Top-notch entertainment is never in short supply at the Marine

I HAD high hopes of my birthday being marked with a level of seismic activity not previously experienced. Talk about anticlimactic.

I was in London with number two son and aside from the usual Halloween nutters I was expecting EU exit Armageddon but instead saw a raggle-taggle bunch of banner-bearers accompanied by hundreds of meaty police officers who looked dismally bored.

In the lead up to this nothingness I was confident that despite threatened reduced supplies of mangetout and mangoes, there was one thing that would not be in short supply, and that was entertainment at the Marine.

In fact, it’s been impossible to walk up Broad Street without at least three people stopping me to remark how much we have on at the theatre – “there’s something for everyone”.

I think it’s fair to say that the Marine Players’ performance of ‘Tomb With a View’ was our biggest October event. I’ve been watching the slow, meticulous progress over the past months as Marine tech Steve Miller, who is also a top-notch director, took them through their paces to bring out the best of each character.

I thought I might have to bring out the smelling salts for Steve once or twice, it’s no mean feat creating a stage performance.

I was duty manager on the opening night; always a fraught time, though Steve had a beaming smile when he arrived. Perhaps from relief and a case of “if it’s no good now, it never will be” or maybe it was the excitement of finally seeing it take flight.

Our fabulous volunteers were there selling ice creams that went like hot cakes, or should that be iced buns? I had to make an emergency order to Baboo for fresh supplies.

We were bowled over by David Gower; what a very entertaining and all round good egg he is.

I can remember one of my sister’s boyfriends was cricket mad and wore a T-shirt that said ‘Boycott bats on water’. I would frequently quote this slogan to try and impress my school friends so it looked like I knew what I was talking about. I should have asked David during the Q&A what his T-shirt slogan was.

The Tom Glover show came as a bit of a surprise to Tom, but not to the rest of us. Every time he hosts our comedy nights everyone asks, “why doesn’t he have his own show?” So he did and not only was it a full house but the audience were quite literally rolling in the aisles.

I had to double up one evening and like Mr Benn, changed hats from duty manger to bar maid (am I allowed to use that expression or has it been banned under gender neutralisation?) Either way I managed to pull it off and pull a pint without handing over a glass of froth.

Rare as hen’s teeth, I’m taking a few days off and heading back up to the big smoke this week, this time to watch the very talented West End actress Viv Keene (she of the Lyme TIC) who is appearing in ‘The Mouse Trap’. She’s going to take me to the Ivy Club afterwards which I am super-excited about.

My hopes for some seismic activity renewed… I’ll let you know.

Sophia Moseley
Theatre manager

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