Just a pre lockdown photo.

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In February I was painting scenery and props for our local pantomime, Aladdin.

We were acting in front of about 140 people for four performances. One on Thursday and Friday, and a double performance including a matinee on Saturday. To think just a couple of weeks later we were in lockdown. I saw hundreds of people over those few days, and then no one for three months except on the way to and back from the shops.

I wish I could go back in time? Go back to a time where there was laughter. Fun, silly jokes, time to be with friends. Life was much less worrying then, despite global warming and pollution! I wonder what will happen when things return to normal if they do?

Penkhull Mystery Plays

The time to organise this year’s mystery play at penkhull is here. But people need to get involved. After fifteen years of hard work some of the organisers are standing down. We have various deadlines and need to decide by early February whether it’s going ahead. The committee are meeting tonight and hopefully those that were involved and are involved or might want to be involved will attend. It takes a lot of effort from over 400 people to put the day on. The centre of it is usually a Mystery Play although a couple of years ago we had a ‘fallow’ year where there was no play, but the rest of the day went ahead. I guess people are busy, but it would be good to keep it going….

Today

Belly dancers at the Heritage weekend at Newcastle-under-Lyme today. This was after the Mock mayor ceremony which went really well considering I was wearing a large white wig and it has the effect of turning me into some sort of old English sheepdog! I delivered my speech on the steps of Newcastle-under-Lymes’ Butter Cross, which is outside the Guildhall. After we had done the performance we walked around the Lancaster building on the other side of the cross. We had to process and I started saying Good Afternoon in a posh voice to everyone to keep up the character of the Mayor. Returning to the Butter Cross we had photos taken with the real mayor. They might follow if they are not too embarrassing.

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Holst’s Planet Suite

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I’m watching a programme, late at night, with Holst’s planet suite. But it’s also got Professor Brian Cox, a famous astronomer, who is explaining details about the planets. During each section there are beautiful images of each of the planets, now they are showing multi cratered Mercury. If you have never heard the Planet Suite I would recommend it. The music is sublime, lyrical, atmospheric, full of complexity and confident, in turns loud and soft, discord and soaring melodies wrap into and around each other. There are sections covering rising octaves, then dropping down to gentle breezes of notes.

Jupiter is the next planet, and he is explaining the atmosphere and the poles of the planet. Its exactly the sort of programme I love, art, creativity and science mingled together.

If you can find it on the BBC iplayer I would recommend watching it.

Mystery Play day

 

I couldn’t take photos myself of the mystery play as I was busy setting up, then performing and finally taking down the show. These photos are courtesy of my friends Lorraine and Dean.

We started at 9am and finished around 6pm. You have to take props down to the green from the village hall. The volunteers then built three scaffolding towers to hang my backdrops off and to attach the wheel that had been made. Also to rest props on. Then the stools and tables had to come over. The chairs for the audience and choir and seating for fifty children from the drama school. In addition there were 18 stalls for crafts and food, gazebos for the various volunteers and changing room. A pa system,¬† other things I can’t remember, and the roads had to be closed with barriers. After the play there were other performances including the titchy theatre. By the time we had taken everything down afterwards it was 6pm and everyone was exhausted, hence going out for a Thai¬† meal rather than cooking. I’m shattered.

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