Auld Acquaintance


And so another year draws to a close and a very successful year it has been. Annie will no doubt speak at greater length on the matter at the AGM on the 11th, but after opening with the hugely successful ‘Government Inspector’ the group has gone from strength to strength. The revue commemorating the Bard’s 450th anniversary, ‘Brush Up Your Shakespeare’, packed them in during the summer and December’s ‘The Winslow Boy’ received no end of plaudits. It is going to be a tough year to top but there are already many things afoot some of them imminent indeed!

More on those once 2015 is underway. For now though,  as the last few hours flow from the glass towards midnight, may I wish you a very Happy New Year whether you spend it carousing until the second cock or in  quiet reflection may you have a suitably pleasant ending to 2014 and may you have a truly wonderful year to come.

The very best of wishes
M x


Ho ho ho.


Right, that’s the last of the wrapping done. The first festive glass of mulled red sits tantalizingly by the Christmas candle and the bright lights of Gravesend town awaits. Huzzah.

May your festive seasons be filled with pleasure and your wassailings with wonder: have a great time and a Merry Christmas to you all.

M x

Wonderful, wonderful Winslow!

And so, just over a week after the success of ‘The Winslow Boy’, here is a selection of images from the acclaimed show that brought an end to a marvellous 2014 for the group. I am waiting with baited breath for a review but fear that, in similar fashion to the summer’s Shakespeare adventures, it will not be get to me in publishable form. That said, stranger things have happened, it is simply a matter of badgering and hoping a gap appears in my reviewers’ schedule.

In the meantime, I hope this sample of shots will provide a happy reminder of what was truly another of the outstanding productions of recent years. More of that in the next few days.

M x

Brilliant! Brilliant! But they never do disappoint.

Not my words but those of an audience member leaving tonight’s performance of ‘The Winslow Boy’.  Yes, the second night of the show proved another evening of engaging drama, humour and emotion and, for myself, I can say it was, again,  a real pleasure being on stage this evening. An attentive audience, a wonderful energy from the cast and some truly electrifying moments on stage, it seems such a shame that by this time tomorrow it will all be done. Sometimes it would be great to have a couple more nights to our run. But, no use lamenting that, instead it’s best to look forward to tomorrow night.

And by way of a bonus feature to celebrate a wonderful evening, a little nugget recovered from two years ago today. Thought unrecoverable and therefore lost, the first portion of our December 2012 production, ‘The Compleat Works of Wm. Shakspre (abridged)’ discovered just this very afternoon.

Enjoy and I will catch up with more from the past and the final performance of ‘Winslow’ in the very near future.

M x

Second Night

Just checking in to say what a jolly good opening night it was with ‘The Winslow Boy’. With tonight sold out and Saturday as good as, I think the best is yet to come. If you saw it yesterday hope you enjoyed, any comments as always are welcomed, and if you are coming tonight or tomorrow I hope that you will gasp, laugh and be moved as so many of the folk in the church hall were last night.

Will see you at the other side with a couple of surprise past blasts I hope!
M x

Another Op’nin, Another Show

‘Kiss Me Kate’ is no stranger to his blog, the name of our summer production ‘Brush Up Your Shakespeare’ was lifted right from it, and so it seems apt to share this memorable number as we count down to tonight’s curtain up. True, Cole Porter’s celebrated musical about American’s staging Shakespeare is pretty far removed from the post-Edwardian sensibilities of ‘The Winslow Boy’ but the lyrics certainly capture the feeling that many of us will be experiencing in a few hours time.

For myself I must say the dress rehearsal last night finally nailed home what a great piece of theatre it is going to be. It’s a very rare play that just ‘clicks’ for me and there are , I admit, a few that never click at all; the ‘Winslow’ experience has been a classic example of a slow burner – putting in one’s hours and working on lines, character and emotions until suddenly, when the lights are up, the costumes are on and everyone is at the top of their game in front of a flawless set, it all falls into place. And last night, as I said, that happened, confirming what I have always thought: this is going to be a memorable one. And so I look forward to seeing a few of you there over the next three days, some of you on stage, but many more of you hopefully after and as the great man says:

The overture is about to start,
You cross your fingers and hold your heart,
It’s curtain time and away we go!
Another op’nin’,
Just another op’nin’ of another show.