For archival material click on Memory Lane and follow the links
 
Tremend-mouse fun 31st December 2013
 
It’s the night before Christmas and all around the house, something is stirring and yes, it’s a mouse. Two mice, in fact – a Granny and her grandson. And she’s telling him a bedtime story about two other mice who, in 1818, went on a big adventure across Europe in search of the ‘eternal churner’ - a machine that automatically makes a constant supply of cheese so no mouse shall ever go hungry.
 
Along the way they sing a few catchy songs; run into trouble with the feline pirate, Captain Cat Sparrow and his ship, the Black Purr; discover the first Toblerone; ruin a Christmas Eve carol service by nibbling a bit of the church organ and finally redeem themselves by inspiring the vicar to compose the carol, Silent Night.
 
Badapple Theatre brought this heart-warming tail (ha!) to life with great charm and plenty of puns - among the best was Cap’n Cat singing ‘I can’t get no Catisfaction’, mention of the famous painting, The Mouse-a Lisa and that well known Shakes-mousian character, Julius Cheeser.
 
With a cast of only two, assisted by a handful of puppets and an audience that enthusiastically boo-d and hissed on cue, the show was a fresh alternative to the traditional panto and went down a treat with the post-Christmas crowd.
 
 
Nice mice. 31st December
 
Autograph hunters were out in force after the performance of ‘The Mice who ate Christmas’ and the cast were more than happy to oblige.
 
Zoe and John of Badapple Theatre signed programmes for audience members, including Gemma and Matthew.
 
Gemma was making her first visit to the Spotlight with her Mum and hopes to come back again soon. She thought the show was really funny. Matthew said that he doesn’t really like pantomimes but thought this show was brilliant. Meeting the cast was a real treat and made a special night out even more memorable.
 
 
Every little helps the Spotlight
 
Stars of the Spotlight’s annual panto put in a personal appearance at Tesco’s one weekend, much to the amusement of Saturday afternoon shoppers.
 
The store is kindly providing a supply of sweets for the theatre’s production of Jack and the Beanstalk which runs for 11 performances from 14 December .
 
Surprised shoppers and delighted children found themselves face-to-face with Jack and his cow, as well as staff members dressed as Disney characters, as they wandered around the supermarket’s aisles checking out the special offers.
 
Anna-Marie Jenkinson, Community Champion at the Station Approach store, took on the role of a snowman for a few hours:
‘Tesco is pleased to support community projects like the Spotlight and making sure their audience is kept topped up with sweeties at Christmas-time is something we’re more than happy to be able to do’.
 
Mike Sheldon, chairman of the Spotlight, said that certain elements of panto are now expected, and anticipated : ‘It’s become something of tradition to gently throw sweets out into the audience – it’s almost as important as shouting, ‘He’s behind you!’. And it’s not just the kids that love this bit of the show. Mums, Dads, Grans and Grandads too seem more than happy to try to catch a flying toffee. In fact, that’s one of the joys of panto, everyone likes to join in. We wish to say a big thankyou to Tesco for being part of the fun‘.
 

Jack and the Beanstalk runs at the Spotlight Theatre, West Street, Bridlington from 14 December to 5 January. Tickets, priced £8 adults/£5 children, are available from Bridlington Blinds and Curtains at the top of Bridge Street.Pic;Bridlington Free Press

 
 
A laugh a minute ! 10th November
 
You would’ve liked ‘Burt n Joyce’. A nice married couple who run a charity shop in town and who popped into the Spotlight on Saturday in the company of Reform Theatre.
 
Burt n Joyce plod along nicely until their world is turned upside down when they make a surprising discovery in a bag of bric-a-brac left on their door step.
 
There were funny gags, neat use of local landmarks and connections (like trying to think of famous folk from Brid and being met with total silence). There was also a good running joke with a member of the audience.
 
For a Spotlight audience, there were some rather rude moments – a line worthy of the best Carry On script (when Burt reminisces about ’showing Esther Rantzen his cock’*) raised barely a titter. Having said that, Burt’s struggle to squeeze his tackle into a pair of too-small pants had most folk in stitches. (Though why, for a man who didn’t want to get undressed in public, he didn’t use the shop’s changing cubicle next to him was odd.)
 
While the second half, with its more serious tone, wasn’t anywhere near as entertaining as the first; while there wasn’t much substance to the story; and while the theme about the impending visit of an ex-employee who’s now a pop-star seemed to disappear into thin air, the curtain call was met with raucous applause.
 
So what if there was no ‘message’ to take home. Who cares if things seemed to jump around a bit. This was a bright shiny bubble of a play that floated around for ninety minutes or so. It made us smile, it made us giggle and then it burst leaving nothing behind but a warm fuzzy feeling. And sometimes that’s all that’s needed.
*(For those concerned about declining standards on our stage, fear not. Burt was referring to a prize budgie he’d appeared with on ‘That’s Life’).
 
 
Calendar Girls at Spotlight Theatre Bridlington; raise £2250 for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research. PRESS RELEASE Nov 6th 2013
 
On Wednesday the 6th of November a cheque for £2250 was presented to Judy King, regional coordinator of the Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research charity by Pauline Pope, Director of Calendar Girls at Spotlight Theatre in West Street.
 
Mike Sheldon, Chairman of the Spotlight Theatre said “It has been a privilege to be part of a wonderful inspirational play. Everyone involved in the play (a great team) gained a huge amount from doing it and made many new friends. This includes those whose lives have been touched by Leukaemia or Lymphoma, which gave an added spur to the actor’s efforts”.
The £2000 was raised in many forms. Kenneth Davison, who played John Clarke, shaved his hair off for the part and raised £506. Liz Edwards who played Annie Clarke, painted six sunflower paintings, which were auctioned off and raised £400. The late night Pharmacy sponsored the programme, which raised £150. Rags Restaurant raised £50 with their Calendar Girls pre theatre meal. McCain foods of Scarborough donated £250. Lots of raffle prizes were given by local businesses and patrons of Spotlight Theatre. We thank them all.
 
Bridlington Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society, proud owners of Spotlight Theatre, contributed the rest to make the £2000.
 

Mike added “on behalf of Spotlight Theatre I thank everyone who came to see the play; we had full houses all the week, with many of the audience leaving with a tear in their eye.” A time not to forget. “I saw Calendar Girls at Spotlight Theatre!” The 2014 Calendar of the Girls are still on sale for a £1.00 and are available at Bridlington Blinds and Curtains, (top of Bridge Street) and Elizabeth’s Jewellers in Queen Street, Bridlington.

 
 
Needs more fire power 3rd November
 
You know when everyone laughs at a joke and you’re left thinking, what?
This was kind of how I felt after ‘Standing in Line’ took to the stage on Saturday night. I got the distinct feeling I’d missed something .
 
Not that this was a funny show, far from it. Billed as ‘a story of the Great War told in songs, readings and images’, the terrors of trench war-fare didn’t raise many laughs. But for me, it didn’t evoke any kind of emotion. And I’m not sure why.
The musicians were more than capable; the songs an interesting mix of original material and traditional ditties of the era; and the readings ranged from the verses of the War Poets to letters from Albert Scrimshaw (the Great Uncle of one of the performers) who went to France to fight never to return. And yet….....it all proved a surprisingly detached journey.
 
Certainly I felt the narrator could have made more of the words - particularly the powerful poetry of Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon. His delivery throughout seemed flat. Where was the horror? Where was the remorse?
 
The singer admitted to having caught a cold so maybe that didn’t help things either. And with such a wealth of imagery available from the time, the slideshow at times was slow and repetitive.
 
Don’t get me wrong. This wasn’t a bad night at the theatre. It just seemed a bland night at the theatre. But maybe that was just me. [Photo; Graham Whitmore]
 
 
Far from bog standard 27th October
 
Did you know we spend three years of our life on the loo? Thanks to Rich Seam theatre’s’ Royal Flush’, which played at the Spotlight on Saturday, if that question comes up in a pub quiz, I’ll get it right.
 
This was an outstanding one-man performance by a familiar face to Spotlight regulars, Matthew Booth, and written by an equally familiar name, Nick Lane.
 
The first half was given over to Thomas Crapper himself, who didn’t invent the toilet but improved it no end. Having successfully kitted out Sandringham Palace with new bathrooms, he’s preparing to meet Her Majesty Queen Victoria and explain the ins and outs of the new sanitary ware he’s installed.
 
Fascinating facts mixed with gentle reminiscence as the elderly Mr C looked back on his life, from his early days in Thorne near Doncaster to his later years when he opened the first ever bathroom showroom in the 1870s.
 
Fast forward through the interval to Act II and we find ourselves in the company of Joe, a care home cleaner who’s on the make. A royal visit gives him his chance to clean up (so to speak).
 
Entirely different in tone and feel, the two halves worked exceptionally well together. And the central performance, which also entailed performing as a dozen or so minor but important characters, was brilliantly executed.
 
While the toilet humour of the second act might not have been to everyone’s taste, it did have the vast majority of the audience gurgling like drains – especially the final revelation. Though Lesley Garret fans might feel differently about it. Interestingly for them, did you know most loos flush in the key of E flat?
 
 
Calendar Girls show what they’re made of 20th October
 
According to google, around 1000 amateur drama companies up and down the country have produced a version of Calendar Girls this year. The Spotlight’s version must surely make it into the top ten.
 
It must be a daunting task to take on a play that virtually the whole audience has seen (and loved) before on the big screen. But the cast and crew rose to the challenge delivering an engaging piece of theatre with some very funny as well as truly touching moments.
 
The script was smart, the set accomplished and the direction reassuringly unobtrusive. But of course, it was the Calendar Girls themselves who stole the show. And they were, to a woman, magnificent. The relationship between the six central characers felt entirely real. They were able to laugh together, cry together and ultimately succeed together with the audience believing every word as the Yorkshire lasses revealed their secrets along with their bodies.
 
Which brings us to the infamous nude scene? This was discreetly done with each month’s girl being bathed in a pool of light so flattering that if B&Q sold lamps that replicated it, I’d be first in the queue.
 
Like the bras the ladies of the Women’s Institue discarded, it was uplifting stuff. And it encouraged the sell-out audience to cast off their inhibitions too and give a much-deserved standing ovation. It felt the least we could do.
 
 
Cream of the crop 9th October
 
Remember when milk came in glass not plastic? And you poured it out of a bottle not a carton? So does Badapple who brought their latest production to the Spotlight on Tuesday.
 
‘Eddie and the Gold Tops ’was as wholesome as the white stuff at the heart of the story. This was a charming tale about an honest-to-goodness milkman from Bottledale who, against all the odds, makes it big in the world of pop music in the swinging sixties.
Along the way the Yorkshire lad manages to thwart his evil doppleganger, win/lose/win back his girlfriend, as well as rescue his cart horse Angelo from an appointment at the glue factory.
 
With just three actors playing all the roles and a set that used space more impressively than the Tardis, it was as inventive as it was fun. And there were plenty of sound-alike tunes that wouldn’t have seemed out of place on Juke Box Jury.
 
Oozing nostalgia and charm, this was a show to snuggle down with on a nippy autumn night and bask in its warmth.
 
 
Game over. 5th October
 
Love, friendship and football. This was the theme of ‘Stand’, Reform Theatre’s latest offering to their fans at the Spotlight.
 
Two couples do their thing one Saturday – the blokes head to the match to follow their beloved United; their other halves prepare for a night on the town.
 
And while the lads mouth it off on the terraces, the girls do the same later in the trendy city bars. But after years of doing this week in week out, the question arose, is there more to life?
The answer to this was debated in a punchy play that was both funny and frightening. The performances were entirely believable making the ending all the more powerful.
 
Stinging words with the accuracy of the Rooney free kick were complemented by a set that managed to say it all with just a couple of appropriate seats in each act and the same simple backdrop. Clever stuff.
 
Our own ‘terraces’ were only half full on the night. And it was a shame for both for the Spotlight and Reform. So make an effort to get to the next show…quality like this is worth switching off the telly for.
 
 
600 or bust! 26th September
 
The Spotlight’s very own ‘Calendar Girls’ are set to break records at the theatre.
 
With just 49 tickets left out of 600, they are on track to make the show a sell out well before opening night.
 
Chairman Mike Sheldon said:
 
‘Playing to a full house is always a great thing for a cast and crew. The heightened sense of expectation from the audience really gives everyone on stage a lift. And as a percentage of the profits from this show goes to Leukaemia Research, there’s even more reason for us to want as many people as possible to come and see it.’
 
The hit show has been in rehearsal behind closed doors for a number of weeks and while there may have been more nerves than usual, the team have now got over their initial shyness.
 
Helen Nichols who plays Chris, the role made famous by Julie Walters in the award-winning film, revealed:
‘Taking your clothes off in public does get easier the more times you do it. You start by feeling very brave but eventually it becomes routine. I think we’re all more worried about learning our lines than any wobbly bits we might have’.

 
One of the first amateur productions of the play took place earlier year in Grassington, where the original events surrounding the now iconic Women’s Institute nude calendar took place. The Spotlight production is amongst a number taking place all over the UK in the 18 months the performing rights are available to non-professionals.
 
The last few remaining tickets for Calendar Girls can be bought from Bridlington Curtains and Blinds at the top of Bridge Street. But they’re going fast.
Helen continued, ‘I would say if we get to that magic 600 figure that I’d stand naked on the stage - but there’s no point as I’m already doing just that.’

 
 
A shining example of community action 3rd September  
A very special performance of one of the Spotlight’s summer shows, ‘Starshine,’ took place on Monday evening at the theatre’s home on West Street.
The Rotary Club of Bridlington funded a visit to see the traditional variety show for groups of people who no longer get out and about as much as they’d like.
Members of the Community Service Committee, including Chairman Robin Taylor along with Harry Barnett, were on hand to welcome guests brought to the theatre by The Salvation Army, Christ Church, Arthritis Care and a number of local care homes.
 
Robin Taylor explained:
‘This kind of community work is exactly what the Rotary Club spends its time – and money – doing. All the activities and events we organise have one purpose – to raise funds to allow us to help local folk in any way we can’.

 
Those being treated to a night at the theatre were looking forward to the prospect of a great night of singing, dancing, magic and comedy.
 
Amongst the excited audience was Kathleen Newton who had enjoyed last year’s show and admired the professionalism of the amateur cast. Margaret Hall, who was joined by friends Joan Braithwaite and Muriel Nordass, was looking forward to another first-class evening of music and fun , having also been wow-ed by the previous year’s performance.
 
President of the Rotary Club, Jeff Carling, said:
‘This is the fourth year we’ve brought members of the community to the Spotlight and every show has been thoroughly entertaining. Everyone comes out of the theatre smiling and humming the tune to one of the songs. It’s become a much anticipated annual event and we look forward to many more’.

 
 
 
 
Photos from top and L to R:
Judith Downing, Robin Taylor,Ann Clough
Kathleen Newton and Anita Barnett
Muriel Nordass, Joan Braithwaite and Margaret Hall
Harry Barnett, Jeff Carling and Robin Taylor of Bridlington Rotary Club.
 
 
Vive Starshine August
 
How good is a Spotlight summer show? Good enough to travel over one thousand miles to see. That’s the opinion of Trish Keen-Confrey who, for the past three years, has visited Bridlington from Spain and made Brid’s favourite little venue a regular port of call.
Trish, who lives in La Marina close to Alicante, hadn’t been to this stretch of the Yorkshire coast until she visited it in 2010 to attend the wedding of her friend’s daughter.
 
Since then she’s bought a caravan here and returns to our cooler climes during the scorching Spanish summer. High on her ‘To do’ list when she’s back in town is a visit to the Spotlight and on Tuesday evening she saw the BAODS in ‘Starshine’ from the front row of the stalls.
 

Trish really warmed to the production’s lively mix of comedy and music:‘It’s got a real buzz about it. And even though it’s an amateur cast, they have definite talent and work extremely hard, and after spending two hours in their company, you feel you know the actors and singers personally because they put so much of themselves into their performance’.
 
So will she be recommending the show to the folks back home?
‘Definitely. This is one show everyone should see because there’s something for everyone to enjoy. As we say in Spain, it’s ‘mucho gusto’. ‘

 
 
   
Calendar Girls Read Through 23rd April
 
Date: May 21
Time: 7.30 pm
Location: Spotlight Theatre
Image - The real life Calendar Girls - Photo: The Telegraph
 
 
And the winner is….. 19th April 2013
 
Bob Downing will be dusting down his dinner suit this week. Because our very own theatrical impresario has been short-listed for a prestigious award.
A wave of nominations for the Chairman of East Riding of Yorkshire Council awards have been whittled down to just a handful and Bob has been named in the Community Individual category. This is in recognition of his 30 years of commitment and dedication to the Spotlight theatre.
 
Councillor Chad Chadwick, who as Chairman of East Riding Council will be selecting the worthy winner. said:
 
‘I would like to congratulate all those nominated. We received dozens of nominations and it was a difficult task to compile a shortlist with such a high calibre of applications’.
The winners of the Chairman’s awards will be announced at a glittering ceremony at the Spa in Bridlington on Tuesday 7 May. The champagne is on ice, Bob!
 
 
It’s a Dad’s Life. 8th April 2013
 
When Dave’s Mum dies he returns home…to teach his Dad how to cook. That’s the starting point of Reform Theatre’s latest touring production, ‘ Me and Me Dad’ - and it turned out to be another audience-pleaser for the almost full house.
 
The central characters of Dave and his Dad embodied the difficulties parents and children face understanding one another – and the two male leads worked well together. Their relationship is a delicately balanced one – they rarely talk, and when they do it’s in blokey questions like ‘ How did Luca Brasi die in The Godfather’ or ‘Which two football teams play at Anfield’, or worst still, through mono syllabic utterances, ‘Well’ or ‘Arh’. And their annual Subbuteo match, that’s been taking place since Dave was 12, only serves to drive another communication wedge between them.
 
How the women in their lives affect their relationship is also revealing. Dave’s Mum (who appears in flashback) treats her husband almost as another child – but is heartbroken when he falls seriously ill; Dave’s current girlfriend’s flirty-dirty phone calls with his Dad confuse and embarrass the son as he sees his father as a ‘woman’s man’ for the first time while the achingly funny, Aunty Joyce, the next-door neighbour who’s almost been part of the family – whether they liked it or not – elicits sympathy in one and irritation in the other.
 
With plenty of laughs softening the serious insights into family relationships – how we see our parents, how parents see each other and how each of them sees their place in the family unit – this was a hugely watchable play that gave every Mum, Dad, son and daughter plenty to discuss in the pub afterwards.
 
Image: the Guardian
 
 
     
It’s a Yes from NODA 3rd April 2013
 
NODA is the National Operatic and Dramatic Association and its aim is to provide professional support for amateur theatre. So it’s interesting (and scary) to have them turn up to see a production and tell us what they think. One of their representatives came along to see our junior company perform ‘Bugsy’. Here’s what he had to say:
“It’s a long time since I saw this show and I had forgotten how good it is, being an ideal vehicle for youngsters starting out in amateur theatre, and for the adults who help get the show on stage.This newly formed group did the show full justice and the dialogue was delivered with that lovely innocence that only youth can bring. SPOTS is short for “Showing Potential on the Stage” and this cast certainly did that with some performances that made us sit back in wonder at how a production of this standard could have been presented by such a young team of over 30, some of whom had never been on stage before.
Bugsy was extremely well played by Sebastian Carvill Belt and some of his comedic timing was excellent. Tallulah (Arabella Carvill Belt) and Blousy (Chloe Gregory) were very good, singing and moving nicely. Lucy Porter was a strong Fat Sam, well supported by Izzie Fanshaw as Dandy Dan and Maicy Coope really showed her vocal potential as Fizzy.
The dance routines were well choreographed and executed and it was great to see so many smiles on stage. The set was simple (the cars looked really good) and the backstage team worked extremely hard to maintain the pace that the show moves at.
The cast will have been told to watch their diction and speak slower but that will come and the society deserves a lot of praise for encouraging and teaching the young team. This was a super production.”
Not bad going for the very first production from a group of youngsters who had little, if any, previous experience. Looks like they’re going to have a bright future.
 
Top photo; Bridlington Free Press; Others: G.Ansell
 
 
     
Performance fit for a Queen 17th February 2013
 
Had Elizabeth R herself been sitting in the stalls at the Spotlight last night, she would surely have been giggling with the rest us at the antics of the ladies of the Great Magna women’s institute, brought to life by the U3A drama group.
 
Royal Ructions, by Michael Lambe, centred on a visit by the Queen to accept a portrait painted by a local artist. Amidst much confusion and mistaken identities – most notably a Duchess being addressed as the transvestite brother of one of the committee members (yes, this is a farce) – preparations are finalised. But, as is usually the case, the best laid plans go awry and there were plenty of laughs as the committee do their best to avoid the royal visit turning into a complete disaster.
The enthusiastic cast appeared to have as much fun as the audience, even managing to get a laugh out of an occasional gaff and also as they took their bow. And credit must go to director Celia Lee for keeping the action moving at a cracking pace.
 
This was the first collaboration between the Spotlight and the Bridlington University of the Third Age. Hopefully it won’t be the last.
 
Image - The cast of Royal Ructions who impressed a sell-out audience: Margaret Drysdale, Julie Marshall, Betty Raywood, Maggie Masters, Di Western and Jean Wilson.
 
 
 
     
Oh boy – what a show 16th February 2013
 
Did you know that the song ‘That’ll be the Day’ was inspired by the John Wayne film, ‘The Searchers’? Or that ‘Peggy Sue’ was originally destined to be ‘Cindy Lou’?
These were just some of the fascinating facts neatly woven in to a musical biography of Buddy Holly written by Bill Western and performed by the U3Mix Party Band as the second half of a double bill from Bridlington U3A on Saturday night
.
With a live band playing Holly’s hits, a narrator telling his story plus images from his life projected onto a screen at the back of the stage, this was a riveting insight into a man whose brief career has left a lasting impression on the world of pop music - even the Rolling Stones’ first big hit ‘Not fade away’ was written by him.
 
Over the course of the show the audience learnt a little, sang a lot and some even took to the aisles dancing. As night’s out go, this was definitely Buddy brilliant.
 
(Image: U3A newsletter)
 
 
     
You’ve seen the film, now be part of the play – casting for Calendar Girls 8 February 2013
 
Everyone knows the story – how a group of women from a Yorkshire Women’s Institute raised millions for a cancer charity by appearing naked in a calendar.
This funny, heart-warming play will be staged by BAODS during October 2013. So we will soon be looking for cast members – and yes, that does include six women who will be willing to appear in a discreet state of undress.
In total we will need a cast of 14; 10 females and 4 males. The playing range is between 30 and 70 with one male/female part played by younger members. Part of the licence fee will be donated to Leukaemia research.
 
If you are considering coming forward for one of the roles made famous by Helen Mirren, Julie Walters and Co, be assured that the portrait photography scene will be set at the back of the stage and the very front row of seats will not be used.
 
Anyone interested can obtain a perusal script from Mike Sheldon. Or join us at an open night to discuss the play after Oklahoma. Date to be announced later.
Image - The real life Calendar Girls - Photo: The Telegraph
 
 
     
Front of House volunteers wanted 17 January 2013
 
It takes all sorts of folk to get a production at the Spotlight off the ground.
Equally important as those that go on stage are those that stand in front of it before and after performances
Our Front of House team helps the audience find their seats, sell programmes or raffle tickets and generally help make a visit to the Spotlight special.
Commitee member Bob Downing said, 'A warm welcome in the foyer or a helping hand during the interval can really make a difference to a night out. Our Front of House team play a really important role and we value them immensely. They are just as much the stars of our shows as the actors are.'
 
If you think you've got what it takes to meet and greet our audience, call Pauline on 01262 603543
 
 

 

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