Making improvements at the Marine

APPARENTLY I look pretty nimble, well according to Bridport Timber and Flooring, as I swung myself out of my office into the foyer to avoid stepping on the wet floor.

Yes, we have at long last had the auditorium floor refurbished and with three hours drying time, I had to make sure I could get into and out of my office…albeit with the help of the door frame that I clung onto as I executed some nifty legwork.

It did also mean our loos were out of bounds but thankfully I was allowed to use the facilities of the wonderful TIC so no need to practice bladder control along with my gymnastics.

But it’s great to see the Marine floor looking like new, other than the scars left by the leaky roof; who can forget those days of two paddling pools being strategically placed to catch the drips as the rain leaked through the holey roof?

But then it all added to that unique charm that is the Marine Theatre and that all of our visiting artists find so appealing; take our dressing rooms for instance. Who wouldn’t be bowled over by the quirkiness of dressing room number two with its wartime glamour including wonky walls, ancient plumbing and dodgy window frames? But no more!

During our winter dark period, heroic theatre tech, Pete Hackett, arrived on his white steed, aka a blue Renault, hammer and drill in hand and transformed our VIP suite from shabby to chic. There are a few finishing touches to make… well OK, it needs new windows, a floor laying, new basin and decorating, but other than that the transformation is complete.

Mind you, with the walls stripped back and the gaping holes round the windows exposed, we’re reminded just how close to the sea and elements we are. The sound of the waves roaring into shore on a stormy day could be heard above the hum of the beer cooler and the force 10 gales that blew through our back passage was positively freezing!

Talking of noise, I was glad to hear from one of the workmen, he of the four-hour drive home to north London, that the gas works were ahead of schedule and they finished over a week early.

They swore blind it wasn’t they who cut through a mains cable cutting off the electricity to most of the town one afternoon. Luckily we didn’t have a show that night and I hung on until it was just too dark to see what I was doing. The torch on my iPhone just doesn’t cut it and I cannot deny being extra spooked as I walked round the building doing my end of the day theatre check.

Anyway, with the new year in full swing, the brilliant Marine Players are starting to think about their next performance and will soon be in regular residence for their readings and rehearsals. It’s always fun to see how their productions move from page to stage.

And it’s Valentine’s Day this week plus it’s a leap year, so I’m expecting to hear all about those romantic gestures; LymeOnline editor Francesca is hoping for an Eddie Hearn mug, I’ll be happy with roses, chocolates, dinner pour deux and some fizz.

It might put pay to my nimbleness but I’m not planning to leap again, for a while anyway…

Sophia Moseley,
Theatre manager

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