There really is nothing like a good Hokey Cokey. I get my Hokey Cokey fix at a music morning run by the unbelievably talented Jeremy Mendonca of Americana duet The Hallelujah Trails, known as The Music Man by North London mums.
It starts off calmly enough, with the kids concentrating hard trying to work out whether their right arm is indeed their right arm. Those of us scraping money together every term for violin lessons insist on calling it their “bow hand”, so the kids really have no clue. Danger Boy is hanging on to my hand at this stage, gleefully kicking his left leg out as high as it can go, while Mads stares at her hands.
And then… a palpable moment of anticipation, wide-eyed grins appearing on the children’s faces, mums doing a quick 3 second round of kegels, and then…. WHOOOOOOAAAAAHHHHH the Hokey Cokey!!!!
This is the moment. Children big and small are scooped, swooshed and swung dangerously towards the centre of the room, feet flying, smiling so hard they could burst, positively ecstatic.
For that split second we’ve forgotten that most of the time we hover over our kids, removing sharps sticks from their hands, diligently chopping grapes and other windpipe-sized objects, reminding them 18 times to please please please not walk behind the swings… In that one moment we become kids again and actively initiate a crazy full speed collision of chubby little arms and legs, tiny Hunter wellies flying everywhere.
Having had my two very close together, I’ve enjoyed (survived?) years of scooping one under each arm and recklessly swinging them towards the centre, risking dislocation of pretty much all of our limbs, and hoping that the thin yellowish green layer of Plum Baby coating the little one doesn’t cause him to slip out of my grasp and shoot straight into the fray like a fat little Parsnip Pea and Pear glazed bullet.
And now, a chance to be part of the world’s largest Hokey Cokey record attempt at the FREE Family Festival celebrating the Grand Opening of the London Pleasure Gardens…
CHRISTOPHER GREEN TO HOKEY COKEY AS NOBODY HAS HOKEY COKEYED BEFORE
Pardise Gardens Festival, London Pleasure Gardens, Sat 30th June & Sun 1st July 2012
IDA BARR, the much beloved creation of comedy writer and performer CHRISTOPHER GREEN (Olivier award winning creator of BBC Radio 4 regular Tina C), will be celebrating the opening of the LONDON PLEASURE GARDENS and the PARADISE GARDENS FESTIVAL with a performance culminating in an official Guinness World Record attempt at leading the WORLD’S LARGEST HOKEY COKEY DANCE. Ida’s performance will take place at 4pm, Sunday 1st July at the festival’s main stage.
Ida’s performance regularly ends with the Hokey Cokey- a time honoured ritual she has performed (and will be performing) everywhere from community venues to the National Theatre. However, this will mark her most ambitious project to date- an attempt to draw crowds from across the festival and defeat the standing world record (7384 participants).
The performance marks part of the PARADISE GARDENS FESTIVAL, a weekend of FREE music, theatre, art and other cultural adventures set to take place over the OPENING WEEKEND (30th June-1st July) of LONDON PLEASURE GARDENS, a new urban oasis created from a former wasteland in London’s Docklands.
It features an outstanding programme of events with music from the likes of Alabama 3 (Guardian’s ‘best live band in the country’) and multimillion selling Reggae legends Musical Youth; Silo D, a spectacular pyrotechnics and theatre show by the World Famous retelling the story of the devastating explosion on the site in 1917 that killed 73 people; The Sillylimpic Games with testing sporting challenges such as Slug Racing and Broom Flicking for all to take part in, and much more besides. The event is suitable for all ages, creeds and mindsets, fans of all sports teams, high-culture lovers, low-culture lovers, the culturally indifferent and pensioners.
Ida Barr is the “People’s Pensioner”. She was a big star in the British Music Hall, but since her retirement and descent into poverty in the late 60s she had fallen into obscurity. Recently she’s bounced back with a new style of music, Artificial Hip Hop, mashing up the best of Music Hall with the best of RnB and DanceHall.
Ida’s had her own series on BBC Radio 4, and this summer has the honour of being given the National Theatre to stage her two projects to celebrate the Jubilee:
-Tea & Sympathy, where the public are given the chance to find solace by having a cup of tea and a biscuit with a lady of a certain age – like what the Queen’s been doing with the Prime Minister for the last 60 years
-Ida Barr’s Mashup, where groups of pensioners and children are trained up separately in Artificial Hip Hop by Ida, then come together to form one giant mashup choir including a hip hop version of Jerusalem.
Ida Barr Said:
“I more often than not end my shows with getting every member of the audience up to do the Hokey Cokey. This started because people used to look to me for advice about life saying “You’re old Ida, you must know what life is all about”
I would truthfully reply “All I can say with certainty is that The Hokey Cokey – that’s what it’s all about”.
Because I have overseen the dancing of this exuberant nonsense many many times it ocurred to me that there must be a world record for the biggest one.
When I saw that it was held by the Yanks, my blood boiled. Not because they are American – I can get on with anyone from any race as long as they don’t spit in the street – but because I feel that the Hokey Cokey world record shouldn’t belong to a nation that calls it the Hokey Pokey, which to my mind says a lot about their culture. We are bringing the World Record Home for her Majesty’s Glorious Jubilee Olympic celebrations!“
Christopher Green is one of the primary cabaret artistes in the UK, writing and performing original music and material in a range of venues from nightclubs, corporate events and private parties. He has been a regular guest in the Olivier Award-winning variety show La Clique and La Soiree and performs regularly with Medium Rare and other cabaret organisations. His latest radio project is Like An Angel Passing Through My Room, about his meetings with Frida from Abba. He is working a collection of songs about love and loss, called Carrying Lead which you can read more about in the Music section of the Work page.
His new comedy project is Regina and Rex, appearing with the glamorous Rula Lenska. Rula and Chris play mother and son, who had one pop hit together in 1975. They are now relaunching their career. It’s painful, tuneful and hilarious.
So there it is. Start teaching your kids their left from their right, and get yourself down to the Paradise Gardens Festival. Here’s how to get there: http://www.londonpleasuregardens.com/find-us/
If you’ve ever Hokey Cokeyed, please leave us a comment with your very best “whooooooaaaahhhhh!!”.
Cool action shots of your child swinging gleefully and rather dangerously through the air are also much appreciated! Just pop them on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/reallykidfriendly