Showing posts with label Comic Relief. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Comic Relief. Show all posts

Friday, March 13, 2015

A viola player's sitting at the back of the section when...

...everyone's telling jokes for Red Nose Day and Comic Relief, so here's a viola joke I rather love.

A viola player's sitting at the back of the section when the conductor suddenly keels over in the rehearsal just before the concert and is rushed off to hospital. A big tour's about to begin, and there's only an hour til this launch performance. No time to find another conductor. "Can anyone conduct?" the orchestra manager pleads, at his wits' end. The viola player volunteers - he had a shot at it once at uni, a few decades back, so he remembers the basics. The concert is a huge success! "Can you do the tour as well?" the orchestra manager asks, booking an extra violist.

The tour begins the next day and everywhere the orchestra goes there are standing ovations and rave reviews. The viola player on the podium is flavour of the month. A Twitter storm demands he be made principal conductor, nay, music director, right now. His Facebook page attracts 750,000 likes from all over Europe and the US.

After two weeks of this, the orchestra comes home and finds that its conductor is alive and well, out of hospital and on the podium. The viola player returns to his seat at the back of the section. His desk partner turns to him and says: "So, where've you been all this time?"

Boom boom.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Who needs the Ides of March when it's Red Nose Day?

For our friends overseas who might be puzzled as to why the British should suddenly start wearing red foam noses on the Ides of March and, worse still, trying to be funny, Red Nose Day is all about Comic Relief, a big charity effort that campaigns for "A just world free from poverty". As our government's policies are about to push a great many more children into poverty (it is estimated that by the time of the next general election in 2015, about half the UK's children will be living below the breadline), there's never been more need for this.

I'm all for Red Nose Day. I have a red nose. It lives on my desk lamp and twinks at me. It keeps my perspective level. And it's just a red foam ball, and if things are really rough it can sit on my nose for a minute, and it works every time. It was a present from one of my favourite interviewees ever: the adorable Rolando Villazon, who in his spare time is Dr Rolo, working with the Red Noses in Germany, clowning for children in hospices and hospitals. It's kept me sane. (Thus far, anyway.) That's one reason Comic Relief is such a great idea - because laughter is the best therapy on earth.

So now BBC Radio 3 has been putting its shoulders to the historically-informed, 18th-century wheel... The station is currently devoting a whole month to a Baroque Spring (much of which I've missed as I'm having a purple Wagner patch and it doesn't fit too well, and meanwhile it's been snowing) and five top presenters are competing to see whose choice is Top of the Baroque. Tom Service does a spot of rap to Couperin. Suzy Klein brought in the Swingle Singers to see if they could Handel a spot of Hallelujah... Click here to watch their efforts and pick your favourite.

Here's my pick of the bunch: Sara Mohr-Pietsch decided to take up the cello from, um, scratch, and learn the bassline of the Pachelbel Canon...and then she invited her friends into the studio to join in on whatever came to hand or lip...

[UPDATE, 22 March: have removed the video because it starts playing automatically whenever the blog page loads up...please follow the links above to find it instead.]