Pews News: The service this Sunday, January 27, will be Morning Praise at St Andrew’s at 10.30 am. It will include ‘Origins of Mankind 3’, Genesis chapter 2, verses 4 to 25. Both the crèche and Junior Church will be available. At Pett Methodist Chapel, the 10.45 am service will be led by Pen Wilcock.
MOPPs today and next Friday: Today, Friday, January 25, you will be able to enjoy Celia King’s chair-based exercises, and then roast beef with all the trimmings, and panna cotta to follow. Next Friday, February 1, Richard Ostle, from Solicitors Gaby Hardwicke, will be the guest speaker. Richard will be followed by turkey, chicken and bacon pie, with meringues and fruit and cream for afters.
Speakers Corner: Alan Sutton opened the first meeting of Speakers Corner of the year with a plea for better attendance at the meetings, otherwise who knew might happen… Thankfully, however, there was a good turnout to hear the popular speaker, Edward Preston, telling of the history behind the St. Leonards of James and Decimus Burton. James, the father of Decimus (the tenth son) had already made his name in London and was keen to create a seaside resort from scratch and not one that had started off as a fishing village. He purchased land between Bo-Peep and Martello Tower number 39 and started his magnificent buildings. His own house was built of Crowhurst Bluestone, which seems impervious to weathering. These stones started off bluish but aged to brown. Healey House is also made from this stone. His son, Decimus, then continued his father’s work. Many of these lovely old buildings have been replaced by ugly modern flats but fortunately originals do survive. The next meeting of Speakers Corner will feature Ken Brooks with a talk about the Inca Empire. The meeting starts at 2.30 pm in the village hall and visitors are very welcome for £2 admission.
Bling go the strings of your heart: Another repeat for you to remind you to get your tickets for the forthcoming full three course meal plus entertainment by the Bling Crosbies, the local duo with the excellent reputation. This FRA event will be happening at the village hall, from 7.30 pm on Saturday, February 23. If you’d like more information, please contact Keith Thompson-Smith on 250111. If it’s just tickets you require, they are available from the Post Office and General Stores priced at £15 each.
The Pantomime Group: The Charity preview and the opening night of Rumplestiltskin have both come and gone, and there are three performances remaining – tonight and then the two tomorrow. The best thing you can do now is beg, steal or borrow a ticket or two, for you’re guaranteed a lorra, lorra laughs in a show whose name you may remember, although you may well have forgotten the detailed storyline.
Director Wendy Hatch has guided her highly capable cast to deliver the tale of the ghastly goblin’s involvement in Royal affairs of Cheeseboardia. Tom Miller’s Dame Dolly leads the proceedings, along with the young and altogether excellent Simple Simon of Will Giles. Another youngster, Scott Hollands, is formidable as the impressively made-up evil Goblin in a masterful display. Steve Hill’s King Harold and Kerry Gentleman’s Queen Cora bring all their experience to the richly characterised ‘quality’, with Chris Goring as Grabbit and Ben Burford as Sue as their incompetent guards. Alice Tigwell makes a striking Principal Boy, Prince Frederick, alongside the Principal Girl Elizabeth of Esmee Willson. Peter and Lucy Hogg make their impressive debut as Maria, the alpaca llama that looks suspiciously like a cow. Penny Kenward and Lynne Smith are good in their smaller roles as Town crier and Mrs Pleasant respectively. This year’s excellent crop of young performers (alphabetically – Lola Catt, Annie Giles, Amelia Glazier, Chloe Miller, Charlotte Hogg, Lexie Spice, Sienna Spice, Summer Spice and Ava White) contribute soundly to Christine Holford’s well- thought-out choreography. As usual with this company, the costumes, by Sheila Fellows-Turnbull and Liz Gilbert, are quite stunning, and the staging, by Roger Bird and his crew, uses every square inch of the diminutive stage to great effect. Keith Miller’s sound plot is all-embracing, with live piano and multiple ‘stings’, making him almost another character in the piece. The new, highly versatile lighting system appears to have some of the instincts of a supermarket trolley, but Ken Hatch has wrestled them all under control for a visual treat. Numerous props are efficiently coped with by Caroline White and Kizzy Glazier. Wendy and the entire cast and crew can rest assured that their intensive work over two plus months have paid off admirably. An expanded version of this review will appear in Fairlight News in March.