I’M very good at keeping a secret which is often an essential part of working at the Marine Theatre, the old adage: you never quite know what goes on behind closed doors, especially theatre ones, springs to mind.
But now the excitement is over, Kate has stopped pulling pints in the Volly, the security men and women have gone elsewhere and the beautiful ‘Irene’ has sailed back to Reading (that was the ketch that anchored in Lyme harbour), which means we can let the cat out of the bag and tell you about our role in this epic drama.
Throughout March we played host to various aspects of the Fossil Film Company – the production company behind Mary Anning biopic ‘Ammonite’ – including the wardrobe department who kitted out the extras who then wafted around in their 19th century garb waiting to be called… and there was a lot of waiting.
We also had the catering crew in who fed and watered everyone, including us on the odd occasion which was very nice. They say an army marches on its stomach, the same goes for a film crew and cast.
There are some who will breathe a sigh of relief as Lyme returns to normal but I’m pretty sure everyone will be glad of the extra business that will be brought to the town over the coming months as even more tourists arrive to see where Mary Anning (Kate Winslet) and Frances Bell (Saoirse Ronan, pronounced Sertia as in inertia) were up close and personal.
It did mean a few early starts and late finishes for me, which is why I called on our duty manager to help. Tom, the Marine Theatre duty manager, a bit like Tom Hiddleston in ‘The Night Manager’ but without the terrorists. Of course, Tom being an actor himself, is well suited to this role.
Talking of being helpful, on a scale of one to 10 how helpful are you? I’d say I’m about a nine. However, after my little incident involving a mobility scooter I’m thinking of scaling that down a bit. Long story short, I offered to help a man who was having difficulties and ended up prostrate on Broad Street stuck under the front wheels of the contraption.
We had our 125th anniversary meeting to discuss how we are going to celebrate this milestone event and we’re chuffed to bits that Andy Rattenbury has agreed to write a script that will tell our story. We plan to include all the groups that have performed here including the Marine Players, the Lyme Regis Musical Theatre (who are themselves celebrating their 120th next year), the panto and B Sharp to name but a few.
Our new programme launch party was once again a huge success with the Marine bar full of lively chat and bonhomie. It’s a jam-packed programme of events including ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, ‘Mary Poppins’ and ‘The Greatest Showman’ sing-along for family viewing. We have some great theatre with ‘Posting Letters to the Moon’ and ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ along with music, comedy and talks.
You can pick up a new brochure from the Tourist Information Centre. Then there was our monthly volunteer meeting, it’s always interesting to hear their ideas and feedback including one of our ladies who mentioned something about digging out her fishnet stockings when she sells ice creams.
I wonder what goes on behind her closed doors… actually probably best not.
Marine Theatre manager