🇷🇺 Did you know?

Dear Russia. Do you know that your country has flattened and demolished several towns and cities in Ukraine?

That ten MILLION PEOPLE mostly women and children have fled Ukraine in fear of their lives? ABOUT A QUARTER OF UKRAINES POPULATION!

That children and babies have been maimed and killed?

That an art school where 400 people were sheltering was destroyed yesterday?

That Russia is boasting it is using hyper sonic weapons and other vile technology to bombard its way to victory.

Why? Would you be happy if your women and children were fleeing? Your grandmother’s and grandfather’s being attacked. Put yourself in Ukraines shoes.

Putin must stop.

Panto hat

This large papier mache hat was made for out pantomime a few years ago, it was about a meter wide. Painted to look like an old Spode pottery design. With roman or grecian patterns round the cup. I wish we could be certain that the pantomime we are rehearsing at the moment. This is a photo I found on my phone because I’m trying to clear off some of them to make more space, but I’m keeping this one.

Splat!

This time of year is custard pie or cream pie time….. Oh yes it is? Oh no it isn’t!

What I mean is that usually it would be time for Pantomimes (pantos) in theatres across the land. Last year we were rehearsing Aladdin in our local village hall. We went on to perform it in February of this year. 180 people in a small room for for performances! Impossible now.

Sadly so many theatres are closed and shuttered. There is great concern that they will never open again. Instead of fun there is tragedy.

I hope custard pies are back soon! SPLAT!

Remembering the panto

Before Covid19

In February we were in the local pantomime. It was Aladdin. I also painted the scenery including this cutout of a cast member who had gone through a mangle and had to come out flattened. You would think it was easy. But have you tried painting feet from the back as well as the front? I took photos of the front and back of the person but the feet looked odd? I should have placed them like Charlie Chaplin perhaps? I hope life starts to return to normal and we get to do another panto soon! Oh yes I do! Oh no you don’t!

Theatre

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Tragedy and comedy, a small drawing I did.

One thing I miss at the moment is going out to the theatre. It wasn’t something we did frequently but I did enjoy going three or four times a year.

We have a few local theatres. The Regent theatre, the New Victoria theatre, and the Rep. We went out to see Warhorse last year, that was fantastic. I’ve also seen waiting for Godot years ago, the Scottish play and others by Shakespeare.

Over the years we have seen many more productions, including musical evenings, and also live casts of plays at the local cinema. The thought now of sitting with hundreds of people feels frightening. How the world can change…..

That’s it for another year!

Everything’s cleared up and tidied away….. Chairs stacked and put away, empty glasses and plastic beakers cleaned and disposed of. All the sweet wrappers and crisp packets that had been left on the floor were cleared up last night. The changing rooms (four garden gazebos) were taken down today, clothes will be washed and the ones that were rented will go back to their owners. At ten thirty last night the people we had hired the mikes off came to collect them, only to be told they would have to wait a quarter of an hour because we were doing an encore!

Comments made include our panto was better than the professional one held in the city centre at Christmas, and that out cast were good. The only complaint we got was that the radio mikes kept dropping out. The panto has been filmed so hopefully I can get a copy.

It was worth all the months of hard work. If you want to see one of the sketches we did look up “if I were not upon the stage” on YouTube. It’s not our version but gives you an idea of what we did.

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Have I told you we are doing a panto?

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So what is a pantomime. Its a crazy comedy with characters that have been portrayed on stage for years. Some panto(mime) characters include :

Aladdin, The Genie of the lamp and the genie of the ring, Princess Jasmine, Abanazar, widow Twankey and the Sultan and Sultana in our panto.

Jack in Jack and the beanstalk, the giant, Jack’s mother and the panto cow, usually called Daisy.

Robin Hood and his merry men with Robin, Marion, the sheriff of Nottingham, Sir Guy, King John, little John, friar tuck, Will Scarlet.

Sleeping beauty and Cinderella are also pantomimes. So basically they are fairy stories or children’s stories that have been adapted for the stage. Various other characters are added. Like the principle boy, who plays the hero but is often played by a girl, or the ugly sisters and widow Twankey who are played by men. A lot of cross dressing in the panto is traditional.

Pantos are played for laughs, modern ones can be quite commercial and include product placement. In our case we are amateur and just have fun.

If you live nearby to Stoke and want to come along let me know.

Film : Humanus

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Just got back from seeing a film we were in as extras. It was actually shown at a proper cinema which was great. The cast, writers, singers and crew are members of Inter theatre a community theatre company. This is a group of disabled actors who have come together to make a feature film. Featuring Nello (Neil Baldwin) who was portrayed by Toby Jones in Marvellous, a film about his life. It was funny, included a tragic romance, singing, zombies the waiting room for heaven and hell and horrific murders. Directed by Steve Mitchell, it is ground breaking because it stars and includes many people who are disabled but who show just how they can be involved in things like this. It may have a premiere in London (fingers crossed) and also may get put on one of the streaming networks.

Wish it luck x.

Remembering spring

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As we sink slowly into Northern Winter, I thought I would post a picture of the spring earlier this year. The buds were starting to burst, the flowers were opening on rhododendrons. The sky was a warm blue, not the cold, grey, scudding clouds of today.

Warmer evenings, longer days… I can’t wait! I don’t want to make time rush by, but please, don’t let it be a long, cold, harsh winter. We already have flooding in South Yorkshire and parts of the South Midlands where towns like Fishlake have been inundated.

Our local pantomime is on in February, just when winter is starting to get really annoying. We are doing Aladdin this time. I’ve got a small part in it. Hopefully I won’t be falling over while I try to dance!