The Mikado at the Little Theatre, Torquay
But first, a confession. It was suggested to me recently that I was hiding my heinous views on contemporary art, and the charging of local folk to park at Cockington Court, behind the facade of a cuddly toy. Perhaps naively, I hadn't viewed it as being some kind of subterfuge, and there was certainly no intention to deceive... no vain attempt to hide my bulging frame behind the good-natured Cockington Bear (resident at Sally Jubb Textiles, Cockington Court Craft Centre). To me, it was a bit of amateur journalistic tomfoolery, in the finest tradition of British tongue-in-cheek-and-lets-take-a-swipe-at-pomposity-wrongdoing-and-myself sort of thingy. I was enjoying myself... and my therapist said it was good for me.
Anyhow, I have decided to come out, as it were. I am not, in fact, a cute little bear. Nor am I a big bear, a woolly bear, an unbearable bear, or indeed a bare threadbare bear. I am not any kind of bear nor, whilst I'm in confessional mood, do I have an especially high intellect, as previously I have claimed in these musings. You see, Winnie the Pooh always confessed to being a bear of little brain, so I thought it would be a jolly wheeze to write in the character of... oh well, anyway, clearly I was in the wrong... yet again. My name is in fact Mike Jubb, famous in my own kitchen as a children's poet, and drooler over Fiona Bruce.
So, to the Mikado. Oh, by the way, before I forget, could I just thank the very enthusiastic amateur surgeon for his kind offer. On reflection, not to say deep cogitation, I'm pretty sure that my heart is in the right place. I adore Cockington Court Craft Centre. I adore being there. I love many of the people there, and I love the work I do there, helping to run our little textile craft shop, whilst Sally undertakes her textile conservation and craftwork. It's a fabulous place, and anyone who thinks I citicise Cockington Court has, with the greatest respect, missed the point. What I do is to speak my peace, or write my piece, about issues that interest or concern me. Shocking though it may seem, there are alternative views of most things, and I will speak mine. And I'm pleased to say that I have always been able to keep personality separate from policy... I can like somebody, respect their view, and disagree with them at the same time. I'm very clear that others do not always treat me in the same way.
The Mikado at the Little Theatre, Torquay, was bloody marvellous! It was not only the best evening I've ever had at an amateur performance, it was a darn sight more enjoyable than many a professional offering too. From the moment the invisible orchestra ('band' doesn't do them justice) struck up the overture, til the curtains closed, it was a pure pleasure to be there. I'm not going to pick any one performer out (mainly because I was too mean to buy a programme... that won't happen again) because they were all stars... though I must say there was a particularly pretty pair of eyes at the back of the chorus who acted her little socks off. The individual voices and the harmonies were top class, the acting performances were very funny, and the small amount of excellent re-writing (something I wouldn't necessarily applaud) added a very well-received local dimension, and was also very funny indeed.
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This was our first visit to the Little Theatre, but I'm sure there will be many more enjoyable evenings to come. What a treat!