My housemate Dave went to see one of his relatives (an aunt?) in an am-dram production in his home town in South West England. So far it was gently enjoyable, if a little plodding. One of the cast – possibly playing an olde worlde town mayor – called on an audience member to join the cast on stage. Dave, being considered the amiable sort, was chosen and the rest of the audience chuckled a little at his pliant haplessness. While his aunt and the mayor continued a bit of dialogue, Dave awaited instruction.
What happened next was this:
That’s Dave doing a tap dance.
Having got him up there, the actors didn’t quite seem to know what to do with him. There was a slightly embarrassing silence as Dave’s aunt and the town mayor appeared to wonder whose line was next. Then a rapid sequence of taps sounded from around Dave’s feet, as though he had castanets in one heel. Then the other heel. The audience began to whoop as Dave flew up and down the stage with a cascade of taps and trills.
(Inwardly, his aunt was fuming at being upstaged by her own nephew, but couldn’t show her anger in the face of the audience’s cheers. She and the mayor were forced into the indignity of pretending that the tap-dancing stooge had been part of their act all along. Poor aunty!)