Thursday, June 27, 2019

Lady H. M. Ainsley-Billington--A Celebratory Retrospective

Lady Hortense MacFarquhar Ainsley-Billington, grande dame of the English stage, is celebrated as much for being as pale and sweet as a blancmange as for her operatic rendering of the timeless classic "When, In Momentary Slumb'r, My Love Doth Recline."

One can scarcely hope to catalog all of Lady Hortense's triumphs in this small space. However, no one will ever forget her command performance at Buckingham Palace when she gave a fist pump upon hitting every note of the impossible five octave "Bobby, Be The Bric-A-Brac On My Curio Shelf," prompting the attending Royals to initiate an instantaneous in-the-aisles hokey pokey break dance such has never been seen before or since.

A month later, once again lucid after an unfortunate episode involving character actor and sometime companion Fredo Pastalini and "just a smidgen" of Chinese opium, Lady H. wowed 'em at the Royal Albert Hall when she sang "My Boy Lollipop" accompanied by a revue of muscular and scandalously (un)clad male dancers. Pausing for a photo-op with Lord Hampstead, Lady H. confided that she was happy all the folderol regarding her tryst with "my little Hamster man" had died down, though of course her referencing it left Lord Hampstead seething and abashed while Lady H. appeared positively smug! 

Interviewed for this article, Lady Hortense opined that, in her view, today's "slipshod copycat noise" cannot hold a candle to the "passion and derring-do" of the electric folk emo metal which first launched her into the limelight. Pontificating quite charmingly on a range of subjects, she reminded this writer time and again of why Edmund Mumzet-Pagliatano bestowed, in Your Evening Calling Card that famous sobriquet "The Sublime Hortense" on our national darling, Lady Ainsley-Billington.  There is no other like her.
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for Get Listed.

17 comments:

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

Oh, she is certainly unique, and I so enjoyed your detailed review of her stellar career. Brilliant! And so believable. (You've created two characters here: the perfectly-parodied reviewer as well as Lady H.)

tonispencer said...

Haha. What a hoot. The reviewer is excellent but the royals doing an impromptu hokey-pokey is an image I will see every time I see their sidways saucers and feathers glued to the sides of their heads.

Jim said...

Hilarious, Shay. You got me to wondering if perhaps she knew the Beatles. I'd love to read some more of your reports.
..

Sherry Blue Sky said...

This is a total hoot! I loved it so much, especially the hokey-pokey, and the lollipop song, which i had forgotten about.

Old Egg said...

She may be fictitious but how it must apply to many performers past and present in the theatre. What a great read!

Kerry O'Connor said...

A smidgen of opium sounds good round about now.

hedgewitch said...

Crackin me UP. If only the world was filled with your characters, Shay--tho perhaps, if you squint just right at things, it really is.

Sioux Roslawski said...

I agree with Hedgewitch. I don't think we have to squint too much. There are lots of unique characters.

This made me smile--my first bit of levity this morning.

Lori said...

Well this is a show I would definitely like to see! I laughed out loud when I got to "and with 'just a smidgen' of opium." The show must go on! I'm not sure exactly what "electric folk emo metal" might sound like but I am entirely intrigued!

Marian said...

Okay, "Bobby, Be the Bric-a-Brac" just made me choke on my coffee. I need a smidge of opium too!

robkistner said...

Yours was a great prompt on IGWRT this past Thursday. i used every one of your words, and in the oder you listed them Shay. It was extremely enjoyable to tackle your prompt! :-) ....thank you!

robkistner said...

This is brilliant Shay! Funny, witty, sarcastic, and wonderfully absurd... LOVED IT!! :-)

brudberg said...

Love it... though I think it takes a certain upper class immunity to do things like this...

She sounds believable after having read books like Brideshead revisited.

Margaret said...

What an imagination to have.

robkistner said...

Well, as usual, neither The Sunday Muse site, nor your Black Mamba site will accept my comments. They both just disappear them the moment I try to post them. Grrrrrrr... At least The Sunday Muse let me post a link to my “Harpin’ d’Blues” poem, which is my response to Muse #62.

robkistner said...

I can thankfully still comment here Shay :-) ...but not on your Black Mamba? :-( I also cannot leave a comment on The Sunday Muse and some of the other poets who use Blogger sites. I seem to have no problem commenting on the IGWRT Blgger site - at least for the moment?
I think this is some kinda wierdness between Blogger/Google and WordPress? The thing that I don’t understand is I use Google’s Gmail as my email, so I think am always signed on to Google? Oh well…

purplepeninportland.com said...

Wish I could have been there for the performance! What a great character, and excellent review by a knowledgeable critic!