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Once More With Feeling

Sunday is usually a day or rest and for once us showman were to enjoy a comparatively restful day.

Our Dolly was parked safely in the Underbank Rugby Club and we had been asked to wait until 11.30 am to collect her. Also we had already conquered the final hill of our Holmfirth adventure so as the saying goes it was all down hill from here and our final performance at The Bridge Hotel that evening would close the curtain on one the finest of vagabonding weeks.

Steve sorted us our with a Sunday fry up and a lift back up to the club and we agreed that we would all catch up with he and Lesley before we set off for home.

We arrived promptly and shunted us Dolly down hill for once into the bright lights of Holmfirth. The road was quite busy and we spent most of the journey in our own company void of many passers by other than fast cars. We spent our time talking about our next journey around lancashire and how we hope to vagabond together again next year.

Heading Holmfirth

Heading Holmfirth

We arrived and set up for the final performance.

A full house, hurrah!

Our show went very well and once more our applause lingered.

We are proud of our production and look forward to performing it for fresh audiences in Lancashire this August.

We were both tired at the end of the show and we packed away and listed the props, costumes and instruments. We slipped briefly into the last night party gig and mamboed a goodbye to our promotors and the organisers of Holmfirth festival.

Shake a leg!

Shake a leg!

Whilst thanking people I do have a list.

We are most grateful to Blaize who have produced this years vagabond show and look forward to plotting and planning next years shunts. Ellen Thorpe and Paula Horton work tirelesly backstage for Blaize researching and and applying for the money that makes the art happen and along with our own Janice Benson share every round of applause we receive out on the road.

http://www.blaize.uk.net

We need to thank Shaun (Blez) Blezard for all his assistance with technology and for his amazing photos that have and will help us promote our show in the future.

http://shaunblezard.net

Also to The Ashton Group in Barrow who very kindly gave us space to rehearse our show free of charge affording us more budget towards our design.

http://www.ashtongroup.co.uk

Jim Woodland who has both written some of the material and directed our show also shares our applause. Thanks Jim. I enjoyed it very much.

http://jimwoodlandsongs.wordpress.com

Holmfirth Festival and Arts Out West our promotors for the last few weeks of vagabonding along with Spot On Lancashire who we look forward to joining in August for more of the same.

http://www.spotonlancashire.co.uk
http://holmfirthartsfestival.co.uk
http://www.arts-out-west.co.uk

Good old Dolly and of course our partner and friend the grand master showman Maxim.

He's a good runner!

He’s a good runner!

A fine gig and joyous experience. Thank You!

Thank you all!

Dolly and me are about to embark on other adventures so please check my own website for the gig list.

http://garybridgens.wordpress.com/diary/

We will see you all in August when we Ramble On some more.

Ta for now.

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Here We Go Again

It has been two years since Headzup delivered our first peripatetic story telling adventure. 

In fact I write this blog on the second anniversary of our performance in Sparkbridge an idilic village in South Cumbria.

That night we were to perform on a beautiful lush patch of grass by the gently flowing river. However the weather had taken a turn for the worst and as a result we were invited to take shelter and perform in The Royal Oak as guests of the landlady. The show went very well indeed despite the shallow ceiling, so shallow in fact that we had to drop our marionette routine from the set. 

A shame really because after the show a man approached us who had been in the audience and asked if we would like to view his collection of puppets. He then brought in a car load of antique marionettes that had been built and operated by a double act performed by his dearly departed Aunts.

The puppets were quite amazing. The attention to detail was stunning. There were characters from all over the world clad in elaborate hand stitched costumes. There were exotic animals, lions, bears and more familiar creatures cows, sheep and birds. Human figures too. Kings, Queens, soldiers and children. Young old, rich and poor. So many characters that his ancestors would surely have been able to perform any story imaginable. 

Perhaps being local they might have performed in that very pub in some distant past.

The puppets were each individually bagged and catalogued and after a lengthy inspection the inheritor asked if I would like them. Anybody who has witnessed my marionette manipulation skills will be relieved to learn that I thanked him politely and suggested that he would be best finding a true scholar of historic puppetry and have them displayed in a museum. 

Still this was an amazing offer.

Also that night we were gifted a meal and copious amounts of beer from our landlady. We enjoyed whisky courtesy of our audience and a full hat of coins from our collection. At last orders we were even given the keys to the village hall on account of the bad weather and we were free to bed down for the night and shower in the morning.

And make tea.

This reminds me of the incredible generosity and sense of value we received everywhere as myself Lord Gregg and Dolly tramped and performed during that first walking project.

Our show Vagabonding lasted for three weeks and in that time we covered over 120 miles largely on foot performing in a myriad of locations. We delivered our show on village greens, in pubs, on railway stations, in pubs, in village halls, schools and well … pubs. 

It was a rather wet that particular May.

Our show was commissioned by Lakes Alive the company famous for delivering an outstanding three year project of outdoor work in Cumbira as part of the cultural Olympiad.

The show featured a collection of Cumbrian stories. 

We explored the history of Piel Island, how it was invaded by Lambert Simnal and his army during the 1600’s. We told how the town of Dalton was ravaged by a wicked medicine pedlar by the name of Doc Lancaster, a man who sold poison to the locals claiming that it was in fact a cure for the plague. 

Another Dalton story talked of Commando the pigeon who was awarded the coveted Dikin medal for assisting british secret agents by flying home with warnings of nazi military tactics. 

From our home town in Barrow we told of two lovers who would meet for lunch on the very tips of  two cranes that they operated in the shipyard during in the second world war and how they eventually married and grew old together.

Amongst others.

Two years later we are to embark on a second journey. 

Dolly and myself will this time be joined by Mike Betson of Blaize a theatre company based in North Yorkshire. 

Blaize deliver all manner of projects working in both rural and urban locations. They make films, burn spectacular bonfires and tour village halls with finely crafted plays telling stories in the most remote venues.

We are directed by the celebrated playwright and songwriter Jim Woodland. 

Mike and Jim were two members of The Fabulous Salami Brothers, probably the finest street theatre and festival act of their generation.

I remember being so excited watching their shows that when my school careers officer asked “What do you want to to be when you leave school” I replied “Sir I want to be a Fabulous Salami Brother”

I recon this is as close as ill get.

Ill talk more about the content of this show as it develops. We are entering our last week of devising and rehearsing and this new collection of songs, stories will soon be ready to show. 

Dolly our cart is oiled and ready to be shoved and shunted into whatever kindness or catastrophe awaits us on this next Vagabond adventure. 

The new Headzup website has been designed by the visionary web wizard and sound artist Shaun Blezard. He and the ever excellent co director of Headzup Janice Benson will be steering us and keeping a watchful eye from the Dalton command centre. 

The first leg of our journey takes place in venus promoted by Arts Out West in Cumbria. Later we will tour Yorkshire for the Holmfirth Festival and then Lancashire for Spot On.

The dates and venues for Cumbria are below. 

Please come along, pass it on or just follow the blogs as we Ramble On.

Hopefully no hospitals this time.

Venues and dates Cumbria

www.arts-out-west.co.uk           

Thu     30/05/2013        7.30        The Florence Mine, Egremont      CA22 1NR    

01946 824946

Fri       31/05/2013        7.30        Beckermet Reading Rooms    CA21 2XN     

01946 841522

Sat      01/06/2013        7.30        Calder Bridge Village Hall      CA20 1DH    

01946 841478

Sun     02/06/2013        6.30        Muncaster Parish Hall, Ravenglass   CA18 1SF  

01229 717544