Last night, I went to a very belated birthday party thrown for Scots comedian Janey Godley by a central London private members’ club whose name, much like Lord Voldemort, cannot be spoken out loud. By “very belated” I mean that Janey’s birthday was actually in January.
There are always interesting conversations to be had at the ‘Voldemort Club’.
Last night, it started with Jaffa Cakes.
Janey’s new agent Triona Adams, a former nun, told me that actor Ian Richardson’s father had created the Jaffa Cake when he was working for McVitie’s in the 1920s.
There was then talk of people laying Jaffa Cakes on graves because artificial flowers turned white, which I did not quite follow.
And I mentioned I used to work with someone at a Soho facilities house who claimed she was terrified of Jaffa Cakes, which I took to be a joke or a mild eccentricity until, many months later, someone actually brought a plate of Jaffa Cakes into the room and she had to leave in quite considerable emotional distress.
She told me afterwards, still upset: “It’s the texture. They’re dark and it’s the way the light reflects off the dark curves of the chocolate.”
Comedian Meryl O’Rourke – who annoyingly told me she has the ability to eat loads yet stay thin – something I miserably fail to do – was able to top this story last night with the tale of an ex-boyfriend who was frightened of buttons.
Not Cadbury’s Chocolate Buttons but the ones on clothing.
Quite how he managed to function in everyday life I cannot imagine.
Apparently he developed the idea as a child that babies came out of the belly-button and I can only imagine as an adult he had visions of a straining button on a shirt suddenly exploding into a new-born baby, much like the chest-buster scene in Alien.
It got worse because he found the visual appearance of women’s nipples reminded him of buttons and, the first time Meryl took her clothes off in front of him, he vomited.
Surprisingly, the relationship carried on for a while and Meryl has now been happily married for twelve years (obviously not to that boyfriend), though her upcoming Edinburgh Fringe show is titled Bad Mother.
The show is about Meryl’s relationship to her daughter and to her own mother. Apparently her mother, whose first memory was being beaten by a Nazi officer (she was a German Jew), used to stalk minor British showbiz celebrities with young Meryl in tow. I heard some of the stories last night. The show itself should be a cracker.
Perhaps appropriately, Bad Mother is going to be in the Underbelly.
You certainly meet interesting people at the ‘Voldemort Club’.