Sunday, April 28, 2013

One member of the house party was John Phillips, the songwriter and leader of the American group, The Mamas and the Papas, who told Colin about a long-sleeved T-shirt printed to look like a dinner jacket, complete with a black bow tie and white carnation. For Colin it was a must-have item. Frantic calls to Los Angeles followed and a dozen were air-freighted overnight, picked up at Heathrow and carried to Edinburgh to arrive moments before the male chorus opened the show with a rendition of 'Chattanooga Choo Choo'. Then Prince Rupert Loewenstein and Michael Szell, with Jade Jagger, May and Amy, tripped onto the stage dressed as sugar plum fairies, followed by Bianca Jagger who danced the danse de faune, only the performance was the 'danse du phone' when a telephone rang and she answered it at the end of her performance. Roddy Llewellyn, dressed as a wizard, sang 'What I See in Your Eyes' to a skull, followed by the author, who danced a highland fling in a kilt that slowly came apart and fell to reveal a large green fig leaf - pinned to flesh-coloured tights. Colin, in his usual role as master of ceremonies and appropriately dressed in a top hat and frock coat, introduced each act culminating with two masterful performances from Princess Margaret. In one, dressed as the Valkyrie Brünnhilde complete with horned helmet, blonde wig and spear, she mimed a spirited aria from the Die Walküre, the second opera in Wagner's Ring Cycle. In the other performance, dressed in a sleek black dress, a feather boa and a curly blond wig, she appeared as Sophie Tucker, the 'Red Hot Momma'. Again she mimed two songs before metamorphosing as Mae West, when she parodied all the seductive gestures of the old movie goddess. It was these photographs of Princess Margaret that Charlie sold to a friend for just £20, which appeared soon after in the Daily Mail. Anne sued for breach of copyright, and won large damages, which she donated to charity.

Nicholas Courtney, Lord of the Isle: The Extravagant Life and Times of Colin Tennant (154-55)

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