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Attractive lightness of foot

The party in honour of Belle Epoque’s second quarter of a century had begun in such an orderly fashion. Pleasantly entertaining sounds emanated from this salon orchestra yesterday afternoon through the large auditorium of Reggehof in Goor [the Netherlands]... The humorous chaos began with the arrival of ex-soprano Miss Emily Barlaston, Order of the British Empire. Arrayed in military attire (complete with a petticoat decorated with the Union Jack) she stressed the naivete of the American President and the British Queen, whilst imbibing the necessary glasses of sherry. With intensely earsplitting notes she offered the song Roses of Picardy.

The programme after the interval was very much dominated by this singing old maid. Belle Epoque tried to keep things serious with The Phantom Brigade and a Berlin potpourri... but Miss Emily sauntered through with musical seven-league boots.

Dressed in another suit she took the opportunity, during the long introduction to Chanson de l’adieu, to indulge in another glass of sherry as well as a cup of tea... In yet another dress she provided the finale: Tea for Two. Not only did she get the audience to sing along, thanks to the song text projected on the screen, she also treated them to lollipops and packets of tea, walloped towards the balcony with the aid of a badminton racquet.

A carpet of handkerchiefs and the dozens of pieces of a dropped teapot completed the devastation around this musical and humorous diva.

Koen Edeling, Dagblad Tubantia