Photos of Warhorse

I wrote about going to see Warhorse last week, but I did a drawing because we were not allowed to take photos.

Then I found these photos on line. I think they are publicity shots which are allowed to be shared. If they suddenly disappear you will know why.

They just show the beauty and also horror of the play. Such strong sculptural images.

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War horse

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I don’t have any photos but I did a quick sketch from my memory of the horse in Warhorse that I went to see tonight.

The play starts with a puppet foal which is quite small. The story shows him being bought and then brought up on a farm in England in 1914. Suddenly the foal becomes a fully grown horse. He is sent along with thousands or possibly millions of horses across to be part of the cavalry in the First World War.

The story charts what happened to him and also his owner who enlists so he can find him.

The horses in the play are depicted by puppets which contain two puppeteers inside them and one moving the head and neck. In scenes where he is galloping extra puppeteers move the four feet. The horses move in realistic ways, flicking it’s ears, moving it’s tail. Rearing and bucking.

There are sections of horrific violence but through it all there is a strong streak of humanity. There are good and bad on both sides. I found myself enthralled  The play seemed to fly by.

I need to mention the other puppets, the goose, swallows flying on the wing, and a first World War tank that were  so well used to depict reality. You forgot there were puppeteers, you just saw the things they were meant to represent. If you get a chance to see it, its worth it.

Titchy theatre

Today we went to the Harpers Titchy Theatreup at the village hall. We went to listen to short plays written by about 17 people (including my partner and myself). The stories were varied and ranged from subjects about flying a plane to Lancashire in 1963. The name was chosen for a gentleman who passed away last year.

The idea was to write on about two pages of a4 paper. A play or poem to be read by up to 3 or 4 people.

My stories were about monsters and overhearing a conversation. My partners was about childhood memories.

I don’t have the originals because they were hand written and had to be typed up. When I get them back I will copy them to this site.

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Remembering Mothers

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It’s mother’s day here on 31st of March but I won’t be celebrating it as both my mom and mother in law passed away a few years ago.

What I do have is these two paintings of them to remember them by.

They both had their troubles and difficulties but they were both strong women and I loved them both.

Instead of going to a mothers day lunch or tea I’m going to a theatrical event called Titchy theatre.

I’ve written a couple of small conversations for two or three voices and the people running the theatre event will be reading them out. The Titchy theatre started at Penkhull Mysteries but is expanding to two performances a year. People were asked to write something for the performance. If you are free on Sunday the 31st and want to come up to Penkhull Village Hall please do. Please get there for 2.30pm. The show starts at 3pm. Spaces are limited.

After the panto

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This is me in panto costume and makeup. I have not published photos of other cast members as I don’t have their permission. What a brilliant time! Two full shows today. That’s 8 hours in the hall. Trying to look serious , happy, perplexed, confused. Changing from being a villager to a Scottish villager, supporting Robin Hood in a wrestling match, capturing Robin Hood in Scotland. Visiting the court of Prince John and the Sheriff of Penkhull and being in the presence of King Richard. Squabbling with other villagers and getting into fights. All while watching the action as Robin tries to rescue Maid Marian when she is actually quite capable of rescuing herself. Add a mad sketch which shall not be revealed at the start of the second act, and large and small Loch Ness monsters chasing the cast round the hall.

So much more goes into putting on a show than the people acting. There is the stage crew who make and place props as they are required, including a mocked up wrestling ring. There is sound and lighting. There are the amazing people creating the costumes. The make up artists trying to paint the faces of almost 40 members of the cast. The people selling tea and drinks  Mostly though it’s down to a local woman who wrote and directed our version of Robin Hood. How she kept all the adult and junior cast going and persuaded us to put it on is beyond me.

So after  4 performances including 2 yesterday, that finished about 4 hours ago … Well all I can say is I’m glad I was in it and congratulations everyone. We’ve had really great feedback from audience members. I want to do it all again!

It’s over

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After 5 days and 6 performances we finished singing with the play Beautiful thing tonight. We did two performances today and I’m shattered. We have had a great time though. The choir was accepted by the cast and crew of the play and the New Vic theatre staff. I think we had a wonderful welcome and great support throughout the run.

Now the play is off to Lancaster to run for a week up there. They will be joined by a new community choir. It would be good to go up and see the actual play (we only saw the bits when we were on stage). It had come up from Bristol after a run down there.

So what next? Back to normal. One of the choirs I’m in (Loud Mouth women) is celebrating its 20th anniversary with two musical workshops and a party. Then normal choir practice with Clay chorus the following night.

I’m staggered at how much singing we have done. But it’s been a blast.

Flying horse

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Why does the horse fly?

No wings, does it levitate?

Or is it a magic stallion ?

Or tied up with string

Flying cables, high wires?

Horsehead nebula in the sky?

Pegasus chased by Orion?

Old rocking horse or fairground ride,

Extreme dream, circus show,

Witches ride bareback

Mane streaming

Fly

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