Old Mother Riley’s Circus

Being the personal history and recollections of Maggie O’Hara, noted chanteuse, first seen eyed by the Metropolitan. “How dare you cast incendiaries on my character!

How she furthermore comes to be associated with Santley’s Circus, distrained.

“What experience have you had?”

“Oh, dreadful! I’ll never forget one night in the park, it was in the blackout—  But then, “all’s fair in love and Wardour Street, whoopee!” Enter the Countess, “a match for any man!”

The circus goes on. “There’s many a slip between the skirt and the hip,” however. “Members of the brewery” (office of Augustus Cheddar K.C.), “this man Santley is so crooked he could rest his chin on his shoulder blade, he’s like one of those things you see crawling out of a sofa,” says bewigged Mrs. Riley.

And, “it’ll take more than a court order to disinfect me... I’m going to do a little bit of preparing for invasion meself!”

“You’re crazy, you can’t do that, mother.”

“Can’t I? This is a state of emergency! Have you ever seen a Spitfire in action?” How Mrs. Riley comes to own the circus by rights.

Bentley’s sophisticated ride waltzes over a cinema sendup and right into the Odd Slipper Club, the late George Riley’s favourite convertible gambling hell and milk bar (cf. Douglas’ Robin and the 7 Hoods, etc.).

“I’m gonna put on a show that’ll make this joint look like a Punch and Judy act.”

It ends somewhere between Buffalo Bill and Sunny (dir. Herbert Wilcox).

TV Guide, “a harmless piece of entertainment”.