CAMP diary – not strictly dancing

The Lynden Players present their 2017 pantomime: CAMP – set in the early 1970s. The story takes place at Sandy Shores holiday camp, a family business struggling to survive.

 It’s a standing joke amongst some Lynden Players that we “don’t do dancing”… We perform movements to music: step together step close; a box step; even a grapevine. There are exceptions of course and some of our spring shows have had ‘proper’ choreography. 

 Whatever we want to call it, we have had a lot of fun at the last two weeks working on some of the musical numbers in CAMP.  Our opening number features our villain and a large chorus. Here’s a clue, it is a well known 70s anthem. The bad guy is a jewel thief nicknamed ‘the lockbuster’. Any idea?

You can follow CAMP the panto on Facebook and Instagram

Find out more about Lynden Players on Facebook or at www.lyndenplayers.com

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CAMP diary – week two

CAMP – an original pantomime set in the early 1970s – takes place at Sandy Shores holiday camp, a family business owned and run by Dame Lulu and her daughter Donna Summer. Times are hard and the camp is struggling to make ends meet. The highlight of the season is the grand talent contest, which attracts a young man who wants to be a pop star and with him a mysterious stranger who may not be all he seems.

Week Two:

Monday was the first rehearsal for our Dame Lulu and our panto villain The Lockbuster. (Boooooo). The two characters are played by experienced actors who know each other well and love to push the boundaries. I am simultaneously thrilled and terrified by what they will come up with.

Most of the evening was spent laughing at inappropriate jokes relating to fallen idols from my childhood in the 1970s (there were a lot of them!) and trying to explain who Alvin Stardust was to the under 30s in the cast.

Wednesday was devoted to trying on costumes – this is always very time consuming but worth it – we managed to kit out most of the chorus and have a better idea of what we need to make/hire/buy.

A quick trawl of the internet found the following images for inspiration:

A quick look through the family album found the following photo from 1971. FYI I am the little chubby ginger one on the left.

The BEST news this week was finding out that we have already sold our first tickets. The box office opened this weekend to coincide with the open day at the Village Hall where Lynden Players had a stand to promote the society and let people know about the next show. Isn’t it great that this resulted in a booking!! The first of many…

You can follow CAMP the panto on Facebook and Instagram

Find out more about Lynden Players on Facebook or at www.lyndenplayers.com

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CAMP diary – the story so far…

The Lynden Players present their 2017 pantomime: CAMP – set in the early 1970s, when hair was long, platform heels were high and flares were wide.
The action takes place at Sandy Shores holiday camp, a family business struggling to survive. The highlight of the season is the grand talent contest, which attracts a young man who wants to be a star and with him a mysterious stranger who may not be all he seems.

My first foray into writing and directing a show for my village drama society was in 2015. Hood-The Panto was a great success ( oh, yes it was) and one of the best things that I have ever done, but I regret not recording more of the ‘journey’ ( cue schmaltzy background music triggered by the dreaded ‘J’ word).

My plan is to blog little and often between now and show week to capture the experience of putting on this year’s panto. Highs and lows; lessons learned; notes that may help me if/when I do this again, or possibly inspire someone else to have a go at writing or directing a show.

I *may* have said “never again” after Hood, but no-one believed me so here we go with the comic caper that I have called CAMP; a show packed with laughs, songs, romance, mystery and nostalgia which is completely, overwhelmingly, undeniably as CAMP as a row of tents.

The roles have been cast and we have a company of 38 actors, including a bunch of sassy teenagers with buckets of attitude and 8 juniors to melt the hardest heart with their sheer cuteness. Luckily, we have an equally massive supporting crew who will bring their expertise to music, movement, make up, costumes, props and set building, lights, sound, publicity and all the other vital components of the production.
I’M IN CHARGE #whoamIkidding

Week One:

  • Highs: Our first read through of the script- everyone laughed at the jokes so from a writer’s point of view, very satisfying. As a director, bowled over by the talent in the room and have no doubt whatsoever that this show is going to be great.
  • Lows: Lost a couple of cast members due to work/school committments. Inevitable, and better to find out at the outset, but still disappointing.

“To lose one cast member may be regarded as a misfortune, to lose two seems like carelessness”

You can follow CAMP the panto on Facebook and Instagram

Find out more about Lynden Players on Facebook or at www.lyndenplayers.com

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Tuesday weigh in 14 March 

Hooray! Minus a pound, taking my total loss to 8lbs.

I have missed the last two weigh ins  because of work and social commitments and I confess that I have  strayed off plan more than once…two weekends away, bread, chips, chinese take out and several glasses (bottles) of wine have been consumed! I have *tried* to make better choices in between the lapses and consumed plenty of speedy fruit and veg. 

So a loss this week which is encouraging. I have also started a new job so plenty of nervous energy burning calories. I have to take (a healthy) lunch to eat and I only get half an hour so less time to snack. No snack van calling by to tempt me- if I want a packet of crisps I have to walk down to the shop and back. Unfortunately this route passes the chip shop and the smell is heavenly. Give me strength!!! 

I feel great right now; very positive and determined to succeed. Go me!!
 

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Tuesday weigh in

Minus 1.5 earns me my half stone sticker. A pretty good week – the odd lapse from plan but overall i am pleased. I am a little worried that next week I am working away with three lovely meals (and wine) each day. My plan is to avoid bread, embrace the salad bar at lunchtime and try to ignore the afternoon biscuits and lattes. It’s going to involve long, tiring days and that afternoon boost is always welcome.  A bunch of bananas should do the trick!

Dinner tonight was cooked by daughter Helen. Pesto chicken with SWfries and crunchy salsa. Delicious and syn FREE. Pardon the blurry photo I was too hungry to take it again! 

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Tuesday weigh in. 

Forgot to do this the past three weeks, but very little movement to report.

Maintained. Lost half a pound. Two pounds lost tonight so it’s creeping off. If I try hard this week I could win my half stone sticker…

I have committed to a 12 week countdown and looking forward to trying some recipes from the new free and easy cookbook.

For valentine’s day supper we have a syn free lamb hotpot with pearl barley and vegetables with a side of speedy steamed cabbage and cauliflower. No chocolate or creamy puddings ( we did that at the weekend).

Here’s to a happy healthy eating week!

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Nothing new for a year: shopping trip

I have a week long business event coming up at the end of Feb- and my working wardrobe is way more casual than smart. Since I have pledged to buy no brand new clothes this year, I decided to hit up the local charity shops in Banbury town centre.

With my dreams of a capsule wordrobe in mind, I was hoping for some trousers and a jacket that would complement my existing clothes. I wear a lot of navy (more flattering than black) and prefer strong colours to pastels.

Several hours later, I am delighted with my haul. I sniffed out some real bargains and spent about £20.

The Alex & Co jacket was just £8 from Scope and looks brand new. It is fully lined and has a slight stretch to the fabric which makes it very easy to wear and hopefully doesn’t crease too much. It’s maybe a bit ‘mother of the bride’ but useful to throw on to smarten up a dress or some trousers. If you are working at an event, its good to stand out in a bright colour so people can see you.  I don’t think this brand still exists, but prices used to be similar to Planet.  Also, I have some shoes that will go with this.

The unstructured jacket is a light jersey ansd very drapey. The brand is Cotswold Collection, which I looked up when I got home. A similar item is currently retailing at £69. I paid £3. It is unworn and goes very well with the Linea navy trousers. Linea is the house brand for House of Fraser, so I expect they would have cost upwards of £40 new, maybe more. Again, they look immaculate. Oh yeah – £4.25, Cancer Research shop. Again, I have (more than one pair of) shoes to go with this ensemble.

The tweedy jacket is also from Cotswold Collection. The current site is offering a similar jacket for £189. I paid just £1.99 at the Katherine House Hospice shop. I plan to put some new buttons on. It’s light enough to wear indoors, but will take me through to spring as an outdoor jacket over a sweater or long sleeved t shirt. Also for £1.99 I picked up a pair of Pikolinos boots-lovely soft leather and I know these retail for £80-£100. I took a chance on the boots for two quid- if they are comfy I will polish them up and get them re-heeled. If not, I will re-donate them.

I also found two cookery books ( a Nigel Slater and a slimming world summer), a sewing pattern for some unisex pajamas, a shirt for Martin and a tablecloth. Sweet!

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Tuesday weigh in

Gained a pound. Bugger. 

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A change of tactic

The ‘post every day for a year’ barely got started before it was over. Not even a fortnight!

“Why?”  I asked myself this as I sat at the computer at 11.45pm, fighting sleep, desperately trying to think of something to say. Why am I doing this? Why isn’t this fun?

Having bailed out and thought about it at the weekend, I concluded that:

  • The daily categories, rather than make it easier, actually made it harder.
  • The daily deadline, added to my other self-imposed pressures ( lose weight; find a job; write a panto; buy nothing new;  etc), made me feel stressed and anxious.
  • Using my free time in the evenings to write the blog took me away from writing my panto. That makes me sad and also anxious. (DEADLINE LOOMING).
  • Also, the quality of the posts was patchy, and I’d rather do nothing than do a half-assed job.

Solution? Let’s try once a week and see how that goes.

 

 

 

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12/365 Thrifty tips for Thursday

This week I have been looking for inspiration on the internet. I found a great site called frugal.org.uk – link here.

The site has some really practical suggestions for frugal living, eating and holidays, including reader’s tips. I particularly liked the frugal weight loss tips and will be trying some of them over the next few months.

 

 

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