It was a standing joke in our family, although it was always my dear old dad who cracked the joke whenever any of the three Moseley sisters did something amusing…you should be on the stage, the next one heading west. It always made me feel good about myself because he was an ex-amateur dramatic performer himself and I used to think he was recognising some hidden talent of mine, then he always caught me out with the punch line. But it made me smile.
The funny thing is, after years of working in the city followed by years of child raising, I am now the closest I’ve ever been to getting on the stage, not the one heading west, no, the real live treading the boards type of stage. Because I work in the office of the amazing Marine Theatre in Lyme Regis; the Little Theatre by the Sea.
There isn’t a day goes by when I don’t look forward to heading down Coombe Street, a road that has the prettiest of cottages and town houses, many of which are sadly holiday homes rather than family homes, but it is still a very pleasant walk that takes me past the best fish & chip shop in town and along Monmouth Street to Church Street and the Marine Theatre.
After walking through the beautiful Art Deco decorated entrance that also takes me past the Tourist Information Centre, I often stop to look out across the sea to Golden Cap and Charmouth. No matter what the weather is like, from Theatre Square you enjoy the most fantastic view across the bay of Lyme Regis.
It’s little wonder the community play The Tempest was such a success last summer; anyone who enjoyed this open air performance that took place on Theatre Square couldn’t but be swept along in the tide of this masterpiece directed by the theatre’s Artistic Director Clemmie Reynolds. This year they have upped the ante with their production of Monmouth written by Andrew Rattenbury, he of Doc Martin fame and having played a role in the first public reading of the play, I can vouch for its dramatic and passionate story line. That’s about as far as my acting career went because it’s one thing sitting in a semi-circle reading from the script, it’s quite another standing in full costume with line after line to remember in front of a large crowd. No, I leave that to those that get a thrill from performing and are happy to slip into character.
But that’s what the Marine Theatre is all about; the drama, the excitement, the passion and the appetite to entertain. Then there are the laughs, the music, the puppetry and the songs. There really are no two weeks that are alike.
Take this week for instance, on Monday we had the Black Ven Poetry Workshop run by local poet Sarah Acton and yours truly. Without an Easter egg in sight, we tossed about on a lively sea of poetic reflections and with the help of local publishers Tracey & Simon West of Magic Oxygen, we all learnt a lesson in microphone techniques with help of a wooden broom handle!
Then in between Freya the Viking that was a big hit with our younger audience members, we enjoyed a hilarious evening with We are Bronte that had the audience in stitches from beginning to end.
And a working week is not complete without a staff First Aid Course, ably led by the Cobb Centre Health & Safety Officer where we all practiced our mouth-to-mouth and CPR on Anne.
Ha! That got you worried didn’t it, but worry not, as Steve informed us, Anne is the name given to the doll used to practice these life-saving skills.
The week was rounded off with a night at the pictures as the Marine Cinema is relaunched. The theatre stepped up to the plate when the wonderful Regent Cinema was destroyed by fire, making sure there will be a regular slot for the Lyme Regis film lovers.
So as you can see, there is an eclectic mix of magic and entertainment going on in this corner of Lyme Regis but don’t worry, I won’t be heading for the stage, or west for that matter!