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!

Panto

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Have you heard of Panto? Or better known as Pantomime?

No? It’s something that goes on here in the UK around Christmas time.

Usually seen in a theatre it consists of brightly coloured sets, with brightly clothed people, messing about, telling an adventurous story while telling awful jokes and singing contemporary songs.

We do this in Penkhull, but for the at two years someone from the group has written the panto/pantomime, rather than buying in a script.

We started rehearsing last week. Lots of people who have done it before, greatful to get a couple of lines and be able to play act again. Most modern pantos seem to have commercial sponsorship, but in our case we just mention local shops. We don’t have advertisements in the panto, unless it’s jokey ones in the programme.

This time we are doing Aladdin. Set to open for four performances (too many for’s?) in February 2020, so the cast can take Christmas off!

Oh yes we can!

Almost a Sacred Duty.

We went to see a production of Almost a Sacred Duty tonight. A play and presentation at the New Vic theatre. The start was a brief history of what had happened in 1918 by a local historian. This was followed by a play with people from the present and three characters from one hundred years ago. It was about the Minnie pit disaster in 1918, the 18 months it took to find the 156 bodies of men and boys working in the mine who died in the disaster and about 80 miners who survived.

The inquest was held in 1919 after the last body was found. After the hearing, which took weeks, the conclusion was that dust in the mine had contributed to the explosion although nobody was found accountable.

The people acting were playing present day residents who were commemorating the disaster and also played people from 1919 who were at the inquest. The whole thing was only about 45 minutes long but it was really good.

Jim Worgan is a mining historian who gave a short presentation.

Sue Moffat wrote the play and it was directed by Anna Poole. There were three professional actors plus a community cast and the play was supported by the Minnie pit centenary commemoration group, the heritage fund, and New Vic borderlines.

The play used information from William Cooke, a local historian and writer who had given permission to use his book ‘The Minnie pit : Disaster and Controversy”.

Harpers Titchy Theatre

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16 short stories and poems, 11 authors, 6 readers, 1 host. We all had fun listening to many and various tales this afternoon. I wrote three very short pieces which I think I have already posted on here. It’s great to hear people laughing at your jokes and punchlines.

More about the day to follow later.

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Last rehearsal

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Almost done. Tomorrow we do the mystery play. Museum scene, travel back in time, work in a pottery, get thrown out of your house, end up in the workhouse. Escape to go to school. A Sunday school performance, finale. Songs, humour, tragedy, history.

Penkhull Mystery Play event, Saturday 13 July 2019. Free event, starts in the church at 10am then on the church green from 1pm. Stalls from 11am. Lots to see and do… Sorry to keep going on about it!