We had skirted the tedious first round, attended
by more mundane and less organised acts, by sending
in a DVD of Moon River - now also placed on
You Tube for our growing fan base's pleasure.
As such we were escalated to the dizzy heights
of performing in the Manchester Opera House, in
front of a live, and somewhat fiesty audience
as well as the 3 judges in January. We arrived
eager and champing at the shoppng trolley bit,
but were forced like the seemingly hundreds of
other acts to wait around for most of the day
doing; very little. Whilst "Penny the magic
card trick performing dog", "Sailor
Pig" and various Middle Aged clog dancing
"performers" seemed to attract most
of the pre-performance interview time and limelight!
Our time eventually came however and despite
some shockingly misleading and again shambolic
stage management and direction, performed Moon
River for the first time, on stage, to the nation.
During this majestic and ethereal revelation,
the less discerning members of the audience (from
now on to be referred to as the "baying mob")
seemed to tire and even disapprove of our talents
and, the least discerning of the judges "MM"-
apparently a well known and even amusing comedian-
even had the nerve to "buzz" us a no!!!
Undaunted however and as majestic as ever we continued
and finished the performance with an artistic
flourish, lacking in most, well all of the other
The two remaining judges, clearly of a far greater
calibre and talent recognising ability were then
to judge us. The lovely Amanda Holden said despite
SOME of the crowd's reaction she had thoroughly
enjoyed our act and gave us an unequivocal YES!!!
Then the legendary David Haselhoff (better known
to those of my generation as Michael Knight) had
the casting vote. There was some delay in his
answer and remarks to the tone of "Oh my
God this is truly why I came to England",
but after a few winks from the bathing suited
beauties, of course, how could he have given us
anything other than; a YES!!!! And so; we thought,
according to the so called "rules" we
were THROUGH to the next round. >>Certificate
We then rethought and restruitured our second
and entirely different, quicker paced, more vibrant,
more fantastical and altogether more spacey routine,
again thanks largely to the genius of Maggie.
The rest of the story is not a happy one. Despite
being ready for launch on various of the initial
dates set for the next round in London, when it
came to 3 days before the final date in April
we were contacted and told we were out. As our
fans can see, if not on national TV in the coming
weeks, but on You tube and this website, the fact
that we were voted out from our Moon River performance
is perhaps only second in tragic nature to our
not being able to perform "Space" in
front of the judges , again a live audience, the
nation, and ultimately the Queen. Luckily perhaps
she, the Queen, can get some solace from a happily
married off grandson in view of being deprived
the most unusual, beautiful and imaginative performance
at the Royal Variety show this summer, perhaps...
History of HotPot and trolley dancing
We started in 1999 as a community arts theatre
group to continue the tradition of the Fleet Arts
Nobody can remember if there was a 'eureka' moment
when someone in HotPot thought of 'synchronised
supermarket shopping trolley dancing', or whether
it was collectively invented, but the visionary
of our theatre group is Maggie Braley and there
is no doubt it is, and we are, a figment of Maggie's
The trolley dances were first performed in a
night of Cabaret at Fleet Arts in March 1999.
We asked for and were lent the trolleys by Safeway
supermarket who have since been swallowed by Morrisons.
They are very robust trolleys and have embraced
their new lifestyle, frequently displaying determination
to take the team in their own unique direction.
We received funding in 1999 from East Midlands
Arts towards "Bugs Away", where the
'Millennium Bug', villainously played by Haydee,
poured green goo into Santa's pixie making machine.
We followed this the next year with the sequel
'Grot around the Clock' and the Millennium Bug
and her disgusting sidekick Grotkins messed with
Father Time and his Great Universal Clock.
Maggie left the group to work full time for Junction
29 Nell and I mostly co-wrote the final Panto
called "Groundfarce" in 2001. The plot
centred around the evil Alan Titbog and his dastardly
cohort Cillerella and their conspiracy to deck
the Secret Garden.
After Groundfarce we ran out of steam and stored
the trolleys and Panto props deep within the Fleet
Arts cellars where they remained until 2009.