It was a night of mysticism and messages from the grave...but somehow I just couldn’t get into the spirit of things
Joe Nawaz joins the audience at the Waterfront Hall for an evening with psychic Sally Morgan
“Sally Morgan’s reputation has been built from her close relationship with many high profile celebrities,” ran the blurb for her show, putting a new spin on things for us sceptics.
It’s one thing to put a ‘civilian’ in touch with dead auntie Val. But if you can channel the dead Chihuahua of H from Steps — and acquire a positive reputation into the bargain — then you have a rare gift indeed.
Civilians in the Waterfront last night appeared to think so as well. It was rammed to the rafters with slightly mournful looking, middle-aged women and occasional spouse.
They hoped Sally would coax a snippet of something profoundly personal for them from what is technically known as “the spirit world”.
“Heaven is a Place on Earth” boomed from the speakers, putting people in the mood for an evening of stupendous supernatural stirrings.
Just before Sally’s grand entrance, the introductory video kicked off.
We were told that “for Sally, delivering messages up and down the country is a daily occurrence”.
Yes, like a spiritual Parcelforce, Sally took her rare gifts to wherever they were most in need. No celebrity was too minor, no TV slot too small for Sally to apply her psychic eye.
TV cockney ‘bad boy’ Danny Dyer for one paid articulate on-screen tribute here.
“There were a caaple a ghosts flapping abaaaat,” he gurned effusively to camera, presumably paying homage to the time psychic Sally gave a few cockney ghosts a psychic slap.
Sally felt the moment was right to enter, possibly because the spirits have told her, or maybe because the video was finished.
We’ll never know, but bound on she did, looking for all the world like, well an amalgam of Sarah Palin, Mrs Merton and a nasty explosion at a Boots make-up counter.
“Let me see you all give a psychic wave,” she yelled, all smiles. What followed was a deeply transcendental Mexican wave.
The old psychic juices took a while to flow, and the names Elaine and James failed to prompt recognition.
“Pat?” Psychic Sally added tentatively. Still silence. “I’m going to move on,” she snapped, before a woman stood up and declared James to be her dead father, Elaine her sister’s bridesmaid and Pat her dead grandad’s brother.
The crowd applauded like they’d just seen somebody escape from a padlocked box.
This gave Sally her first chance to “channel”.
“Daddy wants to speak to you! There’s no more pain. If I could have taken another breath for you I would have!”
You know it’s the spirit of James because she stressed: “I wouldn’t even talk like that normally,” stripping any remaining doubt from the room.
“Lolly, who’s Lolly?” She continued. “Well I’m Polly” says the woman.
“Yes!” cried Psychic Sally, and so on and so forth.
In between Psychic Sally adopted many of the mysterious accents and mannerisms that seem to be in vogue over in the spirit world.
There’s the lobster plugged into the mains impression when she was being possessed.
Then there were the creepy screechy voices.
“Is there a Paaaaaaaam?” she stretched the name out like Loyd Grossman reading a school register, then added: “I don’t have time to wait,” when nobody responded.
Sally didn’t suffer bereaved or credulous fools gladly: “If you don’t put your hand up now, you won’t be able to get me after the show,” she warned, suggesting the dead only perform within the strict timeslot allocated by the venue’s management. There are people who would kill for those sort of working hours you know.
The spirits, it quickly became clear, are an inarticulate bunch, seemingly obsessed with random words of comfort like “nine”, or “rent book” or old fave, “don’t worry about me”.
There’s even one member of the dear departed who gets confused between the name Ivy and Latin numeral IV. Seriously, what do they teach on that supernatural plane?
Kel, Kelly, Alex, Alexia, Alexis and swollen-faced Sinead wafted by the audience unclaimed and unloved, the most upsetting neglect of spirits since the DUP’s Christmas party.
‘An ordinary woman with extraordinary powers’, the promo video promised. Her most tangible power last night was the uncanny ability to obtain 24 hard-earned pounds from the purses of ordinary people.