ONE of the things you learn as you get older is that whatever it was, it was always longer ago than you think. I was going to begin this by telling you that I hadn’t devoted an entire column to the village of Minster for about five years.
In fact, as a brisk search of my hard drive reveals, it was in 2004! When I’d been given an entertaining tour of the highlights of the parish by Gerry Glover and the cheery chaps of the then MATCH (Minster Action for Tourism, Culture and Heritage) . (I seem to remember we spent quite a bit of it in the pub.).
Since then my only real involvement with Minster has been to pitch up there when it’s time to visit my lovely dental practice (Abbey Dental Care – best in the land when you’re as big a wuss as I am) and to give a talk in the library. So no doubt a mention is long overdue.
And after Saturday night, I am very happy to give it. I spent that evening at the Sarah Thorne Memorial Theatre in Broadstairs, but it was the talent from The Minster Playhouse who were strutting their stuff. The long-established group’s performance of Calendar Girls was utterly delightful. Goodness knows how many rehearsals it took to get those buns in the right places in record time, but I can only tell you they paid off. It was a fabulous show! The set was brilliant, the lighting clever, the props ingenious and the warmth and joy of the cast was palpable. There’s clearly a lot of community spirit going on in that village and some pretty impressive acting too. Calendar Girls made me laugh, cry, and feel not a little pang of envy. I quite like getting my kit off too!
It is a shame, obviously, that this urge didn’t hit me when I was twenty-five (I am currently writing a book on weight loss and the best tip I can give you is to get a good friend to photograph you naked from behind – I guarantee you won’t eat for a week) but my small forays into the state of undress have been strangely liberating. Although you could argue that being painted wearing a strategically placed laptop, as I was a couple of years ago by local artist Brian Homewood, does not really constitute the full Monty. And at least you can beg to be ironed out in paint!
The glare of the spotlight is another matter and I can only imagine that knowing you are about to strip off before a live audience is the best possible incentive to live on alfalfa shoots and hit the gym. With this in mind, I have tried suggesting to the local dramatic fraternity that we put on a showing of The Graduate so I can rush to audition for Mrs Robinson before it’s all far too late. So far they’ve all laughed. So my heartfelt congratulations and thanks to the fine ladies (and the excellent chaps) of The Minster Playhouse.
Another thing you learn as you get older, is that sometimes you just have to live your dreams through someone else…
*JANE will be appearing with her clothes firmly on, at 7.30pm on Saturday, July 6 at the Sarah Thorne Memorial Theatre, where she will be compering The Mosaic Cat Variety Fund Raiser – an evening of songs, sketches, burlesque and harmonica playing. To book, phone the Sarah Thorne on 0845 2626263