Once upon a time a family of bears went to Earith Village Hall to watch a panto. “Someone’s been sitting in my seat”, said Daddy bear. “Someone’s been sitting in my seat”, said Mummy bear. “Someone’s been sitting in my seat”, said Baby bear, “and they’re still sitting in it!” Don’t be like a bear – be sure to reserve your seat.
The Players of Earith present Goldilocks & the three bears at Earith Village Hall Thursday 14th, Friday 15th, Saturday 16th December @ 7:30pm Saturday matinee @ 2:30pm
Tickets available from Bridge End Stores, Earith Bluntisham Garage
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…?
Our 20th anniversary celebrations got off to a flyer last night as the good people of Colne (and beyond) joined us at Colne Village Hall for the first of our two nights of Take Your Seat. So many of them took their seats that we almost ran out of seats! It was more or less a full house. An enormous thank you to everyone who came along.
Right, time to get back on the tour bus and head off to Bluntisham for tonight’s show!
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.
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).
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.
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).
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”
At least he hadn’t started on the drawbridge.
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.
Oh, and if you’re wondering what those forty previous shows are then pay a visit to our back catalogue page.
Beauty and The Beast production week has finally arrived. There are still some tickets available; more on that later. As our regular reader will know, though, production week always starts with Setup Day.
There were flakes of snow in the air as we gathered at the ODS on Saturday morning.
We had arranged and sorted our equipment the night before…
…ready to transport it to the Village Hall.
Once inside the hall, our crack team (I said “crack”) of experts were quickly hard at work.
“Put your back into it love, and lift that lighting rig while the rest of us stand around watching”
Setup day is a day for work clothes, not costumes. Here we see Director Ron in his favourite overalls.
Meanwhile, a couple of the Stage Crew consult the hi-tech virtual reality stage plan.
They had no idea there was a camera close by. None at all.
Despite this detailed planning, the odd mistake was made. “Make sure the yellow lines are at the front of the stage” he said.
More high technology here in the shape of one of our animatronic props…
… and also a fish.
On the subject of fish, one of the highlights of set-up day is the fish & chip lunch from Bluntisham Fryer. Almost as soon as we’ve started, people interrupt their tea breaks to ask “is the lunch here yet?” It’s worth the wait.
There is a suspicion that someone may have eaten more than their fair share of fish.
After lunch, work continued on the Fairytale Castle.
By the end of the day it was looking pretty good.
A big thankyou to everyone who helped out.
If you’d like to see the results of their labours first hand (and also a bit of acting, singing and dancing too) then you’re in luck – there are still some tickets available from Bluntisham Services. Tickets are £8 for adults, £5 for children. We’d love to see you there – oh yes we would!