Things like buses do come in threes, perhaps they even come in fours and fives and we just stop counting but three it is for this month's theatre visits.
I shall be a fully-fledged Westend Whinger apprentice by the end of November and have been cutting my teeth again on the annual village drama production before moving onwards and upwards to the Theatre Royal in Plymouth and thence to the pinnacle of my theatrical month, London, the music, the greasepaint, the boards and the bright lights, by which time I will be an expert.
I didn't take my camera so have had to rely on last year's pictures to illustrate, but little changes front of house.
We'd decided against taking a box in the village hall and settled on plastic chairs seats in the front row of the dress circle also known as Row E. Rows A-D being the stalls and Rows H to the back, the gods.
Pre-show supper was in the kitchen watching the news before remembering to exchange slippers for shoes and heading into the traffic.
Nightmare I tell you, we should have allowed far more than five minutes, seven at least.
Rush hour...country lanes...who'd drive 'em.
More time spent going backwards than forwards and then the parking ...well don't even get me started on the parking.
Twas a rotten stormy evening, severe weather warnings urging us not to venture forth unless absolutely necessary but we'd paid £5 a ticket and there was a raffle. You might recall my success at the Village Show raffle back in September so clearly the village hall a source of great luck and good fortune for me as long as the roof stayed on and only lifted with the rapturous applause, not the force ten gales.
It's a little corrugated iron structure and there were no certainties but we all piled in as usual.
Bookhound and I settled down in our front row of the dress circle seats, right alongside the Playgroup, which we now have to call Pre-School, notice board and some very nice colouring-in and glittery pictures. We'd forgotten the chocolates but the row behind hadn't so it was good to have that regular rustling going on as we settled down to enjoy Trivial Pursuits by Frank Vickery. Unfortunately we were also seated behind the tallest man in West Devon but we managed.
Here's the plot...
"The leading lights of the Trealow & District Operatic Society meet
at director Nick and his wife, Roz's home to hear what their next
production will be. As the evening wears on everyone
has far too much to drink and some members try to influence Nick's
choice of the new production - by all sorts of devious means. They
drink even more and lots of bitchy bickering breaks out.
Derek cannot get used to his impending divorce and Deidre, his soon to be ex-wife arrives with a new man - television addict Eddie (in real life the man from the garden centre)
Nick is having an affair with Jessica (in real life the practice nurse from the surgery)
Joyce a once talented actress is an alcoholic.
Teddy is delightfully camp and alternately sweet and strident.
There are plenty of mishaps - the barbecue wont light and then when paraffin is poured on it it goes up in flames and Teddy is badly burnt. Eddie climbs on the roof to change the television aerial to get better reception and Derek agrees to donate money to the Society as long as Deidre gets a leading role.
And what will the next production be??"
Enough there to keep us all amused and it was of course hilarious, moments of pure farce, brilliant acting as always, the funniest finale I have seen in many a long year which had us all crying with laughter and all replete with those wonderfully endearing moment of AmDram production
...the hand that creeps out to assist the recalcitrant curtain stuck on the rope pulley opening device.
...the prompt who comes in after a bit of a silence with a whispered line.
Then in the interval the tubs of ice cream, (the Whingers would not have approved, no bar) though sadly my luck was out with the raffle.
So that's my first November theatre event done, two to go.