Tag Archives: work

Happy Halloween

Mwah, and if you will, hahaha!

Our Halloween was filled with scary monsters, cobwebs and a recurring nightmare – where are we going to put all our stuff?!

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The scary monster responsible for these cobwebs, along with several of its friends, had to be evicted from the outside shed to make more storage space.  They will no doubt gain revenge by making their way into the main ODS building and preying on the actors during winter rehearsals

On the Sunday after our last performance we take down the stage (known in the trade as ‘breaking the set’).  We remove all our stuff from the village hall and put it back into the ODS.  We like to get this done as quickly as possible so that we can all head off to the Green Man in Colne for lunch.  Subsequently, the interpretation of “back into the ODS” is taken to literal, not to mention minimal, extremes.  As long as everything is indoors, anywhere will do:

Lots of StuffWe have a lot of stuff.

A couple of weeks later, when we’ve all had time to go away and think about what we’ve done, we meet up at the ODS and have a big old tidy-up.  It helps if the weather gods are on our side when we do this, so that we can put everything out on the yard.  Today the weather gods must have been in a good mood as the weather was good enough for a BBQ, which tends not to happen when we want to have a BBQ.

Lots of stuff, outsideOnce everything is piled up outside, we can have a good sort through it.

All sorts of things

Meanwhile, indoors, there was an incident of leglessness:

Leglessness

Don’t worry, dear reader – Nick hadn’t been on the sauce.  It was a bit early in the day, even for him.  He was putting the legs back onto the ‘shrubbery’ stage block from ‘Brick Museum‘.  Once that was done we could put the stage back up.

The stage

Spot the deliberate mistake.

Could this be the special brick-built chamber where the heads of state will have their top-secret meeting?

Brick-built chamber

Err… no.  It is a handy place to stash some stuff though.  By lunchtime everything was back indoors, or in the shed.

Actors make great compost – we have proof:

Actors make compost

Now it’s time to dig out some old costumes and go trick-or-treating.

Dressing-up box

Don’t have nightmares!

 

 

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What a cracker!

The seasonal festivities are well under way.  As 2014 draws to a close it’s a good time to take a look back at what we’ve done at BaCStage in the last twelve months.

We had two hugely successful shows this year.  In April Murdered to Death knocked ’em dead, and in October Hero paid tribute to the heroes of WWI a hundred years on, as well as helping to raise valuable funds for the Royal British Legion.  We took part in the Bluntisham Christmas Gift Fair, and at either end of the year we made significant improvements to the ODS, in the garden and getting the roof repaired.  Each one of these was a big deal in its own right, so to have done all of this in the same year has made 2014 a real cracker for BaCStage.  It doesn’t stop there either, as 2015 is set to start on a high with our pantomime, Dick Whittington, in February.

Of course you can’t have a cracker without a joke, so…
Q: What do you get if you cross a snowman with a shark?  A: Frostbite.

Whatever you celebrate at this time of year have a good one, and look forward to great things in 2015.  Merry Christmas!

Join us below stairs at Bagshot House

Some behind-the-scenes photos from our latest production ‘Murdered to Death’, starting with the obligatory “Man crushed by falling stage” picture:

Man beneath a stage

 

Coconut Moose, the all-seeing resident of Bagshot House:

Coconut Moose

 

Some off-stage cues for the actors:

Miss Maple
Pratt

 

The Saturday after-show Bash – “Tonight we’re gonna party like it’s 1936”:

Party time

 

While others partied, Carol was doing some important BaCStage admin:

Paperwork

Must have been a tough job, judging by the number of beers.

 

The buffet proved as popular as ever:

The buffet

The Guinness chocolate cake in particular didn’t hang around for long.

 

Breaking the set:

Nightmare!

We take Health and Safety very seriously at BaCStage.

 

So you’ve seen the show, or the photos at least.  If you think it looks like fun to be a part of all this, you’d be right – and we’d love to hear from you.  Newbies are always welcome at BaCStage.  Two of our cast for “Murdered…” joined us only last year; without them we couldn’t have staged it or our previous production Deborah’s Party, and already it seems like they’ve been around for ages (in a good way, you understand).  It’s only about 4 years since this Pratt joined the group as well.  It’s not just acting, either – DIY, sound & lights, painting, costumes, front-of-house, publicity, props, stage management, photography, gardening, baking cakes, even directing… it’s a long list.  Above all though it’s a social thing – a great bunch of people having a good laugh together.  If you’d like to join the fun contact us through this here website.

If on the other hand you’d rather just sit back and be entertained then that’s fine by us as well.  As soon as we’ve decided what we’re doing next and when we’re going to do it, details will appear on this blog.  There may well be a few irreverent (or irrelevant) posts appearing here in the meantime, so watch this space!

 

BacStage isn’t just about the acting you know… The preparation is everything !

Everyone who comes to see our productions, ( and if you don’t , I really think you should  😉  ) only sees the end result of months of hard work and that’s not just about people learning lines but about lots of other jobs that need to be done and a couple of weeks ago the job that needed doing most was preparing and painting the flats.

Flats???   have you moved house I hear you say …

Nooooo!  

Here’s a definition of flats.

“Flats, short for Scenery Flats, are flat pieces of theatrical  scenery which are painted and positioned on stage so as to give the appearance of buildings or other background.” ” Flats can be soft or hard covered. Soft-covered flats (covered with canvas or muslin) have changed little from their origin in the Italian Renaissance.” 

Ours are the soft-covered variety ( bit like most of the group 😉 ) and here are a few photos of the work in progress.

As you can see it involved a lot of peeping behind things or from behind things !! ( they’re not really a lot of peeping toms ! ) before the painting could begin.

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Not only peeping went on but an awful lot of lugging and holding -up  too, at which Cynthia was quite an expert!…..

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……eventually the painting got under way and only took a fraction of the time the preparation took… not least because a certain person, who will remain nameless but he knows who he is!! decided, after we had joined some of the flats together, that it needed to be done another way… so all had to be changed. Ho Hum ..all part of the fun..

Did I say that last bit convincingly?

Oh and if you want a closer look at some of our glamorous painting crew, just click on any of the photos to make them bigger. The photo that is not the people  😀

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Below is what all this work is for..

Would be great if you could come along and see the finished result… or if you want to join this merry band of experienced handymen  actors, you’d be welcomed with open arms; whatever your skills or lack of them !! Their number is on the poster below.

Combinations MTD 14

MURDERED TO DEATH
by Peter Gordon
This amateur production is presented by arrangement with Josef Weinberger Limited

How does your garden grow?

A couple of years ago we performed a play called “How does your garden grow?” which had nothing to do with gardening.  This post, about our garden at the ODS, has nothing to do with that play.  Thus the balance of the universe is restored.

More importantly, it shows just what a talented bunch we are at BaCStage.  Not content with merely growing plants in the garden, John thought we should have an art installation – so he designed one.  Cynthia took the design and turned it into this:

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A dab hand with a plasma cutter as well as a feather duster!

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Plenty of space for plants as well.

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The masks were fashioned from an old oil drum.
What’s that you say about well-oiled actors? I couldn’t possibly comment.

Chim-chimenee, chim-chimenee

We’ve carried out some more important maintenance work at the Old Day School this month, repairing a chimney that was looking rather less sturdy than one of Nick’s stage sets (make of that what you will).

Just erecting the scaffolding was a major undertaking in itself. Once it was up, some brave souls with a head for heights and a dab hand with a trowel went up on the roof to conduct the repairs.
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At about the same time we took delivery of the garden gnomes we had ordered.
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“Fishing” and “Sitting on toadstool” had sold out so we were left with a job lot of “Drinking tea”.

While the builders were distracted by the camera, the munchkins they had put in the bucket to mix the cement managed to escape and attempted to hide in a small carrier bag.
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Inspired by Becky’s latest cake, the lads did a great job of “icing” the top of the chimney.

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The winner of Hide and Seek is…

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…still up there, as far as we know.  Good hiding place though.

Strip Poker, BaCStage-style:

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The loser has to strip some woodwork and repaint it in a colour of the winner’s choosing.  Rumour has it that Nick’s underpants are colour-coded by Dulux.  The happy, smiling trauma-free faces in this picture suggest that he still had his trousers on when it was taken.

Other varieties of paint (and underpant) are also available.

How Does Your Garden Grow?

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Ours is doing rather well despite the dry summer.  Head gardener John has been keeping it well watered until such time as we have another barbecue.

Nathan Pond – getting the band back together.

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A couple of in-jokes there for our regular followers.

Here we see the finished result in all its glory:

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This photo doesn’t really do justice to the amount of work carried out.  The smaller chimney pot had previously been removed; the larger one was only held in place by its own weight.  We had to remove several layers of bricks before reaching anything solid enough to build back up from.  A bit of windy weather could have brought the whole lot down through the roof, but now it is good-as-new and even more sturdy than one of Nick’s stage sets.

Another top-quality BaCStage production.

Up in the roof

Renovation work continues apace at the Bluntisham Old Day School (ODS).  Recently one brave soul even ventured up into the loft space.

Feet

Nice knees, by the way.

But what did they find?  Rumour has it that all the old school records used to be stored up there.  Another, rather less pleasant rumour, says that the loft contains several decades’ worth of pigeon poop.  A third rumour, started on this very page, states that there is a lost and lonely actor who lives in the ODS attic, trapped up there since his mischevious colleague whisked away the ladder up which he had climbed.

Ladder

This last rumour is given credence by the fact that a potential escape route down the chimney has recently been blocked off.

Fireplace

It seems that all concerned are determined to cover their tracks.

Painting

By the time they’ve finished there will be no clue as to the attic’s lonely occupant.  But on stormy nights when the moon is full and the wind whistles around the rooftops of Bluntisham, listen carefully and you may just hear his forlorn voice drifting across the village … “Prompt!  Prompt!  Line please!”

Labouring at the Old Day School

There’s plenty of work still to do at Bacstage’s new home The Old Day School in Bluntisham or the ODS as it is affectionately becoming known.

A few of us took ourselves down there on Saturday morning for some staple removing ( there were hundreds of staples in every piece of wood in the building; windows, doors and  picture rail) old fireplace removing and bricking up the gap and painting..

Here’s a few photos of the work in progress..

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The Expert

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The Grafter

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The cement mixer

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Chief staple remover

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The stripper!! who can still work with coffee in hand .

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The decorating team

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and someone making a bit of mess for her owners to clean up later !