Difficult to escape the Natural Theatre street performers if you were an Olympic Games ticket holder any time in the last week!
Depending on which platform you were using at London Bridge station, you might have been accompanied to the train by a bevy of big hatted ladies heading for the equestrian events at Greenwich. Or if by chance you found yourself caught in congestion, your queuing skills may have been under scrutiny from a team of Olympic queue judges. These beady eyed characters, resplendent in brightly coloured blazers and horn-rimmed spectacles, carried old fashioned score cards of the type one used to see at ice skating competitions. Nul points if you stepped out of line.
Our HQ on the station was receiving emails saying things like ‘35k people expected next half an hour. Send street theatre’. And off we would go. Whether it was a party of lost American tourists sporting unfeasibly white teeth, or our very own Stephanie Glutz, the most exhausted athlete at the games (‘At the end of the day Trevor, I was what you call knackered like’) or our bizarre Pigeon Poo People, the public took our attempts at enhancing the waiting experience with huge dollops of good humour.
Our team leaders say they have yet to meet any moaning Minnies or cross commuters. We’re part of the party, and everyone is into having a fabulous time at the games. So much so that we got the message that more of our particular style of comic intervention was required down at the Greenway, an old sewer pipe route that has been transformed into a linear park. It leads from West Ham station to the games site, and huge crowds were being directed that way to relieve congestion elsewhere.
Cue a frenzy of activity at Widcombe Institute where a second team of guerrilla performers was rapidly assembled and despatched post haste to London town.
This time we felt four of our famous British Nannies, with their splendid old fashioned Silver Cross prams and starched aprons would be appropriate. After all, one of them (moi) led the Queen’s Golden Jubilee procession down the Mall!
And what better to have tucked up in their prams, complete with lacy bonnets, than four cute little baby Tom Daleys. Aaaaah!