‘In Search of the Holy Teddy Bear’

16/12/2017 // by Jan Moran Neil

‘In Search of the Holy Teddy Bear’ by Ms Paige Turner
When I was three years old I went to the London Palladium with my mother, sister and her friend. This is important: that my elder sister and her friend came too. My mother was approached in the foyer and asked, as I was the youngest member of the audience (ah …) would she allow me to go on stage and push the arrow on ‘Beat the Clock’. (This was a quiz game where contestants had to perform a task in 60 seconds.) I was told that I would receive a lovely gift for spinning the arrow on the huge clock.
The compere – I think it may well have been Bruce Forsyth – asked for a special little helper from the audience to come up and assist the Quiz Game and an usher came to our seats to guide me up to the stage. I flatly refused. I remember it well. The usher said, ‘Your sister can come up too’. I shook my head. ‘Your sister’s friend can come also.’ No way, Hosay. The usher then asked the woman in front of our row whose daughter I was reliably told later was four. (I’m not quite sure how my mother was privy to this information but the child’s mother said, ‘You’re going up’.) That four year old received the hugest teddy bear you could ever imagine. I cried all the way home. My mother gave me my reliable miniature ted. But I’m afraid I didn’t want him.
Did that experience set me on my stage path? Did it make me face the spotlight when I just wanted to flee? I do know that not being able to get to my performing stage cuts me to my emotional core quick. I had to cancel two performances in the eighties when I was touring with my Ruddles Theatre Company due to snow. This last week I had to cancel Egham WI for the same reason. And I felt showered with lack of teddy bears. But wind me up and I’m still trying to beat the clock.
Creative Ink classes at the Fitzwilliams Centre, Beaconsfield begin on Tuesday 9th January for 5 weeks and the course is running but has four places left. Email me.
Also the ‘Get that book’ arrangement has some places.

One thought on “‘In Search of the Holy Teddy Bear’

  1. Phillip Sheahan says:

    Ah! The Bear necessities of life. Where have I heard that before? Like the moral. New Year resolution – never be afraid to bear all through the joy and freedom of creative writting.

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