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August Meeting 2019
This was the Members Meeting , organised by Pat T, with Anne acting as president, and Pat acting as secretary. The business was kept very short.
Anne introduced the meeting, and thanked the tea ladies and the giver of the flowers. As there was not an obvious recipient, the flowers were given to Ivy .Anne thanked Marie Bruce and Pat S. for organising the very successful visit to Bodryddan Hall at the end of July. The garden was beautiful and the weather did not disappoint either, so a lovely afternoon was had by all.
Following the very short business, Margaret read a poem, Dust if you Must, which was very well received.
Following this interlude, the speaker, Chris Penter, was introduced.
The title of Chris Penter's talk was "The gentle art of name dropping" and he entertained us with the story of his involvement in the theatrical world and the wide variety of professional actors he encountered along the way.
As a child he suffered from misshapen feet and was encouraged to take up ballet in the hope this would help; he was less than keen however and soon transferred his interest to theatre and pantomime. This continued throughout his school days and when he left after A levels, he sought a job in the theatre, becoming Assistant Stage Manager at Ardwick Green Empire in Manchester, followed by a move to Nottingham. Being an ASM meant doing whatever was required, be it lighting, scenery or acting in small roles. During his few years in this job, he met many and varied actors, ranging from Sir Laurence Olivier to Billy Piper, via Alan Bates and Diana Rigg. In fact, he often saw Sir John Gielgud arrive at the theatre when in Rep on his huge motorbike, not perhaps the image we might have of him! Chris also talked about how technology has changed the way theatres operate, from the basically Victorian methods of his youth to the electronic developments in the 1960's and 70's; and how some of the phrases in use in the theatre originated.
After a couple of years, he met the principal of the local college who encouraged him to study for a degree in Drama; however Chris realised that a qualification in Bio Chemistry would perhaps serve him better! So that is what he did, although he has continued his life-long interest in the theatre by directing and also providing young actors with the chance to perform in local theatres. His talk encompassed 33 well known actors, he had been counting! And with very few exceptions, he found them all to be very nice people and true professionals.
The vote of thanks was given by Joan, after which we enjoyed some social time with some tea, coffee and some lovely cakes.