Saturday, 22 May 2010

Friends Of The Devonshire Park Theatre Spring Fair 2010

Friends Of The Devonshire Park Theatre Spring Fair 2010
Saturday 22nd May 2010
9.30am to 12 noon

Use the arrows at the side of the video to change the selected scene

An incredibly fine day for a Spring Fair with the sun shining and barely a cloud visible. You can't ask for more.

Well you could ask for an incredibly talented ventriloquist to turn up and to perform for free and for all the stars of your latest thriller to put in an appearance that may help.

Well it's just as well the Friends did ask because they ALL turned up and gave their time to this fund raising cause.

The brilliant Steve Hewlett took a break from his long season at The Royal Hippodrome theatre in Hooked On Laughter and put on an excellent spontaneous show accompanied by one of his own "Friends", Arthur. Steve showed that he is not only a skilled ventriloquist at a rehearsed routine but that he is equally skilled at ad-libbing, adjusting his routine and still being incredibly funny in an ever changing environment. The footage you see on this review is a great advert for the Royal Hippodrome show where he appears with other incredibly talented entertainers in an extremely popular show which regularly sells out.

I thought we may be lucky on the day to see one of the stars of Inside Job turn up to support the event. To have all 3 appear was amazing. The lovely Michelle Morris, together with the friendly ex-Emmerdale stars Chris Villiers and Matt Healy were all able to lend their support.
Steve Hewlett and one of his friends, ArthurThere were a range of stalls including a wine raffle, book stall and tombola. The cakes, which Steve Hewlett and Michelle Morris noticed very quickly went down well! However I must say the plant sales seemed to be incredibly popular. Probably because whoever nurses these plants obviously does a great job. A great priced, quality product, will always sell. I am now talking very nicely to some tomato plants in my greenhouse!

As is always the case with the Friends seasonal fairs, which are held at the theatre, there was the opportunity of a backstage tour with talk for £2.50. These are usually very popular, I have no idea what the take up was today.

Any downside? Well this isn't a show review but 2 and a half hours is never long enough. But with a matinee performance of Inside Job in the afternoon the clearing up would have to be done before the audience starts to arrive.

There's also no point in starting earlier as nobody would be about.

The key here is the star guests. If only you could advertise knowing 100% that these 4 incredible artists would be attending the numbers would have been a heck of a lot higher. Kids (of which there were few) would have loved Steve Hewlett!

But I realise that unless that certainty is 'cast in concrete' there is little point in doing so.

Matt Healy, Michelle Morris and Christopher VilliersI couldn't help but look around and feel that something was 'missing' from the stalls. I couldn't quite put my finger on it but there looked to be too much free space at the front of the theatre. Some incredibly easy fund raising opportunities are also not adopted.

Nonetheless the existing fair format I expect still raised some worthwhile funds in this beautiful couple of hours.
The summer event is longer as it is held away from the theatre. If The Friends can arrange for some well known artists to definitely be there and advertise it widely people could do well to look at my videos and see that there is a good reason for a great day out. Last years summer fair raised the chance to meet Ruth Madoc, Tony Adams and Harry Dickman from The Last Of The Summer Wine Tour.

Being a Friend Of The Devonshire Park Theatre you really never know who you are going to meet!
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