No – not the Alan Ayckbourn play of that name. No really, seasonal greetings – all of us at the Petuaria Players wish you a Happy Christmas wherever you will be, whether it be normal or different this year of years.
We look forward to getting back to entertaining you on stage in the future.
A KICK IN THE BAUBLES by Gordon Steel – January 2017
Restricted, as the Petuaria players are, to meetings on Zoom, we have been introducing a Christmas theme to our events and quizzes and play readings this month; for what should have been our annual Christmas meal we made the effort to dress up formally and our latest video interaction involved the obligatory ‘Christmas Jumper Night’ (not my idea obviously.)
As we think about the normal Xmas festivities that will be missing this year we were also thinking about our temporary shutdown and missing plays. And just how much that contrasts with the amazing Xmas of 2016 and our blockbuster production of ‘A Kick in the Baubles’, performed in the following January.
A Kick In The Baubles by Gordon Steel
When we are all feeling at the very least subdued by this awful year it is worth us looking back on one of the most successful plays we have done at Petuaria Players.
This was the play that had originally been produced at Hull Truck by Gavin Tudor-Price and who, as a friend of the group, had directed and motivated us to this memorable production.
This was a show that wasn’t just a sell-out, we had a long waiting list for tickets. Had we known how successful it would be we could easily have filled an extra night. It wasn’t just a hit with the audience – with all the action, the comedy and the music, it was a joy to perform and gave everyone an immense feel-good factor, a real lift of the spirits that left us all buzzing.
Editing the naughty sounds….
Many sound effects we create ourselves. To create the sound of a noisy rhythmically creaking bed upstairs, and then add loud shouts as a couple approached the climax of their activities was one of my funniest tasks. The recordings, which can only be described as Adult material with an 18+ rating, were carried out in the Forum rehearsal hut.
Our evening recording session was unfortunate in that it coincided with the Cub Scouts leaving the hut next door with their parents. We stopped, of course, but not before many were left wondering just what goes on in the Forum. We received no complaints but we were expecting a flood of applications to join the society.
So let’s remind ourselves of all that fun. SEE OUR PHOTOS BELOW – (YOU CAN ALSO CLICK ON AN IMAGE TO ENLARGE IT AND THEN SCROLL RIGHT OR LEFT THROUGH THE GALLERY)
Everyone looks back at this play with such fond memories, of aching laughter and a raise of the spirits. Just what we all need right now. Who knows, maybe this is a Xmas season play that would stand a repeat before too long.
Any fond memories of this play? Why not write in the comments below.
Seasonal Greetings to all our friends, readers, audience, patrons and members
Don’t get excited. The news is that there is no news.
I was recently directed to the latest Covid-19 information on Government Guidelines for Performing Arts (click to link to the guidelines). It describes, at great length and detail all the restrictions that would need to be in place, what you cannot yet do and a roadmap towards a restricted world of what you cannot do later either, albeit a bit more than now. To read it all, however, would have taken so long that the guidelines will have been updated and out of date – so I abandoned the exercise and concluded from my brief scanning of the document that we won’t be performing anytime soon. No surprise there then.
As a group we are using Zoom a lot to stay socially connected and we recently used it to have an Extraordinary Committee Meeting. This was basically to discuss what we didn’t know and we formally decided that we could not make any decisions. Apart from that one.
The new guidelines for performing arts and the general guidelines show that performances are a long way off. Bearing in mind that to plan a production we need to obtain a licence and have three months of rehearsals in close (sometimes very close) proximity – and unless we run some monologues, like a run of Alan Bennet’s excellent Talking Heads, then social distancing is not possible. Then, of course, we would need to consider what form of audience set up we would need. The situation remains fluid and the goalposts keep changing and so we find ourselves unable to make any decisions about our future and potential play seasons.
Of course, we are constantly reviewing the situation and as soon as we can foresee a safe, meaningful and worthwhile means of resuming performances we will do so. Everyone in the group is hoping that we can get back to doing what we love as soon as possible.
At the moment we would normally be resting between seasons anyway, and enjoying our summer break.
The Petuaria Players may not be able to meet up in person but, like everyone else, Zoom has come to our rescue. Regular group and subgroup social events are taking place online, with the added benefit of enjoying a drink or two since there is no driving involved!
Recently we have also resumed our play readings using Zoom. And it is working remarkably well. It means we can read various scripts together and review them afterwards without having to meet at the Forum.
So it is inevitable that our first play of the season, traditionally in October, will not take place. As far as the rest of the season is concerned, no decisions will be made for a while yet – but we will keep you informed.
Next weekend would have been set build for our final play of the season but with the cancellation of our April production The Petuaria Players are, like everyone else, lying low.
What does it mean for the Petuaria Players?
It means that our summer period of rest has started prematurely and who knows how long it will continue. Technology and online interaction has replaced our meetings. This means that we can continue to communicate and arrange our play readings and discussions, something which will accelerate shortly. But it also means we can still do what we do best – socialise. Courtesy of Zoom and essential stocks of alcohol and nibbles we can meet more often than we did before! All without requiring a taxi home.
What about next season?
Everyone knows that nobody knows. This strange world we are in will continue for some time to come and it is not hard to imagine that a degree of restrictions and behavioural recommendations will affect our drama plans to some extent. It’s too early to say.
The best we can do for the moment is hope that a degree of normality will return such that we can present a full programme for next season. To that end we have now secured an extension to our performance licence that would allow us to complete rehearsals for FlatSpin and make that the first play at the end of October if possible.
However, it is far too early to make positive plans but when we do know we will certainly announce it here.
Stay Home, Stay Safe
So in the meantime we will continue with our readings and Zoom meetings and a few posts on here. So stay home, stay safe and see you all soon.