There are countless films with that scene, you know the one, when the birds stop singing and fly to roost, all the animals have a look of alarm and people stand stock-still and look around in that ‘something bad is about to happen’ kind of way, then Armageddon happens; well it was a bit like that on Monday when we were caught up in the fringe of the maelstrom that was Storm Ophelia. The sky turned a very peculiar shade of horror film twilight and the sea quite perfectly reflected this disturbing opaque colour so we felt sandwiched in an apocalyptic sickly haze and against the advice of every person the world over, we all looked at the sun that had become a glowing pink ball that periodically appeared as the ashen clouds hurtled past.

It became so dark the street lights came on and some people detected an acrid smell in the air.

Well there was no Armageddon or Apocalypse, but the wind picked up moving our eerie atmospherics along, as we all experienced the diluted effect of the hurricane that had travelled east over the Atlantic. It turned out that the cause of the colour of the sun was the Sahara sand that had been whipped and sucked up by the wind creating something akin to a sandstorm and the acrid smell was the smoke that had been drawn up from a wild fire that was happening on another continent.

It was quite something and people were still talking about it four days later and what better dramatic start for Gabby to begin her new job as theatre programmer? It couldn’t have been any better than if we’d orchestrated it ourselves and it has set the tone for things to come me thinks.

But from such alarming beginnings, everything else might seem dull, but if there’s one thing life at the Marine Theatre isn’t and that’s dull.

For starters there were the computer problems, not caused due to the abnormal atmospheric conditions but the thicker than average walls we have in the new office; thick walls and steel girders that serve to insulate us from any form of electronic signal (so we’d be safe in a real Apocalypse!) So having set up the three computers, two of them debunked back to the old office just to receive a signal.

However, one of the trustees is a dab hand at sorting out tech problems and by midweek he had installed gizmos and gadgets into the new office so all three computers now have a signal; we are trying to sort out a mouse problem (electronic not rodent) so this may call on the trustee’s expert help once more.

Another very minor problem we have in the new office are the windows. Everyone, without exception, who comes in says what an incredible view we have and I have to agree, but if there’s one thing we all know, it’s that you have to keep windows clean, especially after the Sahara desert has been dumped on you from a great height combined with the sea spray. By Tuesday afternoon the windows looked like they had been daubed with a coating of vision obscuring paint. So when it pelted down with rain on Thursday, I was quite pleased because it rinsed all the muck off beautifully; we are now back to our fantastic vista.

But Ophelia, the Sahara and no signal notwithstanding, by the end of the week Gabby had secured some top-notch acts for our 2018 schedule. Also at the end of the week we had a TV celeb who arrived with his very charming dad to help; the 2016 Britain’s Got Talent (BGT) winner Lance Corporal Richard Jones. After a quick cuppa it was straight into the tech rehearsal with some very loud rousing music to get him in the mood before heading out for a bite to eat. I had recommended Lyme Fish Bar for the best fish ‘n chips but given the huge choice there is in Lyme Regis, I’m not sure if that’s what they went for.

Anyway it was a complete sell-out and if you want to see a quick snippet of the scene look here 

But we ended the week as it began, with a storm, although this time it wasn’t an import, it was a homegrown one of our own, hence it is only the second letter of the alphabet; although whoever thought Brian was a good name for a storm obviously hasn’t watched Magic Roundabout; with winds up to 70mph  that storm was definitely not slow or snail-like and it created some gert lush waves that came crashing into the Cobb.

Given Halloween is approaching, I wonder what is brewing for next week?

Starting with Storm Ophelia that brought sand from the Sahara, our new programmer, a BGT winner and ending with Storm Brian

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