Last week I was back at the theatre where I used to work. I’d arranged a meeting there – thinking that I would get preferential service as a former employee. The Duty Manager welcomed me with a big smile and I felt the warm glow of a kind of homecoming. It was only when he said ‘It took a minute for me to recognise you without your fedora’ that I suspected a case of mistaken identity. I have never worn a hat in my life.
I let this pass and enjoyed the fact that the man’s voice was almost identical to that of the late great Max Wall. When Maude was carrying Aurora she would often ask me to speak to the baby:
‘All the books say that the father should talk to the baby in the womb. That way you’ve partially bonded even before birth. They come out knowing their father’s voice.’
I felt self-conscious about speaking to an unborn baby and decided to do my Max Wall voice.
‘Hello, are you in there? It’s your father here….’
As usual, Maude was amused at first and then annoyed.
I argued that the deep resonance of the ‘Max Wall’ voice probably made for very comforting vibration by the time it reached the baby. Maude changed her position on the sofa at that point – placing the bump out of the reach of ‘Max’.