Kevin Leahy - A Dream Fulfilled

A dream fulfilled, Kevin Leahy, Hobby Horse, 1979    (Dec. 1997)

    There was only one part in the Plough Jag for me; I had always fancied being the Hobby Horse. Of course some of the other parts are also impressive, Besom Betty, for instance has very impressive parts although attempts to fondle them were dismissed with a maidenly fist.

    Nothing, though, compares to the HobbyHorse. The cape gives anonymity, no one can see who you are and you can say anything to anyone. Around your middle is the hoop of a sieve with a pole sticking out of the front of it. On the pole is an animal's head equipped with snapping jaws. These are wonderful, full of heavy hobnails, which, by a miracle of medieval technology and a piece of string, could be smashed together in a highly satisfactory way. It was like the buzz you (well I, anyway) get from popping bubble plastic. The cape does have some disadvantages, there is the danger of mild suffocation and, more importantly, it seriously reduces the possibilities for hamming it up. In that cape it is impossible to play to the crowd and the dramatic possibilities consist of only the odd whinny and snicker.

    Of the day itself, all I can remember is a blur of pubs and performances. We had some laughs and a bit to drink. I do remember forgetting, not the words, but the motions. After one of my breathtaking performances I cantered off, only to have one of my co-stars mutter out of the side of his mouth, “You forgot the turds!”I galloped back on and deposited the small collection of rolled tights on the pavement to the usual roars of approval.

    Stardom for a day ... “In comes I, ’obby ’oss.................”