A Dreamy Late Summer’s Eve at Sandsfoot Castle

‘In the beautiful setting of Sandsfoot Castle have a picnic, with bar, stalls, games, rolling entertainment including – Mummers, Shakespeare excerpts, games, Find the Fairy treasure trail, story-telling, musical theatre, folk, choir, Donation only fund-raiser to provide free professional theatre for families in schools and libraries.’
Bring a blanket/chairs and have a wonderful evening. 
The weather forecast looks good.’

This was the invite and did it live up to expectations. A beautiful evening; charming company; children playing and enjoying themselves (hardly an iphone in sight); music; extracts from ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream; children dancing and everything else in the invite (apart from The New Hardy Players whose car broke down).

Organised primarily by Sarah Jane Granville and Jane Mckell it was a fundraising event to enable AsOne Theatre to take performance in to schools and libraries to provide opportunities for children to experience and hopefully embrace. For each school to host a performance and workshops it costs approximately £350 and therefore the more money raised the less onus upon the schools. This is obviously much more vital, at this time, as school budgets are being cut in real terms over and over.

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All ages were there either watching or performing or having their picture taken or having their faces painted. Some of the older ones had some Piddle Ale and although the love grew, as the evening matured, no one embarrassed themselves.

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The Mechanicals (featuring Peter John Cooper; Monika Bradowska; Jane Mongini; Jordan Fox and James Barry, who also directed this piece)

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Scenes from A Midsummer Night’s Dream (featuring Claire Phelan; Chad Echakowiz; Jordan Fox and directed by Jane Mckell)

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The Let’s Dance Dancers (featuring Millie Cridland; Marley Smith; Ruby Mae Beaumont; Ava Samways; Ruby Cox; Daisy Coombs; Faith Kelly and Katie Litchfield).

The wonderful choreographer was Tanya Lonergan.

Amongst the enchanting musicians and singers were:

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Damaris Fowler – whose rendition of The Beatles ‘Across the Universe’ was spellbinding.

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Alistair Dean and students

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Rachel Scott and the Scott Singers. Amongst the set they sang ‘Puff the Magic Dragon’ which brought back my own memories of childhood and the wearing out of vinyl. 

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And the beautiful voice of Amy Wells.

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A fabulous guest appearance by DEMONIA THE SEA WITCH from Pirates of the Pavilion brought laughter and ‘nuance’.

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Mike Lathwell aka The Magician

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Fairies posing…

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Jane leading the fancy dress parade.

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And not all entrants had only two legs…

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And some luvvies being luvvies.

An extraordinary evening which it is very much hoped will be repeated  next year and made in to a regular event. If anyone feels inclined to get involved then contact https://www.as-onetheatre.co.uk/contact-us/

*The event has so far received fantastic feedback with requests by families for another. Over £1300 was raised with about £1000 going towards schools’ performance projects. Perhaps a Fairy Tale theme next year with lots of children singing and dancing, games, stalls, costumes to match! And inside the castle? Spooky goings on…

Cannot wait. See you next year!

The organisers would like to thank the following for their time, energy and contributions:

Thanks to Piddle Brewery, Goadsby, Sandsfoot Cafe Gardens. Raffle Prizes Dozens of Dorset businesses. ASDA, Morrisons. Time and effort Volunteers: Weymouth Community Volunteers, Dorset Volunteer Director James Barry with Rosie and Louise. Volunteer Actors Peter John Cooper, Monica Brodowska, Louise Peters, Jordan Fox, Chad Echakowitz, Clare Phelan. Volunteer AsOne Fundraising Committee – Chair Sara Jane Glanville, with – Jane Mongini, Caroline Richards, Kevin Butcher, Kevin & Rachel Cole; AsOne theatre company Chair: Laura McHarrie (not for profit) Ltd; Let’s Dance – Choreography Tanya Lonergan; Hilary, Tim & Sara Warren; Poppy Butcher; Vanessa Lucas and Debbie Cridland.