You have to trip the light fantastic when you work with the Marine Theatre, fortunately for our audience I am speaking metaphorically because my dancing is something to behold and hasn’t progressed much from Oops Upside ur Head where you sat in a row on the floor and rocked side to side. But enough of my heady disco days; this past week has seen dinosaurs, the Lyme Musical Theatre Society and former Labour Advisor Ayesha Hazarika enjoying the ever adaptable theatre.

The Lyme Regis Fossil Festival has been going for several years and in the days leading up to the event, Festival Coordinator Heather Prior could be seen flying around from place to place and person to person making sure everyone knew what they were doing. The marquees arrived on the Wednesday and within a short time Theatre Square was transformed into a city of white canopies ready to be filled with all manner of ancient rocks and fossils. It was nice to see our regular security man on duty when I arrived in the early morning; Nick is a well known face around these parts and can often be found wandering late at night making sure events like this are kept safe and secure.

Anyway, from Friday through to Sunday we were alive to the sound of music, fossil market traders and on Saturday night we had the top celebs of the dinosaur world including Richard Edmonds and Dean Lomax who talked about our Jurassic heritage. There had to be some quick rearranging of chairs as the numbers rose steeply, but if there’s one thing the Marine Theatre is good at, that’s accommodating every sort of event.

This does sometimes present a challenge to the Duty Manager who has to keep a watchful eye on everyting, but it all went off without a hitch and everyone enjoyed themselves.

Then just as quickly as it all arrived, by Tuesday it had all gone and we started making ready for the local musical society who run a very tight ship.

With the foundations laid and agreements reached as to how the week would run, we took delivery of some enormous boxes that contained the costumes and our tech team started to clear the decks moving chairs, tables and partitions into place.

Whilst I immersed myself in the office admin, I was only just aware of the hum and buzz of excitement that was going on in the auditorium; the costumes for Monmouth, our Community Play were being shipped out whilst the costumes for Thoroughly Modern Millie were being laid out on chairs ready for the cast fitting. But it’s a slick operation and when I ventured out a couple of hours later, there were two neat rows of colourful clothes from the 1920s. Then before I could say feisty young flapper they had been whisked away ready for the dress rehearsal that starts on Saturday.

But with all this going on, it was impossible to ignore the drama unfolding outside of the auditorium and Friday night promised to hold the answer to the questions we are all asking.

Ayesha Hazarika, former Labour Advisor turned stand-up comedian, must have thought the stars were aligned as she took to the stage with her satire and wisdom in her State of the Nation, Politics, Power and How We Lost the Plot. As Labour voters gave Jeremy Corbyn the thumbs down, there was plenty of material for Ayesha to work with and I hear the Marine Bar was quite a lively place to be after her brilliant performance.

And talking of brilliant performances, we have an intriguing show coming up soon, SISATA are presenting a slightly different take on Shakespeare’s Othello. It promises to be quite different from the norm, so if you are exhausted by the political dramas why not enjoy some real drama! Here’s the link

So as we leap into the weekend in the hope summer has got a foothold I have a hunch I’ll be hitting the working week running, or who knows, if the understudy for that flighty Millie calls in sick, I can do a pretty mean Macarena.


Mary Anning to Thoroughly Modern Millie & a former Labour Advisor; the changing face of the Marine Theatre
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