Jeffers the kp…

It turned out to be a really good weekend, the culmination of weeks of planning, the ‘last of the summer wine’ evening at Rosehill.

I’m very fond of Rosehill theatre on the outskirts of Whitehaven. Unlike the theatre by the lake in Keswick, it struggles to get funding and customers sometimes! Keswick theatre has lottery funding and many well-to-do sponsors who like to have their names on seat and plaques….
Rosehill on the other hand is in the process of trying to get funding. In the meantime, a group of us have been raising funds for a particular Rosehill project, the community Shakespeare project. We  are fortunate to have two lovely ladies from London who travel up to coach us: Bardy, who used to be the principle of RADA and who has recently coached Lenny Henry and Catherine Tate for their Shakespearean debuts. And Jennie, also ex RADA, actress, director and mother-in-law of David Schwimmer. They charge Rosehill a fraction of what they would normally charge for coaching and we are really lucky to have their experience and skill. They make the characters come alive and the direction we get is phenomenal!

Why the fundraising? Well, although many of us have paid towards the coaching, the aim is to make these workshops accessible for everyone, whether they can afford to pay or not. There are so many young actors in the area who are keen and talented, not to mention the adults who find £50 for a weekend just a bit too much.

So we decided to have this event to raise funds. And as its not a charity, the idea was to give people an entertaining evening for their money. They got a 3 course meal, free glass of wine and entertainment all for £15 . Bargain!

We spent ester say preparing the food and what an enjoyable experience it turned out to be. All those hotel jobs I had years ago came into their own and my catering skills returned…
Chopping fruit for the fruit salad, boiling huge pans of new potatoes, great fun.
The guests all had a great time, with entertainment provided by Marianne and her open mic chums. She ended the evening with her favourite medley of wartime classics, which went down quite well.

While some of the team waited on tables, I stayed in the kitchen, washing up and clearing. Nobly assisted by Geoffrey, a lawyer who has never been that close to an industrial dishwasher in his life!
The highlight of the evening for me was showing Jeffers ( as he has now been christened by our RADA friends) how to be a kp, as we used to call kitchen porters.

With young Callum as compere, the evening was a success. Wish I’d had his confidence when I was 17…
We raised about £580, and enjoyed it in the process.

Roll on the next fundraiser 🙂


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