The shows must go on
IN the past few days I’ve been to four shows and a funeral. One of these was actually a rehearsal which I popped into after being invited to view Uxbridge College’s Creative Studies courses.
The students at the Hayes Centre were rehearsing a play, Remote by Stef Smith, for The National Theatre Connections competition. I was very impressed with their acting skills and wish them luck.
Before that, Mr F and I were at the Transatlantic Sessions in Birmingham Symphony Hall – an annual trip by fab musicians playing folk, blues and country. You may have seen them in the series of the same name on BBC4. They also visit the South Bank.
Nearer to home we visited the Questors Theatre in Ealing to see John Griffiths in his one-man show. The sell-out performance in the Studio Theatre charted the actor’s 40 years in the business in which he has taken Shakespeare to Africa, and enjoyed long runs in West End plays and musicals, from Phantom of the Opera to The Royal Family, a play with Judi Dench.
John’s home is in Ealing borough, but he tours nationwide and was recently at The Beck Theatre, Hayes, in Carrie’s War. He took his acting to new lengths after we taught together in Greenford, and became friends through a shared love of drama and floor-length black coats.
On February 9, I was excited to be invited to Harefield Hospital at the start of Storytelling Week.
I knew that, listening to tales, I was likely to turn into an openeyed (and probably openmouthed) child again. Hopefully I didn’t dribble. Taffy Thomas MBE, the first Laureate of storytelling, enthralled us with some of the many stories he has collected, including a cunning way to vet candidates for Mayor.
The wise story – originally about a mandarin – should have been of particular interest to deputy mayor Councillor George Cooper who was there, and who should be next in line to ‘inherit’ the role from present incumbent, Councillor Catherine Dann.
The funeral of John Sherratt, the former director of The Compass Theatre in Ickenham on Friday, February 6, was naturally a theatrical affair too.
We left the chapel at Ruislip to the strains of Judy Garland, then joined in a rousing chorus of, Beyond the Blue Horizon, afterwards at the Coach and Horses in Ickenham. How John would have loved it!
Want to get in touch? Email me at email@example.com and catch up at www.getwestlondon.co.uk/authors/ bmail.