What did you do last Sunday? I went to a museum.
NOT JUST ANY MUSEUM.
It is a community museum which is the region’s best-kept secret in my humble opinion. It is chockful of delightful engaging displays. Deep sighs and aaahs were rolling around my mouth.
I sat there in the main part of the museum surrounded by memorabilia through the decades.
I saw pieces from my childhood, a milkshake whizzer from at least 50 years ago. I used one of those to serve customers in my Auntie Nell’s corner shop. My head was on a ‘wonder’ swivel until the play began.
There were pieces in the Toy Museum that were clear memories from childhood. Museum pieces was not probably a comfortable description but smiles happened anyway.
You were introduced to my relationship with Google Maps a few days ago in my blog Walking on Water via Google Maps. Crossing water was involved this time as well but I used the Gateway Bridge and I have a childlike pleasure in driving over this BIIIG bridge (well it is a pair actually but you only drive over one at a time). However, I still missed the turn off the highway. Deep Sigh for a different reason.
My late arrival was brushed aside by charming volunteers who ushered me in and sat me down in my seat in the main room with 70 other people. My gluten-free scones with jam and cream and lovely fresh tea were delivered almost immediately.
Before the actors get there, I am reading about the 13-year tradition by The Redland Museum of holding Australia Day play during this period in January.
Still distracted by all the ‘stuff’ around me, I read on, munching my scones and slurping tea.
THE PLAY BEGINS
I dusted off the crumbs and sat up straighter in my seat when the action began. We were led through some pathos, humour by a man and his mother, some dim thieves, some working women, an ever-optimistic young woman, and crying Sally.
It was a treat to see the audience (a group of people average age 50+) really engaging with the play, I was very smug to part of the dingo group and howled with all my might. There were some hesitant sheep, enthusiastically waving gum trees, the flowing Murrumbidgee River and a reluctant dog – all the tune of….. well you’ll have to see the play yourself, won’t you?
The humour was bawdy at times and some of the double entendres were not new but there the presentation was fresh and fun and audience participation continued from all 1st and 2nd class passengers as we trooped onto the ship in the auditorium.
NOT A REVIEW
This is not a critique of the play it was community theatre at its best. I enjoyed every minute of it.
This was a rambling introduction to my passion for supporting community theatre and all activities which bring the community together.
In another part of my life, and as you can see on this website I am a public speaking coach. Many of my clients are horrified by my suggestion that joining community theatre will be a big step towards overcoming their fear of public speaking.
It is a way to interact with others towards a common goal. The play/musical/pantomime is the vehicle and you are not alone. Like-minded professionals, semi-professionals, and amateurs work together in their own elements – cast, crew, stage manager, director, front of house, costumier, prop maker, the list goes on. Not everyone wants or needs to be on stage, your passion may lead you there one day but in the meantime join a local theatre company and start to find YOUR voice.
WHY THAT PLAY?
I was chatting with the other ‘passengers’ before the play commenced. It came up that I had travelled 40.6 km away to see this play, there was interest in hearing a reason for my madness.
As I said to my table companions, I have known Stuart Fisher (the Captain) for many years and so enjoy coming to watch the various productions he has performed in. We both appeared in Come Swing With Us a couple of years ago.
It is so much more enjoyable to see someone you know up on stage. It is also gennneerrally positive for them to know you are in the audience.
Community theatre and live performances are often the glue that binds us together to explore fun/serious/important topics in our lives or simply to entertain and take to another place for an hour or two on a Sunday afternoon.
Look up your local community attractions and check them out.
I know that the pandemic has restricted movements of many of us in 2020 and will continue to disrupt your ‘going outs’ for 2021.
I am so grateful I am able to move around and be social while still physically distancing.
ALTERNATIVES TO THE MATINEE
So what are the ways to engage in uplifting entertainment from your own sofa?
Sir Patrick Stewart reading Shakespeare’s sonnets (every one of them) has been a treat.
Insert your local comedians and musicians here.
So here is the final word, you can have your own Sunday Matinee anytime you want. There are many platforms that will offer you the digital equivalent until you can make it back to your Sunday matinee.
Hands up who is a convert to community theatre? Leave your comments below.