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April, 2010

  1. When things go bump in the night

    April 14, 2010 by Amy Hansford

    The time has come (the Walrus said) to speak of spooky things. To give you a little history about me and my family, The Lodge has been the family house since about 1994. From then until about 2006, it contained my mum, me (popping home from uni for four years of it) and my dad. Since 2006, my sister has lived there with her three kids. Prior to this it was owned by an old lady about whom little is known, and before that it was part of the nun’s estate next door. Before that it was part of the land owned by the Earl of the town, and before that… goodness only knows. Either way, it’s an old house.

    When we first moved in it really looked like a bomb had hit it. It was dilapidated – children were afraid to knock there on Halloween for fear of what was inside. We had a camper van at the time so some of the residents had assumed we were squatters to begin with. My dad redid the entire place, adding a big extension on to the kitchen (was was pantry sized) and an extra room. It was proper old – we were ripping off the wallpaper and found an additional door into the kitchen, previously hidden. Nothing exciting, no portal to another world, just a door between the hallway and the kitchen, but the plaster that was coming away contained horse hair and everything. So everyone understands it’s an old house with lots of history, right? Right.

    Some more backstory now – since I remember, the house has been haunted. Yep, I’m cutting straight to the chase here – there are dozens of anecdotes I could share, and I probably will in time, but the important thing here is that when everyone’s gone out for the day, the house is not empty. When you think you’re alone, something happens to prove that you most definitely are not. Depending on who you are and what’s going on, the house will either be welcoming or looming.

    What we do know is that we have evidence of this ghostery. The form of that evidence… well, you’ll have to stay tuned for that.

  2. Circus Hilarious

    April 11, 2010 by Amy Hansford

    To celebrate the Easter weekend just gone, I did a bunk* off work and went to see Circus Hilarious under the advice of a friend of mine. The intention was to go and watch some of their slapstick routines to help with ideas for the upcoming pantomimes. As was somewhat expected, Catford’s Broadway theatre was somewhat thin on the ground audience-wise. It’s an outdated premise, the circus. It can’t still be that funny, can it? Hell yes. It followed the golden rules of live entertainment performance;

    – Something for the little ones; half the audience were under 8s and they were totally captivated by the whole thing. Literally, sitting on the edge of their seats to get just slightly closer to the stage. Mesmorised. Plus the whole thing about the stooge doing all the naughty things that children aren’t allowed to do, like call out, throw things, silly words and names.
    – Something for the mums; I have to say, Danny Adams (the stooge) is certainly very kind on the eye. Not to mention his brother, Johnny Knox (I think).
    – Something for the dads; the four Circus Hilarious dancers gradually wore more and more clothing as the show went on. I would say that four leggy blondes wearing body stockings and bikins to open the show certainly adds glamour, if not the glitz.
    – Audience participation; from getting people on to the stage to throwing things at them from it, everyone joined in.
    – Personable; Clive Webb and Danny Adams signed autographs for the kids after the show and were happy to spend a minute with everyone there. A superfan had come to see them – a grown woman told them ‘I’ve seen you like, fifteen times or summet’, although I was a little off put that all this was said without looking up from her mobile from which she was texting at the time. It does annoy me a little (and this goes for all my interests) when fans feel that their idols owe them something for turning up. Surely the point is to have that moment with the person you’ve gone to see? Or perhaps modern life continues to dictate that the world is soon to be seen through the eyes of a cameraphone? Sorry, I went off for a little rant there.

    But it was so damned funny. Every other second was some gag or another, and all so slick. Magic tricks that I just do not know the logic or workings of. Slapstick routines where the slapstick wasn’t even the highlight. Naughty jokes to fly over the heads of babes and into the ears of those paying for the tickets. Cartoon-like explosions and costumes. I’m not giving away anything they did – I would love to see them again and urge you to do the same.

    Now the campaign to get them on Twitter. Hmm…

    *I took a day’s leave. But saying I took a bunk makes me look cool. It does. Just ask Fonzie.