IT'S CABARET TIME
One of the activities that the author of this website took a particular delight in - to the apparent pleasure of many of the Sea Containers personnel who participated therein, either as performers or spectators - was the writing and production of pieces for special occasions, be it verse for recitation at farewell presentations for retiring alumni, or cabarets for the annual Christmas parties. One number in particular was regularly demanded on these occasions. This was . . .
But we have to go back a year or two to discover how this started. In my "scrapbook of memories" (otherwise known as a parchment document wallet) containing pictures, souvenirs, and drafts of many of these writings, I have located the original invitation to the Inn on the Park for the Sea Containers Inc. Christmas Party on Monday, 18th December 1972. Scrawled in almost illegible handwriting on the back page and inside covers are my hastily scribbled words to two songs, signed at the end by three members of the inaugural SC Glee Club: the late Trevor Milner, Andrew Evans and Andrew Lavey. The fourth member was, inevitably, myself! The first offering was based on . . .
The Twelve Days of Christmas
The second song was a parody of the Irish ballad The Mountains of Mourne and was a tongue-in-cheek duet between Joe Pinto and his family member, and one of the original Sea Containers' shareholders, Morrie Pinto.
Oh Morrie This Park Street
Some cabaret shots including Lavey/Sinclair as Sherwood/Pinto and Andrew Evans and Cedric Marie in the Orange Boxes sketch.
In one of the earliest Christmas parties I wrote and performed (I believe it was with Andrew Lavey - pictured above) a skit based on the old vaudeville number Mr. Gallagher and Mr. Shean. This was attributed originally to Ed Gallagher (words) and Al Shean (music) in 1922, and was later performed by the Marx Brothers, but was most memorably portrayed by Bing Crosby and Johnny Mercer in the 1950s and this, along with several other versions, may be found on You Tube [Try http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jclFlLQ4sXc for the Crosby/Mercer version]. My version (Mr Sherwood and Mr Pinto) is below.
Much of the material provided for these shows was very much "tongue in cheek" - as evidenced particularly by the early sketch based on . . .
Christmas 1974 was the occasion of the most ambitious of these cabarets - and also the last one devised by me. It followed and was based on the Sea Containers Worldwide Agents' Conference held that year in Hong Kong. The cast (to which should be added Anna Turner as pianist) is displayed in the picture at the head of this page.
And, as the sun sets over this immodest display of parodical versatility, I'll ring down the curtain on this section with a tribute to the late Rob Ward, who indulged my regular attempts to satirise Sea Containers personnel and activities via various forms of verse, doggerel, limericks, and - his personal favourites - clerihews, with . . .