HotPot - Synchronised Supermarket Shopping Trolley Troupe at 'Britain's Got Talent'

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On 14th Jan 2011 I performed with nine ladies, including my wife Lizzie, in front of three celebrity judges on the Opera House stage in Manchester. This was after just three hours sleep as I had spent the previous night as the Loony Party candidate at the Oldham by-election count.

After many years of inactivity we had restarted HotPot with our synchronised supermarket shopping trolley routine in early 2010 with the main intention of having a go at Britain's Got Talent.

During the summer we waltzed through 'Moon River' at Belper music festival (see photo) and at Maggie's birthday party at the rugby club.

  Brick & Lizzie as part of the ten piece HotPot Trolley troupe.
I recorded then sent the footage and a promotional flyer compiled by Maggie with the application to the TV show in November. Adam phoned from BGT to say we had by-passed the initial round and were selected to go on stage in Manchester.

Lizzie writes:
We had skirted the tedious first round, attended by more mundane and less organised acts, by sending in a DVD of Moon River - now also placed on You Tube for our growing fan base's pleasure. As such we were escalated to the dizzy heights of performing in the Manchester Opera House, in front of a live, and somewhat fiesty audience as well as the 3 judges in January. We arrived eager and champing at the shoppng trolley bit, but were forced like the seemingly hundreds of other acts to wait around for most of the day doing; very little. Whilst "Penny the magic card trick performing dog", "Sailor Pig" and various Middle Aged clog dancing "performers" seemed to attract most of the pre-performance interview time and limelight!

Our time eventually came however and despite some shockingly misleading and again shambolic stage management and direction, performed Moon River for the first time, on stage, to the nation. During this majestic and ethereal revelation, the less discerning members of the audience (from now on to be referred to as the "baying mob") seemed to tire and even disapprove of our talents and, the least discerning of the judges "MM"- apparently a well known and even amusing comedian- even had the nerve to "buzz" us a no!!! Undaunted however and as majestic as ever we continued and finished the performance with an artistic flourish, lacking in most, well all of the other acts.

The two remaining judges, clearly of a far greater calibre and talent recognising ability were then to judge us. The lovely Amanda Holden said despite SOME of the crowd's reaction she had thoroughly enjoyed our act and gave us an unequivocal YES!!! Then the legendary David Haselhoff (better known to those of my generation as Michael Knight) had the casting vote. There was some delay in his answer and remarks to the tone of "Oh my God this is truly why I came to England", but after a few winks from the bathing suited beauties, of course, how could he have given us anything other than; a YES!!!! And so; we thought, according to the so called "rules" we were THROUGH to the next round. >>Certificate we received<<

We then rethought and restruitured our second and entirely different, quicker paced, more vibrant, more fantastical and altogether more spacey routine, again thanks largely to the genius of Maggie. The rest of the story is not a happy one. Despite being ready for launch on various of the initial dates set for the next round in London, when it came to 3 days before the final date in April we were contacted and told we were out. As our fans can see, if not on national TV in the coming weeks, but on You tube and this website, the fact that we were voted out from our Moon River performance is perhaps only second in tragic nature to our not being able to perform "Space" in front of the judges , again a live audience, the nation, and ultimately the Queen. Luckily perhaps she, the Queen, can get some solace from a happily married off grandson in view of being deprived the most unusual, beautiful and imaginative performance at the Royal Variety show this summer, perhaps...


Brick continues:
These are the articles in The Sun which cover my meteoric rise and crushing fall from BGT stardom:

>>Article in the Sun Britain's Dropped Talent<<
>>Same Article in The Sun, but online<<

>>Article in The Sun 11 Apr 'Off your Trolleys'<<
>>Same Article in The Sun, but online<<

>>Article in The Sun 15 Jan By-election Loony get's Hoff's vote at BGT audition<<
>>Same Article in The Sun, but online<<

>>. . . . and even more prestigiously - our article in Belper News<<

History of HotPot and trolley dancing
We started in 1999 as a community arts theatre group to continue the tradition of the Fleet Arts annual panto.

Nobody can remember if there was a 'eureka' moment when someone in HotPot thought of 'synchronised supermarket shopping trolley dancing', or whether it was collectively invented, but the visionary of our theatre group is Maggie Braley and there is no doubt it is, and we are, a figment of Maggie's imagination.

The trolley dances were first performed in a night of Cabaret at Fleet Arts in March 1999. We asked for and were lent the trolleys by Safeway supermarket who have since been swallowed by Morrisons. They are very robust trolleys and have embraced their new lifestyle, frequently displaying determination to take the team in their own unique direction.

We received funding in 1999 from East Midlands Arts towards "Bugs Away", where the 'Millennium Bug', villainously played by Haydee, poured green goo into Santa's pixie making machine. We followed this the next year with the sequel 'Grot around the Clock' and the Millennium Bug and her disgusting sidekick Grotkins messed with Father Time and his Great Universal Clock.

Maggie left the group to work full time for Junction 29 Nell and I mostly co-wrote the final Panto called "Groundfarce" in 2001. The plot centred around the evil Alan Titbog and his dastardly cohort Cillerella and their conspiracy to deck the Secret Garden.
After Groundfarce we ran out of steam and stored the trolleys and Panto props deep within the Fleet Arts cellars where they remained until 2009.