Friday 30th March 2012
This was our last date before Easter! It has been a fairly gruelling schedule over the last two months; 18 gigs all over the country plus a recording and we are both ready for a break.
|YES SOLD OUT!!|
This last date was scheduled for the lovely Heron Theatre in Cumbria. However if Francis Maude and his cronies in the government had had their way, we may never have made it! 'Don't panic' they said, so what did everyone do - panicked! Neil, believing in the reason of mankind, reckoned there was nothing to worry about while Tim - no stranger to panic himself - was counselling an early top-up of the van. Good job we did, the queues deepened as the day went on.
Anyway, we took the Government's advice and finally got under way with a full tank as well as several plastic bags brimming with diesel, along with a sack-full of cut-price first-class stamps and some luke-warm Cornish pasties and headed for Cumbria.
The Heron Theatre can be found just off the main road in a little village called Beetham. It is an old school house that has been extended and is dead sweet! With a lovely stage and 80 or so seats in the small auditorium, the place is run as a theatre club with regular professional acts and a dedicated audience. Fantastic set-up, run by people who are passionate about it, it is the kind of place we love.
|What do you mean, I can't play it??|
The get-in was via a hole in the wall and we were soon set up. We were greeted by the very helpful Stuart, who also improvised a frame with a cloth to sit in front of the piano to cover the wires - more of that later.
After sampling the local fish and chips and seeing the audience settle in their cosy seats, the show was under way. The first half went very smoothly, the audience enjoying the usual mix of music and mayhem; there were some very enthusiastic would-be ballet dancers among the crowd!
|We lika dee ladees!|
To open the second half, the Dudes entered as the smooth Italian Mafiosi characters, resplendent in cool shades. However, Tim soon blew his cool by not realising that the cover that Stuart had erected was not as solid as it appeared and as he brushed by, he brought the whole edifice crashing down!
The audience howled as the Dudes turned into Laurel and Hardy trying to prevent further collapse. Neil's construction skills finally won the day and the show was back on the road.
Further hilarity ensued later in the second half when the lighting desk failed and the Dudes were plunged into blackness. Hasty improvisation on both our part and by the poor lighting engineer, John, meant that disaster was averted. There's a lesson there, Francis Maude!!