Thursday, June 16, 2011

David Tennant, Catherin Tate, Hats, Am Dram, Walkabout and Paulton... and relax.

Good King Hal takes a straight right jab from Jane Seymour on the lawn in front of Leeds Castle. Either that, or he's blowing a raspberry on the back of her hand.

So, I went back to Somerset to pick up the tickets for "Much Ado About Nothing" at the Wyndhams Theatre, starring David Tennant and Catherine Tate. Me forgetting them in the first place was more of a case of "Much Rushing About The Country For Nothing". Anyway, my sister Cathy and myself went up to London on the 7th June to see the play. We were driven up by Cathy's husband, Julian. Now if you have never experienced a car journey with Julian Martin, then you are in for quite a shock. You know those old film clips of astronauts going through rigorous training before blasting off into space, where they get put in the centrifugal accelerator thingy and are then whizzed round at high speed, and we are treated to close ups of their faces contorting with the g-force they're experiencing. Well you can recreate that look and feeling simply by sitting in Julian's Volvo and going on a journey with him. We blasted off from Kent and seemed to arrive at Aldgate East tube station mere nano-seconds later, mind you I did have my eyes closed. The play itself was wonderful - David Tennant has a real presence on stage and is one of those actors that you simply can't take your eyes off him for every scene he is in. Catherine Tate was equally good and not too over the top, as I thought she might be. And she was looking mighty slinky too!

It was back to Somerset on the Wednesday and then in the evening down to Bridport to meet up with Jill Beed who has invited me to take part in the 2nd Annual Bridport Hat Festival in September. I sat in on their planning meeting and it looks like I could be taking part in the opening ceremony on the Friday evening with legendary Country and Western loony Hank Wangford (careful how you say that). Friday evening I was at Barrington Court to see the Barrington Players perform a couple of one act plays. As usual with this am dram group the quality of the performances were 99% excellent. The 1% other was a member of the cast I have seen before, who once again shouted most of the lines he could remember and spent most of the rest of the time looking round for the prompt, but the audience loved it, and it was fun and diverting for the evening.

I was back at Barrington Court the next day for a Henry VIII walkabout in the gardens. It was a relatively quiet, but fun to be back walking around these beautiful gardens. There seemed to be a lot of New Zealanders about this day - strange how you get little pockets of nationalities like this.

On the Monday it was a return visit to Paulton Junior near Bristol. I LOVE this school. It has always been such fun to go there. The kids are fun, bright and really get the whole concept of the show. The teachers are all uniformly lovely, charming, friendly and can't do enough for you. It was as ever at this finest of schools fun, loud, and full of laughter. The afternoon in particular was so raucous and full of laughter as to be one of the loudest ever. In a rip roaring finale the ladies once again triumphed in the jousting which brings the score now to:


Only a few shows left now - can the gents close the gap any more? Or are they doomed? Stay tuned.

My Monday wasn't over even then, as I had to drive to Essex that evening for a family funeral. Thankfully all went well and so back to, relative normality. My next two Henry appearances are this Friday with a return visit to Kingsclere School in Berkshire, then on Sunday another walkabout at Barrington Court near Ilminster. Come along and say hello!

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