An evening at the theatre

Last evening I found myself sitting in the overgrown WW2 Nissen hut that is our village hall. Dee loves the old building and can't really understand why so much local effort has for years been devoted to creating a modern replacement. I agree with her. The atmosphere of the place is redolent of all the music and dancing, of all the ceildhs, all the theatrical productions. Generations of children have grown up and grown old in and around it. Old soldiers still make it a point of pilgrimage, remembering the wartime Saturday nights of their youth when the local girl they met there might as easily have wanted to speak the gaelic as the English.

Perhaps the money should go towards restitute and upgrade rather than demolish and replace? Perhaps in the same way as so much else in this lovely old bankrupted 'disposable society'of ours?

Anyway, Aultbea Village Hall may seem an odd place for poor Ali Baba and a sumptuously arraigned Al Rashid to appear - not to mention that rather ill-assorted collection of rapscallion thieves plus lots and lots even more colourful luvvies. But you could forget about the wild northern winter outside because the whole pantomine production was full to the brim with Eastern promise. I booed and hissed and aah'd along with the best and the rest of the full house and even tried a little 'behind you', or two, just for good measure. I know; 'When to the days of our childhood returning...' And why not?

The staging of a panto must be an exhausting business. Difficult to imagine just the getting together of all those backstage and frontstage folk - not to mention the getting them to pull together for the required amount of time! Why is is that small groups of us can pull together far more effectively than large groups? Unless in time of war, that is.

Ali Baba and His Forty Thieves was an outstanding success, the odd audible prompt and the odd technical glitch notwithstanding. Well done, the players and the backstage folk. You sent us forth much fortified with thoughts of our days gone by when all seemed clear about right and wrong, good and bad, anybody can rise to be anything.

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