Category Archives: Social

Group social events.

We’ll meet again…

…but unlike Vera, we know where and we know when as Bluntisham Village Hall is transformed into Bagshot House for Secondary Cause of Death this coming Thursday, Friday and Saturday!

Set-up day was the usual hive of frenetic activity.

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If you stand around long enough, eventually someone will put a cup of tea in your hand.

While Ash and Ron tried to figure out what was missing from this door frame, Nick removed a large gnome from beneath the stage.

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We were pleased to see several of our younger members coming along to help with set-up.  Of course, teenagers being what they are, there was a fair amount of this going on.

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There were plenty of responsible adults around to set a better example.

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Not this particular adult, though.  Kids today, eh?

To be fair, the BaCStage Yoof did do a lot of useful work during set-up.  They also did things like this:

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…?  Me neither.

“Cut an inch off the top of that door” he said.  “How hard can it be?” he said.

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Sometimes the first cut is not the deepest.

Was there a sighting of a handrail?  Handrails are notoriously nervous and fickle beasts, no doubt because of the persecution they’ve suffered in recent years.  Even the most patient of photographers knows better than to wait around for one – much better to set up a camera trap overnight.

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We got one!

It’s been a year since we last erected the stage. At the time, Peter wrote some assembly instructions in permanent pen, then chalked in some instructions on how to use the instructions.

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Despite this, he still managed to glue himself to the stage. Nick had to resort to drastic measures to free him.

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If anyone finds Peter’s left foot, he’d like it back.

Thanks to everyone’s marvellous efforts we now have the stage set for a “killer” show:

Bagshot House

The last word goes to director Ron:

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Now for the village hall!  We do hope you can join us.


SECONDARY CAUSE OF DEATH
(the sequel to Murdered to Death)
by Peter Gordon
April 19th, 20th & 21st 2018 ~ Bluntisham Village Hall

Tickets on sale now

You can buy your tickets online at TicketSource

Book now
or in person at Bluntisham Service Station

Tickets are £8 in advance, or £8.50 on the door.

SecondaryCOD-18- Leaflet

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18 and counting…

18

18 dead deceased murdered copses?  That would be going some with a cast of only 10 characters.  Many secondary causes of death there…

18 days till opening night?  As it happens, at the time of writing there are, but we’re not having a balloon countdown every day.

An 18th birthday?  Could be – but who?  Is it Cardew, with the dagger?  (Don’t start that again – Ed)

It was in fact Captain Henrietta with the cake.  After three everyone:

Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday Captainhenriettawoolmercardington,
Happy birthday to you.

Now stop that and get back to rehearsals. We’ve got a show to put on in… how many days?

Talking carrots? Monsters under the bed? It must be Christmas

Tis the season to be jolly… jolly baffled by this year’s crop of Christmas TV adverts.  Personally, I can’t help but feel nostalgic for simpler, more innocent times, when a fox and a badger could bounce side by side in perfect harmony on a garden trampoline as a symbol of hope for a future of peace, harmony, togetherness and goodwill to all.

If you feel the need for something a bit more Christmassy to get you in the festive mood, come along to the Bluntisham Christmas Craft Fair next Saturday afternoon.  There will be a wide range of stalls selling all sorts of things.  We will be there too, promoting our next show and running our ever-popular tombola.  I can’t promise you a winner every time, but I can promise you the chance to meet some friendly actors.  Do come along and say hello!

It’s been a busy old Autumn

Two shows in as many months?  Crivens!  We asked Must We Go To Bluntisham? in September before inviting you to Take Your Seats for our 20th Anniversary in October.

During the Dorothy L Sayers Festival we hit upon a new way of enticing in the punters:

01 DLS Cakes

Preparing for our 20th Anniversary sketches, Lucy applies make-up to Ross…

02 Ross

…before applying beard to Jason:

03 Beard

Ash was on hand to check the straightness of the beard:

04 Ash

Jason has grand plans for a handlebar moustache:

05 Tache

Jess loves playing with her “Girl’s World”:

06 Girls World

Is this seat taken?  Yes, it is.

07 Seat

Hey mate… got a squidgy?

08 Squidgy

BaCStage actors – driving directors to drink for twenty years and counting…

09 Drink

A couple of swells:

10 Swells

A couple of (role) players:

11 Ladies

…and a couple who absolutely, positively, don’t do acting:

12 No acting please

Right, that’s that lot finished.  Time to start on the next one!

Happy birthday to us

We enjoyed another good turn-out for part two of our birthday celebrations at Bluntisham Village Hall on Saturday.  We say it every time, but we really do mean it – thank you to everyone who comes along to see our shows and support us, we really do appreciate it.

It must be said that Saturday night didn’t entirely pass off without any hitches.  There was a noticeable delay before the start of the raffle.  Rumours of raffle fraud were starting to circulate, but then a suspicious-looking character was found lurking in the bar with the tombola.  Having a bar on-site is always risky when there are actors involved.  The gentleman in question cannot be identified for legal reasons, but I can reveal that his name sounds like “Snick”.  As in, “who’s that?”  “Snick”.

On a more serious note, we know that there were problems with restricted visibility for those people sat at the back and this is something we will try to address if we do another “no stage” show in Blunty.  For our next production we’ll be back to our usual arrangement, up on stage and with cabaret-style seating.

On an even more serious note, now that the show is in the bag it’s fair to say we nearly didn’t have a show at all.  We had originally wanted to put on a production of It’s a Wonderful Life but were unable to cast it (it is something we want to return to in future though).  We looked at a couple of other plays, needing progressively fewer actors, but were unable to cast them either.  For a while it looked like we wouldn’t have a show at all this Autumn.  Then three things happened in relatively quick succession – someone (I’m not sure whom) realised that this year was our 20th anniversary, Ron suggested Is This Seat Taken? and offered to direct it, and Jackie volunteered to put together a selection of sketches and music.  At the 11th hour we got ourselves a show, and like Cinderella we could go to the ball after all (alright!).  Both Jackie and Ron deserve a lot of credit for putting Take Your Seat together, and doing so in record time after the delays and set-backs we suffered earlier in the year.  Credit too should go to the actors who learned their respective parts on a much reduced rehearsal schedule.  Parts of the show were still coming together in production week, when normally we’re swanning around in our costumes and planning the after-show party.

Chairman Ron is keen to avoid such problems for our next production and so we’ll be making a start on that almost immediately.  Those of you who Took Your Seats will have heard his announcement of what that show will be.  For the rest of you, I can reveal that we will be… giving more details on our website soon.  Always leave them wanting more!

Now, as it’s our birthday, you haven’t got any more of that delicious cake, have you…?

‘Take Your Seats’ and you will be watching…

As you may have gathered from recent posts like this one or this one, we have a show “Take Your Seats” coming up to celebrate our 20th anniversary.

“Really?  When’s that then?”

Friday October 13th at Colne Village Hall

Saturday October 14th at Bluntisham Village Hall

Both shows start at 7:30pm ~ Raffle and bar at each venue ~ Tickets on sale now

“But what’s in this show?” I hear you ask, “and who’s in this show?”  I’m glad you asked.

We have something old – some of our favourite sketches and songs from our first twenty years…

… something new‘Is This Seat Taken’, an award-winning one act comedy by Sean Baker about using role play as a means to rekindle a failing marriage – how to do it and how not to!

… something borrowed – set, costumes and props including a good selection of beer, wine and spirit bottles (emptied before the actors are allowed anywhere near them)…

… and some things a little blue, such as…
Shag

“Thought so.  I knew you loved me”

“No I don’t.  I just think you’re a great…

 

Is This Seat Taken by Sean Baker

Featuring

Luke

Luke
Mandy

Mandy
Richard

Richard
Cynthia

Cynthia
Directed by
Ron

Ron

~ ~ ~ o O o ~ ~ ~

Comedy sketches and songs

Featuring

Gill

Gill
Jess

Jess
Ben

Ben
Jason

Jason
Ross

Ross
Becky

Becky
Luke

Luke
Lucy

Lucy
Ash

Ash
Jane

Jane
Richard

Richard
Nick

Nick
Directed by
Ron

Jackie

~ ~ ~ o O o ~ ~ ~

The (Stage) Management Sound and Lighting
Denise

Denise
Gordon

Gordon
Jason

Jason
Dan

Dan

Take Your Seats: BaCStage’s 20th Anniversary Celebration

Friday October 13th at Colne Village Hall
Book now

Saturday October 14th at Bluntisham Village Hall
Book now

Tickets for both nights are also available from Bluntisham Service Station

Both shows start at 7:30pm ~ Raffle and bar at each venue

Take Your Seats 17 - Leaflet

It was 20 years ago today

Actually it was 20 years ago a week last Tuesday, give or take a month or two either way, but who’s counting?

Back in 1997 Christine had the idea to start an Am Dram group.

Christine

And so it came to pass that the Millennium Players (as we were known back then) were born. Those who were at the very first meeting still talk of it in hushed tones. One, who shall remain nameless, speaks of going along to “volunteer to help with publicity” only to be told in no uncertain terms by Christine that “you look like an actor to me”. Maybe that ignited some latent theatrical spark, or maybe he was too afraid to say no, but either way he went on to star in many productions (as well as helping out with publicity).

The millennium itself came and went and we became BaCStage.  To date we have put on forty shows, ranging through comedy, farce, drama, melodrama and, of course, pantomime (oh yes we have).

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Panto audience participation in the last millennium

We have performed at several local venues including the Green Man and Village Hall in Colne, St Helen’s Primary School, the Baptist Chapel and St Mary’s Church Hall in Bluntisham and, as part of our 2016 World Tour we ventured as far as Pidley.

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“We’re BaCStage from Blunty, you must be Pidley!”

Our main venue for more than a decade though has been Bluntisham Village Hall, ever since it was built to our exact specifications.  OK, so, I’m exaggerating slightly there, but if you’ve been to Blunty Village Hall have you ever wondered why the doors are so tall? It is not to accommodate actors and their big heads and enormous egos but instead to allow ingress and egress for our stage sets and assorted other bits and pieces, and to allow actors to make their entrances and exits on a raised platform without need to stoop or risk of banging their heads (the “raised platform” is called a “stage” – Theatrical Ed).

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Bluntisham crowds can get rowdy, especially when the twins are in

Although some of those early pioneers have retired from acting service many have stayed in touch and remain part of the wider BaCStage family. We have also welcomed many new faces to the group, and are truly blessed with some very talented individuals both on-stage and behind the scenes. We have had a lot of fun along the way, many friendships have been forged and, we like to think, we’ve entertained a few people too. We also have plenty of exciting ideas for future productions. Here’s to the next 20 years!

But how to mark such a momentous occasion as our 20th birthday? With a show, of course!

As soon as we decided to put on a show to celebrate our 20th, Nick got to work building us a set. This led to an awkward exchange at the first production meeting.  “We want a travelling set with minimal carrying, not a ten-tonne set with a mediaeval abbey in”

TheSet

At least he hadn’t started on the drawbridge.

TheDrawbridge

Oh well, I’m sure someone will find a use for it.

Yes, after the fun we had “travelling light” on our 2016 World Tour we decided to once again opt for a stripped-down approach for our 20th Anniversary show “Take Your Seats”. After all, it’s only right and proper that we perform it in both Bluntisham and in Colne, and getting our full stage and set constructed usually takes the best part of a weekend on its own. Those gallons of tea don’t drink themselves you know.

We do hope you can join us at one (or both!) of our anniversary shows. Tickets are onsale now through TicketSource and from Bluntisham Service Station.

Book now

Oh, and if you’re wondering what those forty previous shows are then pay a visit to our back catalogue page.

Project 6-17: Whitby

The morning of Friday 23rd June 2017 dawned much like any other for the unsuspecting residents of Whitby. Hoteliers, fisher-folk and pirates all went about their business as usual, blissfully unaware of what was about to descend upon them. For throughout the day, travelling in small groups to avoid arousing suspicion, strange people descended upon Whitby (some of them, it must be said, were much stranger than others). BaCStage were coming to town!

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Let’s hope there are no pirates around to prey upon these unsuspecting folk

By the next morning “are you with that acting group?” had become a common refrain in pubs, chip shops, tea shops, pubs, cafes, ice-cream parlours, pubs, chip shops, pubs, restaurants, tea shops and pubs across Whitby. Sightings of actors were reported along the coast from Robin Hood’s Bay to Sandsend. Some were said to have ventured inland by train, and there were even reports of actors taking to the river in canoes (we perform all our own stunts at BaCStage).

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The BaCStage Stunt Team (Aquatic Squad) report for duty

Restaurateurs spoke in hushed tones of a marauding gang of up to two dozen actors roaming the streets demanding to be fed en masse, with their strange dietary requests such as “brown toast” (“you want it left in the toaster a bit longer?”), “wheat bread – no, not white bread, wheat bread” and “what sort of eggs do you have?” (“Chicken” “No, I mean fried, or scrambled, or…?” “Oh…”).

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Please do not feed the actors. They are becoming even more of a nuisance than the seagulls

By Sunday morning even the vampires were getting worried.

Then on Monday, as mysteriously as the actors had entered the town, they exited. Was there no performance? Well, there was a certain amount of “acting up” as one might expect of theatre folk. This was not, though, the latest leg of our world tour; this was a social occasion, a gathering of BaCStagers past and present to eat, drink and be merry. We’d like to say a big thank you to all the good people of Whitby for their warm welcome, and also thank you to those within our group – you know who you are – for organising such a marvellous expedition and for providing photographic evidence that it really did happen. Here’s to the next one!

You can see more photos of our exploits here.

You Beauty!

Just over a week ago we finished the run of our latest production,  Beauty and The Beast.  I’m pleased to say it was another successful show for us at BaCStage – oh yes it was!  Now that it’s done and dusted I can reveal that it was a bit of a beast to put on; some aspects of it were a bit “last minute” even by BaCStage standards.  In the best of theatre traditions it was alright on the night though.  More than alright, in fact – it was a beauty!

There will be photos of the show itself appearing on this very website soon, but here we have a few behind-the-scenes pics.

“When you’re ready we’ll make a start on your make-up…”

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There’s a rumour that our next production will be The Flintstones

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… and we’ve cast Pebbles already.

“Umm… about that make-up and costume, when you’re ready…”

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The after-show party featured the usual costume-swap…

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… and it looks like we’ve found our next dame!

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Oh yes we have!

More photos coming soon…