The boatband

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After the panto we went over to the local alehouse where the boatband were playing. They play a mix of sea shanties, cajun and creole music together with other 20th century music. Listening to them playing guitar, fiddle, trombone, accordion and washboard was great. One of their members is missing but I only took one photo before my phone went flat. There is always a request to sing during the interval so I sang “molly malone”, but because I had got really tired from the panto performance I could not remember all the words and had to be prompted… How Ironic…!

Anyway that was a long evening. Not sure when I will get up in the morning. The panto continues on Friday (today) and Saturday.

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Barn dance coming up..

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Imagine whirling around with a bunch of people… Then imagine some of them looking completely confused, going in the wrong directions and flinging each other about in mad abandon. That’s a barn dance. Add amazing live music. A caller explaining the dance moves to people trying to understand what on earth he’s saying. The fun that can be had getting dizzy, twisting and turning, jumping about….

And a pie and peas supper that has both meat and vegetarian options.

It’s all in aid of the Penkhull Mystery play this July.

If you are in the area perhaps you would like to come along to these February Frolics and then get involved in the mystery play itself where there are openings to act, make props and help paint scenery. You never know you might enjoy it.

Panto rehearsal

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Help! The pantomime is getting closer “oh no its not!” it’s on in a month “oh yes it is!” and we are supposed to be word perfect and know the songs and dances… “oh no we don’t!”

Well last Fridays rehearsal was cancelled due to snow and this week a couple of the main cast were away or had injured themselves so some parts had to be read in. There are lots of things to remember for the whole cast. Like when to come back on stage for a crucial part of a song which we all missed! I don’t know how long 16 bars is! It’s a case if standing around muttering rhubarb rhubarb (to pretend we are talking) while the main characters act out the story.

It is funny (honest) but it’s hard to describe. It’s good that one of the cast has actually written  and I’d directing it. She’s so clever to do it. Plus organising over 20 children.  I don’t know where she gets the energy.

I won’t tell you all the story, but Robin falls for Marion, some Goons cause mayhem on behalf of the Sheriff of Penkhull who is cleverer than Prince John. Marion is Scottish and the panto has her travelling to her home land. However all ends well.  …

Penkhull Wassail

 

There’s not many places in Britain where you can wander round with flaming torches (but no pitchforks). But today we did just that round Penkhull Village. From Penkhull village hall we walked down the road to a garden with an ancient apple tree. The Domesday Morris danced and poured cider over its roots, Wassailing (shouting Wassail) to bless it and get it to flourish in the coming year. Domesday Morris danced, the Clay choir, which I sing with, sang Wassailing songs such as ” The old Cornish Wassail” and “the Penkhull Wassail” ( written by Duncan Bourne). Penkhull village brass band and the Penkhull Ukelele band also played.

Once we had drunk warm cider down at the garden we walked back up the hill and on to the local pubs, the Marquis of Granby, the White Lion, which was closed for some reason. We then went to The Beehive pub on Honeywall which had laid on some sandwiches. Then back across the hill to the Terrace pub and up to the Greyhound pub and Manor Court ale House where we finished singing and dancing. The Morris group were brilliant with their decorated hats, bells and boots. When they start dancing their sticks fly and swirl and clash together in time with the music  So exciting to watch.

We went over to the village hall for hot soup. Some people stayed for a barndance, but as we were tired out we came home to get warm and have a hot coffee.

No monsters or zombies were affected by this Wassail.

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Wassailing

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Wassailing is a tradition to celebrate the New year. People would go from door to door  knocking on them to rouse their occupants.

The local Morris Dancing troupe started to organise Penkhull Wassail a few years ago. Our Choir joined in and now quite a lot of people walk around the boundaries of penkhull with lighted (flaming) torches. We visit an ancient apple tree in a garden nearby, the Morris dancers dance and we get a drink of hot cider.. Then we continue around and sing and dance outside the local pubs.. . Just for fun. We end up at the local village hall for soup. Sometimes we stop for a barn dance afterwards.

We sing various songs including the Penkhull Wassail and the Gower and the Gloucester Wassail.

I guess some of the songs will be on YouTube.

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Painting on black boards.

These are two more boards that I’m painting for the Penkhull panto. This time I have black boards to paint on and it’s taking a lot of paint! I think the acrylic paints I used are a bit too thin. The colour seems to sink in, not float on the surface so that they won’t show up as well on the stage. I’m going to get some stronger paint for next week with more pigment and less filler in them.

These two took a while to paint and it was very cold in the hall. I’m ready for some warm food and a rest.

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Community Spirit

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Five public houses, one private house and a Christmas tree…. What do they have in common? We went Carol singing around them with the Penkhull Mystery singers last night.

From wassail songs, Latin carols, ancient hyms and fairytail of New York… We sang so much last night. Its becoming a local tradition to visit all the hostelries to sing to the locals and collect funds for the Penkhull Mystery play in the summer. Its a difficult way of doing it because it relies on the number of people in the pubs and we outnumbered everybody in each of the pubs. But it was fun! Singing the Holly and the Ivy in four part harmony, or Good King Wenseslas with the men and women split into parts. And we sounded good. We are becoming more balanced as a choir. More choral.

After the New Year the choir splits back up. It’s made up of members of two Choirs and other members who just get together for this. But the cameraderie will remain.

I’m looking forward to next year when we do it all again.

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