The Thirty Five Timely & Untimely Deaths Of Cumberland County

By Mason Ball

1934: a doctor struggles with belief, mortality and murder; a novel inspired by real events

Thursday, 23 June 2016


Hey there shed-dwellers,

SO, a little word or two on the other side of my life, the yin to my yang, the Laurel to my Hardy, the meat to my potatoes, the... (and so on)

When not writing I am a cabaret host, emcee, compère, (whichever term you feel comfortable with) by the name of Benjamin Louche.

This all began when my then girlfriend now wife was a burlesque performer (Miss Rose Thorne) and so I was brought into the world of cabaret and burlesque as what came to be known as a 'burlesque widower'; one of a  number of other halves who turned up to support and/or lend a hand at shows. I had, it's true, studied acting and physical theatre many moons ago but hadn't actually set foot on a stage for years.

It was at just such an event that the idea for a cabaret & burlesque club came into my mind, an event that wasn't 'wall to wall frivolity' but that was a little... for want of a better term 'darker in tone; and lo, when my wife and I put our heads together, The Double R Club was born.

I have since then helmed The Double R through a number of awards and have also hosted many other nights both here and abroad, of many differing types and even picked up 'best host' at the London Cabaret Awards. I've also written a one man show Being Louche, an evening of song and shtick, rhyme and unreason, concerned in part with my haphazard journey from half-hearted actor into the gin-soaked arms of the cabaret world.

And yet, all the while I wrote, in fact I developed a particular style of hosting at The Double R Club that relied on my writing a sometimes complicated, always hyperbolic and often rhyming 200 word introduction to each of our acts. This I believe helped me 'keep my hand in' writing if and when I dried on any larger writing projects; having to write (and learn) approx 2,000 words a month will kick that writer's block right in the fun-spuds.




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