Church matters: There is one service in the parish this Sunday, which is Holy Communion at St Andrew’s at 10.30 am, with guest speaker Rev Graham Atfield.
MOPPs today and next Friday: Today, Friday, January 13, the entertainment is by the Field Stone Boys, a skiffle group, with lunch that follows being lasagne, new potatoes and salad, and then fruit jelly. Next Friday, January 20, Ken Brooks will be the guest speaker, telling of ‘Hastings in Wartime’. His talk will be followed by a lunch of chicken wrapped in bacon, and then stewed apple with custard. A quick question for Chairman Jim Saphin – is that chicken dish a bit like a grand version of one of your favourites, pigs in blankets?
Red Riding Hood: Tickets are selling nicely, thank you, for this year’s Panto Group offering, which is being directed by Luci Mantel for its run from Thursday 26 to Saturday 28 January. The show will play each evening at 7.30 pm, with a Saturday matinee at 2.30 pm. Tickets for the each of the first three showings are £6 for adults, and £3 for children. For the final, Saturday night extravaganza the price rises slightly to £7 per head, regardless of whether they are young, old or anywhere in between. The Post Office is doing the bookings. Saturday Night tickets are already like hen’s teeth, very scarce, while the Friday night and Saturday matinee are not too far behind. However, Thursday gives you a little more room for choice – but this is unlikely to last long!
From the Production Team comes a request for the loan of a hockey stick for the run of the panto. If you could lend one, please let Jennifer Annetts know either on 812476 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The stick does not necessarily have to be jolly.
Village Voices: Our very own local choir – the one with that cute name – will be taking a break until they meet again on Monday, January 30 at Pett Methodist Chapel at 7.30 pm. Subs are still only £1.50, and newcomers would be made very welcome. Have a word with Wendy Hatch if you’d like to know more.
The Players and Cranford: More news from the Players concerning their April production, which will be Cranford, based on three novellas by Elizabeth Gaskell; it relies more on the distaff side than most plays, a perceived Players’ numerical strength. It is to be directed by Judy Welsh, in her Fairlight directorial debut. Roles to be cast, with brief descriptions are, Mrs. Gaskell, who is middle aged, comfortable, kindly – a blend of humour and wisdom. Miss Matilda Jenkyns (Miss Matty) is a pretty, delicate woman in her forties. Martha, a healthy country girl, is a servant of the rough and ready type. Mary Smith is an attractive girl, quiet and unassuming. Miss Pole, a lady of over thirty-five, is bustling, vivacious and active. Miss Barker does not care for Miss Pole. Mrs. Forrester is older than the other ladies and is comfortably fat with a pleasant, kindly face. The Hon. Mrs. Jamieson is a very pompous, haughty character, who walks with a stick due to gout. Lady Glenmire is bright, cheerful, smiling, and very attractive for her age, which is over thirty-five. Along with those nine ladies are Mr Hoggins, a tall, jovial-looking man, who may be a little rough and ready in his manners, but is a pleasant individual, and Jem Hearn, a young man. This shows the range of acting skills the Players will be seeking to fill at the auditions, starting at 7.30 pm in the village hall on Thursday, January 19. If that’s a date you cannot make, but you would like to take part, call Carol Ardley on 814178, or email her at email@example.com
A personal flashback: Each and every year, an impossibly large number of those who have entertained us brilliantly for many years depart for the Great Stage in the Sky. 2016 seems to have been exceptionally full of sad departures. None more so than the death by broken heart of Debbie Reynolds following the untimely passing of her daughter Carrie Fisher. This took me back to the 1950’s when the London Palladium was running a series of fortnightly variety bills, each headed by a usually American popstar. If I hadn’t seen Johnnie Ray, I would have missed Wilson, Keppel and Betty, the renowned and hilarious sand-dancers. Frankie Laine wore a tuxedo (not a dinner jacket!) and it was brown (unforgivable!) But I can’t forget Eddie Fisher, the highlight of whose act was to bring on stage his new girl friend, the elfin Debbie Reynolds, to the total delight of the audience.
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