Wednesday, 15 May 2013


WHAT A WEEK. First run of An Inspector Calls- check. Final rehearsals of Vincent in Brixton before tech week- check. Ceilidh- check. 

Yes, that’s right, I said ceilidh. And that is definitely not the phonetic spelling of it. A Ceilidh- (pronounced kay-lee… like if Peter Kay and Ang Lee hooked up, had a kid and decided to go double-barrelled)...

... Is a traditional Gaelic social gathering, which usually involves the playing of folk music and dancing. Or if you’re a bunch of actors, a lot of free styling and a few high kicks thrown in for good measure.

To sum the story up, the cast of Theatre by the Lake’s summer season invaded the quiet sleepy village of Portinscale, occupying their village hall and conquering their ceilidh. Job done.

I managed to get a couple of quotes from a few of the locals who survived the attack…

Local 1: “It’s so nice having the actors join us… They’re so… *searches frantically for an inoffensive yet appropriate word*… UNINHIBITED!”

Local 2: “It’s lovely to see people… erm… *same desperate searching face as previous local*… EXPRESSING themselves. *wipes sweat off his brow*. Really lovely.

Initially, there were a few sticky moments in the festivities… Namely, when the acting company BY CHANCE won three raffle prizes in a row. Mutterings of “FIX” were heard amongst the ranks but luckily all was forgiven as nobody chose the top prize: Alan Titchmarsh’s biography, ‘Nobbut a Lad’.

The highlight of the evening was during a dance called the Circassian Circle, not too dissimilar to The Caucasian Chalk Circle (Brechtian reference, 10 points if this was my A-Level drama essay) when we all clasped hands in a circle (hence the title), skipped into the middle and finished with a gentle right legged kick.
I said a GENTLE right legged kick.

The hero of the night was Peter McGovern, who not only flourished the skip with a perfect high kick, but promptly landed on the floor, styled it out and then when asked -in jest, by the caller- to demonstrate the move again, not only counted himself in “And 5, 6, 7, 8…” but executed a high kick with the extension and point that Darcey Bussell would’ve been proud of. 

Other stars of the night included Ben Ingles, who, when instructed by the caller to creep to the top of the ceilidh dance, literally dropped to the floor and commando crawled the length of the village hall. Champion.

Gareth Cassidy performed an entire dance whilst giving a fully accurate and detailed impression of Pauline Quirk in character as Susan Wright of Broadchurch fame, dog on a lead included. 

And Bella Marshall’s ‘Wall Dance’ left spectators redefining the meaning of the verb, to dance.

We changed the face of Portinscale and it in turn, changed us.

Next week is tech week and Vincent takes the stage!


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