January : Poetika 40 : ‘Resolution’ The Cloisters, Wednesday 18th January, 7.30 for 7.45pm

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Hello everyone,Here’s the flyer for our next show on Wednesday 18th January, 7.30 for 7.45pm,
£2-3pp at the door towards expenses please. Please note we’re back at The Cloisters, Catherine Street, Salisbury, this month, after the Christmas session at St Thomas’s.John and I both wish you all a happy, healthy and creative New Year. Our theme this time is ‘Resolution’ or if you’re inspired to some very vivid writing, ‘High Resolution’.  But as always, we welcome songs, poems, etc on any topic, your own work or anybody’s that you’d like to bring along. Electric eclectic, is our traditional motto that I’ve just invented, we don’t mind, the main thing is just to roll up and enjoy the evening, performing or listening: extra voices, ears, always welcome.

Here’s one I wrote a few years ago. Perhaps like me, you’ve noticed how haunting music can be when heard from the room next door, so this is one such memory. It was also prompted by the misspelling of the media used in a piece of artwork which was supposed to read ‘varnish and thread’:

Oak secrets

…songs from a hidden guitar vanish and thread
from the room next door…beneath dull shoes

oak secrets, every knot a witness in the grain
to stones defeated while roots gripped earth

like shipwrecked knuckles in storms lashed
across patient centuries. How many hooves

passed those trees? How many lovers laid
safe close to improvise hot magic there?

…brief smoke twists, hearth cracked fire,
melt crystal notes from a hidden guitar…

Hope you’re all keeping warm at the mo, see you on the night,

all the best, scarcrow dave

PS don’t forget our extra event on 1st Feb –  “I Hate Housework”- an evening of prose, poetry and comedy. Do come along and support a very funny and thought provoking show by one of our members, Clare Macnaughton. It’s completely free – no contribution for the room on this occasion.

Unity Theatre show “Oh Noah you don’t” The Lights Friday January 22nd

Best one yet…

I love community theatre. Done well it’s a pleasure for audience and actors.  Tonight the audience got to see an ensemble community theatre show at its best. They loved it.

From the start of the show, the theatregoers heard toe tapping popular, sing-a-long songs, well sung. I was curious to see how the change of musical director effected the group, however the cast is confident in its delivery and we heard 4 part harmony clearly. There was one wobble at the opening song of the second act however the audience knew the song so well, we sang along in harmony with gusto so I doubt anyone actually noticed.

I am biased because I staged managed for two of Unity’s shows, to introduce my son to live theatre. Thinking about what could be improved I realised the whole show was excellent and any improvements are just little picky things that most audience members wouldn’t bother with because they had a great time.

The show was well written for family entertainment with the right balance of slapstick, tap dance, song and dance routines, jokes for the kids and jokes for the mums and dads. It was English pantomime at its best with a big hearted dame, a comedy side kick, a zoo load of things to do for all the actors and lots and lots and lots of puns.

Special mention to John Seculina, as Noah, who is a humble actor who can hold an audience enthralled. When John scolded God because Noah thought it was a cold call the audience were in stitches. We enjoyed Noah’s family mopping the arc and Yvonne West as the Raven.

What we loved most of all was the children. Unity’s strength is the cast’s ability to let anyone have a go. Two of my special needs actors from The Brilliant Drama group are regular members. Unity have a strong children’s section and this year the children enchanted the audience.

There is an element of “Oh they are so adorable,” and “Look that’s my son/daughter,”. It’s that wonderful pride you feel at the school play.  However this year the children scenes were competing with the adult’s scenes for professionalism and polish.  The doves modern dance scene took our breath away, the children’s singing was fab and the dialogue made us laugh.

I just wish The Lights surround sound and hand help mic’s had a better range. We strained to hear the softer spoken children at the back. It was a shame because they were fantastic actors and special mention to the chickens. My other picky point was mid point there was a long  dance number where the foxes chased the chickens. The stage was very full and there was so much to look at, a lot of people missed the foxes stage action with the chickens, which was a pity because it was very funny.

It helped the script was balanced and clipped along at a rate. The audience felt so at home, the children in the audience became funny hecklers. Sharon O’Leary worked hard in her slapstick scenes with Jez Jameson. I could hear the children giggling away, just waiting to see what mischief the actors would get up to next.

It was a pleasure to watch a cross section of Andover’s community enjoying their friends and family having fun on stage. This year Unity’s Oh Noah you don’t was the best pantomime show they’ve done. They will have to work very hard to top this one next year.

Poster for the show

Poster for the show