The Fun Factory

The Fun Factory

Chris England

Language: English

Pages: 288


Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

The Fun Factory is set in the golden decade before the Great War, when the music halls were the people's entertainment, before radio, television or cinema, and bigger than all of them. Arthur Dandoe is a gifted young comedian trying to make his way within the prestigious Fred Karno theatre company. Determined to thwart him at any cost is another ruthlessly ambitious performer – one Charlie Chaplin. Things turn even nastier when Arthur and Charlie both fall for the same girl, the irresistibly alluring Tilly Beckett. One of the two rivals is destined to become the most celebrated man on the planet, with more girls than he can shake his famous stick at. The other. . . well, you'll just have to read this book – his book. It could have been so different.

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tried and tested.” Syd seemed to share a look with O’Neill -– or did I imagine it? – and then he went on.: “There’ll be a Black Maria waiting for us at the station. Mike and Albert manhandle us along the platform while we complain at the top of our voices about the horrible injustice of it all, making as much of a racket as possible. You with me? What we want, you see, is as big a crowd as possible following along, watching us all the way to the Black Maria, because then, just as the desperate

hadn’t realised it was getting so late, so I excused myself and hurried on my way. I didn’t want to humiliate young Freddie by telling him that a girl he liked had made up a fanciful story just to put him off, and anyway I was still thrown by discovering that our mysterious next-door neighbour seemed to be the lad’s mother. Which is why, do you see, I never quite got round to mentioning to him that Tilly and I were not, and never had been, man and wife. For a good few years women had been

unpleasant memory of Wal Pink’s smooth, well-fed features flashed before my eyes. I blinked it away. “So I walked out onto the stage in my borrowed trousers and my borrowed hat, and I did my borrowed lines, and it wasn’t the greatest act in the world but it was the greatest feeling I ever had in my life. I saw Pickard standing at the back, watching me, and there, standing next to him … was Dad!” “Crumbs!” said Tilly. “He saw that I was a lost cause, I suppose, and now he uses me as a sort of

gone too far,” I said, thinking they might still be playing somewhere in Paris. “Huh,” Charlie grunted. “They’ve gone to Moscow.” “Oh! And you like one of these little girls?” Maurice sighed. Charlie nodded glumly. “Ah, what are we poor fellows to do? Your girl is in Moscow, and mine throws a bottle at my head if I even look at one of the dancers. What am I supposed to do? Wear a blindfold backstage? The naked ladies are everywhere!” Charlie and I smirked at this like schoolboys. “And what

both cheeks. “Pas seulement la voix, eh? Mais aussi le corps magnifique!” he cried. “Celebration!” Mistinguett declared above the hubbub, and the whole party decamped to a fancy restaurant a few streets away, which in my memory is illuminated in gold by three massive chandeliers. There was some sneaking out by the stage door, too, because Mistinguett wished to avoid the attentions of King Alfonso XIII, and Maurice had not been home to mad Marguerite for a week and a half. The huge room was

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