Wow, what a year 2012 has been so far!
Since this is our very first post on this, our new site, it seems only right to update you on The Wight Strollers’ year so far...
Our panto, Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood, was a huge success, packing Medina Theatre full to bursting once again, and getting a wealth of positive feedback. Cast and audience alike loved it, and – most importantly – we were able to give away more money to Island charities.
Thanks must go one more time to everyone who came to see or was involved in Robin Hood and we can’t wait to see you at the next one!
On Thursday 26th April, we had our AGM, where it was decided that our pantomime for 2013 would be the popular classic, Sleeping Beauty. It was decided that our script would be written by Mike Sutcliffe and Sarah Scotcher, who were responsible for both Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood and the previous year’s panto, Cinderella.
We also had our annual cheque presentation of the money raised by panto, and were thrilled to welcome representatives of our chosen charities to accept the donations:
- £2,000 to John’s Club
- £1,000 to the Isle of Wight MS Society
- £600 to Revive
- £500 to the Saturday Club for the Deaf
- £200 to the 6th Newport Beavers
- £200 to the 8th Ryde Brownies
A new committee member was elected in the form of Emily Scotcher, and the director for Sleeping Beauty was voted in – well, we wanted Psychic Sue but after she proved unwilling we had to settle for Sarah Scotcher instead!
Some tea, biscuits and bingo later, we went our separate ways before the beginning of the summer season, which for us involves dressing up and dancing through the Island’s streets...
In May, our hugely popular Merry Men from Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood were invited to perform their show-stopping rendition of The Overtones hit song, Sh-Boom, at the Earl Mountbatten Hospice Grand Charity Auction, held at the Bargeman’s Rest on Friday 18th May.
Sadly, Little John (alias Stuart Egan) was unable to make it, so ‘The Undertones’ - as they were affectionately known among the cast – recruited a stand-in...a woman, no less, in the form of Musical Director Em Scotcher. Not quite as big as Little John, she completed the line-up, joining Robin Hood (Henry Noon), Friar Tuck (Rob Jones), Alan-A-Dale (Ryan Tulloch) and Will Scarlett (Tim Smith) in what was an undeniably memorable performance!
Tim went on to finish running the auction (as if he wasn’t talented enough on stage, he’s a brilliant auctioneer to boot!) as Will Scarlett, causing much hilarity and convincing men and women alike to part with ever-increasing sums of cash for a very worthy cause. A great night was had by all, and The Wight Strollers certainly enjoyed themselves...and spent perhaps a little too much money into the bargain!
...Carnival time was almost upon us, and both the float and costumes were well underway for this year’s theme: trolley dollies! Under the banner of Try Me Airline, thirty-five of us would be dancing in purple pencil skirts, blazers and hats, pink scarves and blonde wigs to Michael Bublé’s Come Fly With Me, Roy Orbison’s Pretty Woman and Cher’s Shoop Shoop Song.
The trolley dollies choreography, done by Sarah and tried out on Emily and Ed, was effective as ever and when you threw in the full company plus wheeled suitcases it made for a lot of laughs even in rehearsal...six-foot-four male trolley dollies are a sight to behold, whichever way you look at it, or them!
Also in June came the first of our fund-raising efforts to pay off the loan we’d had to take out after our carnival trailer broke down following last year’s carnival season. We had a lot of money to raise, and special mention must go to Judith Day for her tireless work organising a hugely successful variety show to help raise the money.
Fund-raising spread further still over the coming months, with a brilliant beetle drive organised by Sarah Occomore, and a Guess the Time the Watch Stops game arranged by Mike Squibb. In short, we made the money we needed, and carnival was good to go!
July –September 2012:
Newport Carnival kicked things off, and the crowds seemed to love this year’s offering. Seeing everyone laughing and smiling is what makes the carnivals for us, and that Try Me Airline was lucky enough to take first prize and best overall was a bonus we were thrilled with.
Our flight destinations over the carnival season included Sandown Main and Illuminated, Cowes Main, Ventnor Main and Illuminated, Ryde Main and Ryde Illuminated. By the time we landed at our final destination (Ryde Illuminated on Saturday 3rd September) we were laden with much silverware; everyone involved in the carnivals worked harder this year than ever before, and to have our hard work rewarded so generously was truly a privilege - thank-you to everyone, not only for the awards but also for the kind words that came with them. As long as everyone enjoys watching us, we’re more than happy!
The script is finished, the panto is cast, the music has been chosen and this Sleeping Beauty is set for lift-off! The first rehearsal will be taking place on Thursday 27th September, so stay tuned for our next blog post, which will be coming to you shortly afterwards, on Monday 1st October, and we promise not to tell (too many) bad jokes as panto season kicks in - don’t miss it!
Thanks for reading...and don't forget to visit our Facebook and Twitter pages for more Strollers news, updates and pictures.