“What you are looking for is someone with a large cock and shares in baby oil!”
“I’ll drink to that.”
Tracey downed her mojito and looked at her companion. ‘Your turn Silvo, same again please.”
Sitting in the bar at Soho House Tracey felt much more at home than she did in Solihull. London was definitely more up her street, the shopping was better and they understood her rather extravagant dress sense better than those in Touchwood shopping centre. When she said I want more pink they ran to help, not for cover.
Silvo returned from the bar with another two large measures. ‘Cheers, my lovely. Where have you been hiding all this time?”
He was an old friend and she loved catching up with him. They’d met at university and bonded over a shared love of pink, feathers and great shoes. Silvo was more of a fashion diva than she was. He’d landed a job at the British Fashion Council and she’d got stuck in some backwater trying to get to grips with a woman whose PMT seemed to last for the whole month, banished there by her father after an unfortunate incident at her first job. He’d managed to wangle her a week hostessing at Ascot, said it would be good for her to mingle with the masses and do some good hard graft. What he hadn’t realized was that hostessing was actually one step up from being an escort and the girls had to deal with being felt, leered and generally taken for prostitutes to get their tips. Tracey gave as good as she got but one City boy took it too far when he cornered her in the ladies. A rather nasty stiletto in the leg and her waitressing days were over. Daddy had been worried about how it would reflect on the family as the man in question was vaguely related to them so she’d been stuck on a train to the Midlands, and found a role in Daddy’s friend Gareth’s company. Two years down the line she thought she would have escaped by now but stepping into second place was something she was actually enjoying.
Tracey Dunn-Jones had spent most of her adult career (and a lot of her teenage years) riding on the back of anyone who would help her. She’d scraped through exams and then made it to university by the skin of her teeth, and the family inheritance. Dropping a couple of K here and there definitely helped to oil the wheels. She’d found her feet while studying Business Studies at “London poly turned uni” but was still trying to turn that knowledge into something she could use at KOD. Working for Kate didn’t help, she was a total control freak and couldn’t see past Tracey’s impressive cleavage. In fact, many people couldn’t do that, something she was realizing might be a hindrance rather than a help in life.
The theatre job had really whet her appetite. She’d had a brush with fame and realized it wasn’t all swanning around looking fabulous, and now she had this great idea to get some money in the coffers.
“So, you got to be the star of the show then? How come you gave it up after one performance?”
“I realized you were more of a drama queen than me!” Tracey laughed at her friend.
“But I thought you were all – “I want to be on Big Brother, I want to be famous, Darlings”
“I did, but actually those guys work really hard, and talking to Sparks he’s been plugging at it for years and still only breaks even. That wouldn’t fund my shoe and handbag habit.” Tracey waved her most recent purchase under his nose.
“So, does this mean you actually want to do some work? What happened to that party girl I knew and loved?” Silvo pretended to look down in the mouth
“Oh, she’s still there. I’m expecting you to show me the sights tonight, it’s been a long time since I’ve had a decent night out. But I’ve actually found something I am interested in. I care about this theatre.” Tracey paused, as this was the first time she’d actually put into words how she felt. She did care about the old dump, all ideas of stylish apartments carved from historic buildings had gone.
“So I’ve told them we need sex to sell more tickets. I’m not talking Full Monty age performers, I want the real deal.”
“And they are up for it?” Silvo looked concerned. Tracey had told him about the average age of the current audience, and he was worried about deaths during the performance.
“Well, not exactly, but if I can prove that my idea will sell tickets, then it’s a done deal. I just need to whip up a buying frenzy.”
“Well, I know some dancers who are in-between jobs who’d be up for it. I’m sure we could come up with a few ideas and some routines.”
“Ok, well you tell them to start polishing their posing pouches and I’ll go and do the hard work. Once I know what I’m up against I’ll let you know if I need a bit more support.”
“Darling, there are a few things you have been up against over the years and the only support you have needed is their hand on your….”
“Silvo!” Tracey shrieked.
Tracey had been bouncing around an idea in her head since she’d been brought into the theatre discussions. She’d seen the shows and the audience but thought that everyone was thinking too one-dimensionally. Yes it was a local theatre, and yes people came to see something entertaining or something for their kids but there was a whole audience they were missing. What about bored women? There were a lot in the suburbs of Leighton Oxley she was sure, for whom a night in the one or two decent pubs, a trip to the local cinema or pub quiz, wouldn’t satisfy their needs. And she was talking about women of all ages, there must be girls from 18 to 40 in the town? She’d taken a wander round one afternoon between meetings and see yummy mummies and ladies who lunch, plus student types. She knew there was a college nearby. Surely this was a group that needed something the theatre could offer?
Being a little more widely travelled than perhaps those in Leighton she’d seen a few good shows in her time in the West End, and she knew that something with sexy men would go down a storm. She’d even heard about a film coming out about strippers, but the ones with six packs, not unemployed steelworkers. That would get people thinking about the whole idea.
She thought she could pull together a ‘Ladies Night’ which would fill the venue, riding on the back of the wave of the film, but knowing they couldn’t afford a proper stripping troupe had rolled Silvo in. He had a great network of performing types, and if she waved a few hundred quid at some of his ‘resting’ friends they’d been up for pulling something together. Tracey knew a lot of them loved a chance to show off their abs.
She could picture it, low lighting, a smoke machine, six drop-dead gorgeous men stepping out on stage dressed as policemen. The music starts pumping, their groins start pumping and in a flash, the clothes are off, the baby oil on and the screams from the crowd deafening.
Perhaps she’d get pulled up on stage for a one-to-one dance, where a nice dark-haired boy with a great torso would writhe all over her while she imagined something more.
“Tracey, oh Tracey, come back. You’ve gone all flush love.” Silvo was peering over at her.
“Sorry, I’d gone into a trance daydreaming about the show.” Tracey rolled her eyes and tried to hold on to the image of the impressive bod.
“Oh, get over yourself. Remember most of my friends are gay so even if you get close, you aren’t their type. However, they do know how to shake their thang.” Silvo mimed wiggling his bum.
“But it will be perfect. All those suburbanite ladies will love it! I can see the money rolling in now.”
The only thing Tracey had to do was convince Freddie and the local Council that a strip show was the right way to go. And she had an idea how she could do it at the next council meeting. All she needed to do was keep Kate out of the picture.