December 14th, 2011.
We were about to rehearse “The Pineapple Song” for Northumberland Players’ production of Cabaret in the winter of 2012. David Bryson played Herr Schultz and I was Fraulein Schneider.
Rehearsals were going really well. David and I didn’t know each other very well at the time and we were both very serious about our respective roles.
For those that don’t know the story line, Herr Schultz, who owns a fruit stand, was always bringing presents of fruit to Fraulein Schneider. On this occasion it is a pineapple and introduces the song “It couldn’t please me more,” or more commonly called “The Pineapple Song”.
For some reason on that evening David thought he would change things up a bit and when I looked into the brown paper bag and was to reveal “…a pineapple for me,” in the bag was a coconut! In the moment and breaking all the tension of the rehearsal, I just “lost it” in uncontrollable laughter.
I was always nervous after that that I would not be able to control myself at that point in the play. We sang the song a couple of times as “a coconut for me” and then we needed to stop the nonsense; a moment of comic relief not to be forgotten. The funniest things happen when you least expect them.
When asked why he did it, David, usually quiet and somewhat reserved and gentlemanly just said… “I thought we needed a change”.
The photo below shows how it turned out during the performance. The part of Fraulein Schneider was a gift I have never forgotten.