UKArchive ID: 36281
Originally published on February 29, 2016 in Fiction
Based on a character I once knew…
He was fed and nourished from the lives of others having no discernible life of his own. To the cast members of The Rugby Players he was 'Electric John', responsible for Lights, Limes and Spots. The Stage Crew called him 'John' for some unfathomable reason. Being artistic and believing ourselves blessed with a waspish sense of humour, we felt it terribly witty to use such an adjective on a man possessed of no dynamism whatsoever. Electric's stories had enough height to clear two-storey buildings, although they were told in such a monotonic drone that people weren't there at the end.
Rugby Repertory Theatre is hardly London West End, but we're all professional actors nonetheless Darling. Electric said he was of Jewish extraction. Incongruous as that seemed we nevertheless used him in an advisory capacity during our run of “Fiddler on The Roof”. Marjorie Proups on Props asked Electric for advice on Bagels. Always use two for hunting and never let them inside the house, was the sage reply. And so the legend was born.
“I played Othello to rave reviews at the Adelphi theatre when Jonathan Millar had to pull out with haemorrhoids.”
“I was part of the team which made the first successful ascent of the gully on Mount Everest.”
“I used to date Helen Mirren.”
All this from a six foot two stick insect with a pointed, bald head and a nose for opening beer bottles. Now I may be naive, but it takes a certain amount of charisma to accomplish any one of these notable feats. What I found most admirable however, was the conviction with which Electric made these assertions. I miss him. And you know we never had cause to complain about the lights. An important part of theatre; lights. I only ever remember one faulty lighting-cue. In “Lady Angela's Bloomers”. Hands still wet from ice-sculpting “The Thinker”, Electric trained the spotlight stage left. An incredible flash of blue light arced through luckless John's body as Lady Angela's Bloomers plunged into darkness. Electric John would have been proud of such an exit.
UKArchive ID: 36281
Archived comments for Electric John
Mikeverdi on 29-02-2016
Just loved this Jim, made my day reading it. Please accept my nomination to go with the Nib. I would love to read this out at The Word.
You are much too kind Mike! Cheers for the nom and the great comment. If you're serious about reading it, then be my guest. I am flattered you would consider it.
Pronto on 02-03-2016
Endearing character shone through this of a man familiar yet unknown. So many 'Electrics'in this world. Loved it.
Thanks for the read and the generous rating.
Savvi on 04-03-2016
Super read thanks Jim, right up my street glad it's been nominated. Keith