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Tales From The Edwardian Ball ~ Kingfish & Glory Boy

Tales From The Edwardian Ball

Without a doubt, the Edwardian Weekend is my favorite event of the Bay Area entertainment calendar!

A couple of years back, I decided to dress as an Antarctic explorer for my MC gig at the Edwardian World’s Faire, and acquired a giant fur coat, tall boots and a pith helmet. To top it all off, I’d purchased a ridiculously large stuffed penguin doll, which I decided to name “Glory Boy”. On the night of the Fair, as I’d come and go onstage to announce the various spectacular acts and bands, I would carry this gigantic penguin with me. The desired effect (whatever that might have been) was achieved.

Kingfish & Glory Boy at the Edwardian Ball - Photo ©2011 Neil Girling / The Blight

That same year, the amazingly talented kids from City Circus were performing at the World’s Faire. They were backstage when I arrived, and throughout the night I would often pass them by the stage door as I came and went. I soon noticed that one of their members, a young girl of about nine, kept looking at me intently every time I walked by. I couldn’t figure that out, until I realized that it wasn’t me she was watching at all—It was Glory Boy.

In the whole of this gigantic, fantastic, spectacular grown-up party, I was in possession of the only kid’s toy. And she was the only kid.

The show went along swimmingly. At the end of the night, as I was dragging myself out of the dressing room, damp, dizzy, tired and elated—a rare and wonderful condition I call “Edwardian Tipsy”— I noticed the members of City Circus once again sitting on the backstage stairs. The little girl was with them, still gazing fixedly at my comically large penguin.

I handed her Glory Boy.

Neither of us said a word.

The San Francisco night was foggy and cold as I stepped outside. But all I could think of was the delight on that little girl’s face as she took hold of that gigantic penguin. It was a wonderful Edwardian memory indeed.

Kingfish! - Photo ©2011 Neil Girling/The Blight

Kingfish is one of San Francisco’s premier MCs and deep-sea fishermen. In 1807 he co-founded Hubba Hubba Revue, which quickly became one of the driving forces behind the international burlesque revival, and which is still going strong to this day, with regular events at SF’s Inner Mission and Oakland’s Uptown Club. He is wanted for poaching in Saskatchewan and knows how to fold a fitted sheet. His middle name is Bartholomew, but it’s pronounced “danger”. He is the MC of the Edwardian World’s Faire, a job few men could do (and even fewer would take).

Photos by Neil Girling / The Blight


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This post is part of a series showcasing the fabulous diversity of The Edwardian Ball. Have an Edwardian Tale of your own? Share it with us, and you could win tickets to the Edwardian!