SHAP memorial hall was the venue for a performance of Christmas Spirit by touring theatre group Blaize.
As the audience gathered, they were greeted by humorous comments and banter from Gary Bridgens in a highly original “warm up” which caused much amusement.
The first act of Christmas Spirit revolved around the dress rehearsal for a drama group’s performance of A Christmas Carol, which was not going according to the producer’s plan.
There was much tomfoolery, including a pantomime horse with two rear ends, and a fine example of the ventriloquist’s skill, with two dummies, Tiny Titch and Teeny Titch, singing the Morecambe and Wise number Boom-Oo-Yatatatah.
However, the first half failed to settle to its subject, the actors seeming to try to demonstrate too many skills at once.
The second act got off to a fine start as it followed the story of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol with some excellent effects. A suitably miserable Scrooge (Tony Lidington) was balanced by an optimistic and cheery Bob Cratchit (Gary Bridgens), while the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future were portrayed by Jim Woodland and Mike Bettison in wonderful costumes.
Here again there were some funny moments, one of which saw the carol Deck the Hall with Boughs of Holly interspersed by a chorus of Bob the Builder!
The performance was part of the North Pennine Highlights rural touring scheme and made a wonderful start to the festive season by getting everybody into the Christmas spirit.
Shap School Association ran a raffle and served refreshments in aid of school funds.
J. S. S.