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  • Random Parishioner

Razzle, Dazzle!

This autumn and winter St Mark’s is hosting a series of events under the title of ‘Sunday at 3pm’ - that’s because each one will be on a Sunday and start at 3pm! Every event, and there’s one a month, sounds really interesting and entertaining. I am a great lover of all kinds of music so September’s History of the Harp, October’s concert band, November’s Gospel choir and December’s Christmas with the Staxton Singers, all sound like afternoon events I wouldn’t want to miss.

To prepare myself for these musical delights I decided to treat myself and my friend Carol to an evening at Scarborough Spa, to watch their spectacular summer show, Razzle Dazzle – a cornucopia of songs and dances from a selection of West End shows. So far so good. We were first to arrive at the theatre and wondered if there would just be the two of us trying to fill the auditorium and make the noise of 50 delighted theatregoers! When the doors opened we were joined by another 2 people so that reduced the pressure on us to make a big noise all by ourselves. We found our way to our seats. I always sit at the end of the row as I struggle to get comfortable or to fit my legs in so this normally allows me to stretch out into the aisle and not feel so cramped. Carol sat on her seat and as I folded down the old cinema style seat I noticed it slipped to a lower level. Luckily I hadn’t just plonked my great bulk down as on closer inspection the hinge was broken and no doubt if I had I would be lying in a heap on the floor! Not a pretty sight! We alerted the staff member, who examined the seat and confirmed it was broken, although what reason we would have had to make that up I don’t know. Meanwhile I found myself another end row seat further back which, because of a pillar to the side, had extra leg room in front. A great find, or so I thought. Plenty of leg room but unfortunately not much derrière room! I attempted to wedge myself into the space between the solid, fixed arms but it was as successful as trying to squeeze an elephant into a pair of pyjamas! Nothing moved in the right direction to make it happen. By now the auditorium was beginning to fill up and eventually the staff member came back to tell us as we were sitting (I use that word loosely as I was perched precariously on the edge of the seat) in the ‘house’ seats we could sit anywhere in that row as no tickets were sold for it. Okay, I could spend the next 5 minutes until curtain up wriggling around trying to find a way to fit a round peg (my ample derrière) into a square hole (this tiny seat). Over the next 5 minutes two different people tried to claim that I was sitting in their place, but the sight a large red faced woman with clenched teeth doing battle with a firmly wedged minuscule theatre seat seemed to make them think again, and they soon scuttled off and found another place to sit.
My evening was somewhat uncomfortable, not to mention precarious, as I attempted to remain on the edge of a seat which was very close to the floor and sloped towards it. I was very aware that if I slipped off onto the floor it would likely take 2 strong men with lifting equipment to extricate me from my predicament. I was willing to take my chances, but poor Carol being aware of my discomfort couldn’t settle and so we discretely left the theatre during the interval. On our way out we met the theatre manager who asked why we were not going back in when the bell rang. When we explained he offered to place a stand alone chair in an appropriate part of the auditorium for me. I hadn’t realised that was possible, and although we didn’t take him up on it this time, it did remind me that rather than suffer in silence (and embarrassment), if you tell people what the issues are sometimes they have the solution, or at least a way to make you more comfortable. In the northeast they have a saying ‘shy bairns get nowt’, in other words there’s no harm in asking, you might be pleasantly surprised.

A person who could never be accused of being a ‘shy bairn’ is our vicar. Last week during the course of conversation in the parish office, and without preamble, she said “do you think your husband would look at the Church toilets?” Well I have to say here and now, my husband is not a plumber, neither does he have any special interest in toilets, church or otherwise, so this request caught me a little by surprise. Not one to disappoint the vicar I phoned my other half and relayed this message to him. So a little later off the 3 of us went on a road trip to the “other” church to behold the wonder which is the church toilets. Before long there had been added to the list a number of other “jobs” that needed to be considered, so what started as “looking at the toilets” ended up a long list of “looking at” jobs. So now hubby is “project managing” the list, trundling over the church grounds in his 4 x 4 with a clip board, a set of building plans, and a dictaphone, stopping to climb ladders, photograph ‘issues’, and confab with interested parties. (I hope he has the fire brigade on speed dial as his recent history of climbing is not edifying) However, when all is said and done he appears to be turning into the Alan Sugar of the churchyard, but like Alan Sugar he could do with a couple of apprentices. If anyone wants to volunteer he promises never to shout “YOU’RE FIRED!”



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