Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A-Z challenge: Voirrey, Ventriloquism, Vanish

VOIRREY stands centre stage.

VOIRREY: Apparently I was an accomplished ventriloquist, skilled at-

                    VOIRREY shuts her mouth completely
                    and a recording of her speaking emanates from stage left.

REC: -throwing my voice. There is one-

VOIRREY & REC (together): -problem with-

VOIRREY (on own): -this theory.

VOIRREY & REC (together): Let us demonstrate.

VOIRREY: Gef was heard-

REC (stage left):  - here.

REC (stage right): And here.

REC (overhead): Here too.

REC (behind audience): He was all over.

VOIRREY: Now me as a ventriloquist ties the mystery of Gef all up in a bow.


VOIRREY: But ignores a simple truth, as I will demonstrate.

                    A Gef Hand Puppet is thrown to her from offstage.

VOIRREY: Everyone, this is Gef.

VOIRREY: Say 'Hello' Gef.

                    Voirrey raises voice 2 octaves (or so) and speaks as Gef using hand puppet.
                    We can see her lips move when she speaks as Gef.

V-GEF: "Hello Gef."

VOIRREY: No, Gef. Say 'Hello' properly.

V-GEF: Shan't. I won't humour unbelievers.

VOIRREY: Oh Gef, you are so troublesome.

V-GEF: Shall we tell them how we do it?

VOIRREY: is that wise?

V-GEF: Harden up, butter cup.

VOIRREY: A ventriloquist doesn't literally throw her voice. She provides the sound, and the
                    misdirection and-

V-GEF: -it looks like I'm talking.

VOIRREY: It must be tape recorders.

                    Gef buries snout in paws.

V-GEF: Oh, no. Now you've done it.

VOIRREY: Enough, you.

V-GEF: Fine, vanish!

                    VOIRREY tosses Gef offstage.

                    VOIRREY crosses stage and pulls out a tape-recorder.


                    She crosses to the other side and picks up another tape-recorder.

VOIRREY: As you suspected.

VOIRREY: Well, that must explain it.

VOIRREY: Except, we were as poor as dirt, how could we afford a half dozen tape recorders.

VOIRREY: How could we run them without electricity?

VOIRREY (as GEF): Someone else did it.

VOIRREY: But how did they do this:

                    Sounds of scurrying from stage left to stage right
                    then scurrying from overhead to behind audience
                    and back again in quick succession.

VOIRREY (as Gef): Beats me!

VOIRREY: Me too.


Ah, that had been sitting percolating for a little while. I'm wondering if puppet Gef needs to be around earlier and for longer. It will be finessed.

Tomorrow: Witchery? Wise woman? What will it be?


  1. Well now - how strange. Why are you writing about Voirrey Clucas Irving and Gef? How do you know her full name - which *very* few people knew, and that she is dead with no descendants?

  2. Wolstan, I feel like there is going to be a 'gotcha' somewhere along the line here.

    I'm writing because the story, and it's ambiguities, fascinate me.

    I learnt Voirrey's full name after doing research on the net (all of my research thus far has been done through the internet, and I am finding that there are very few, easily accessible non-internet sources) and there are a number of sites that list her full name in the context of the events of the 1930s. From there I found the death notice online.

    I am now curious, as what little I could find about Voirrey Irving in more recent years certainly made it easy for me to assume that there were no direct descendants.

    Is this not the case?

  3. After a day of work and pondering, more info for you Wolston.

    Here is the link to the death notice

    I found the notice after having done a google search for "Voirrey Irving." I trawled through all of the search returns, so it is more than likely that I did not have her middle name until I had found that page. I knew from my research that Voirrey had left Isle of Man for England and had worked in a factory. I assumed that she had retired, since retirement is 60 for women in the UK.

    I did a search of the name Clucas, and it's of Manx origin.

    In the "Voirrey Irving" search there were IIRC no other Voirrey Irvings.

    So, I made the assumption that this was the same Voirrey.