A lone spotlight burst upon the stage, revealing a shiny stand that held a unique looking microphone. Instantly, a profound hush settled over the sold out seats of the auditorium. Hundred of bodies silently breathed in expectation. There were so many people sitting around me, yet I could have heard a pin drop. An unfamiliar figure strode out of the darkness and up to the illuminated microphone. He began to speak. The sound was clear, but my eyes were still adjusting to the light. The familiar radio voice, I knew so well, reached out to me and I smiled with a mixture of surprise and delight. No preamble, no introductory act to warm up the audience, the tall, slender figure was the man I had come to see. He was live and in person and I had a forth row centre seat! Sound filled the theatre as he spoke, “Hello everyone,” the grey-harried man greeted, “I’m Stuart McLean and this is the Vinyl Café.” The first of countless cheers spontaneously thundered into life, filling the confines of the curved theatre with approval. The show had begun!
For over two hours, Stuart entertained us. He read three Dave & Morley stories, two of them brand new. I especially enjoyed his tale about the lottery ticket. In the story, an old man claimed to have a million dollar lottery ticket, yet he finally died without ever having scratched it to be sure. During the ten years the aged man had owned the ticket, he often asked his visitors what they would do with a million dollars. To his last breath, the old grandfather claimed that having a dream was more important that the money he would win, but he insisted that the unscratched ticket was a winner. The tale made me think – and those who know me, even a little, know that I like that sort of thing.
Intermingled with the wonderful stories, Stuart also presented a mini concert. Original and unique musical numbers were performed by Sheila & Amanda of the group called Dala, as well as a soloist, Danny Michel. The delightful musical score was rounded out by a brilliant piano piece performed by John Sheard. All in all, the evening was wonderfully refreshing. Following the grand events, I was privileged to meet all the performers. Greetings were exchanged and autographs obtained. Are we having fun yet? Oh yeah! I smiled all the way home!