn cab

The horse he was a sorry sight

The painting dull and drab

She set to work with all her cogs

And springs and things that whir

And soon the sparks began to fly

And the cab began to purrrrrrrrrrrrr

And huff

And puff

And chuff

And then a whistle spouted steam

Amelia!

What have you done?

The first locomotive steam machine!

It was a quite fantastical

Marvellous magical

Never before been seen

Super spectacular

Defies vernacular

Steam powered train machine

She looked about and then she saw

Her mother’s rocking chair

“I’ve always thought that chair would look

Much better in the air!

And think of all the marvellous things

I’d see from way up there!”

She set to work with all her things that whir

And cogs and springs

Until the chair, to her delight

Had an air balloon, propellers and a set of wings!

It was a quite fantastical

Marvellous magical

Never before been seen

Super spectacular

Defies vernacular

Lighter than air machine

Amelia, without a tear

She bid her friends goodbye

And in her radical rocking chair

She rose into the sky

A storm blew up

Oh what a fright

Amelia

Was lost to sight

She’s never again been seen…

A Lightening flash

A thunder crash

The chair became

A Time Machine…

It was a quite fantastical

Marvellous magical

Never before been seen

Super spectacular

Defies vernacular

Travelling Time Machine

NB: Wizmas, I’m sure you can gather, is the New World equivalent of Christmas. Wiz being the sort of fellow who would demand an international holiday to celebrate his own miraculous birth, rise to power and ultimate defeat of the goddess and her all her pesky minions. It is celebrated on a different date each year but exactly who decides upon this date remains a mystery.

 

cat

 

 

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