Good Companions

We had the pleasure of recently attending a performance at Bingley Little Theatre. I am sad to say that since we moved here in 2005 we have not paid a visit until now.

We were invited by our dear friend Doris along with a bunch of other friends.

I have to confess that it is the best part of two decades since I attended an am-dram production and so I had to become quickly accustomed to the feel of watching a live performance during which you can’t do many of the things you have become used to at home.

You know what I mean; arguing about who is going to put the kettle on, shouting at the TV when Simon Cowell destroys another one of the hopeless contestants on The X Factor, or pausing the programme whilst you nip to the loo.

Such behaviour is not allowed in the theatre it seems after all you can hardly ask the performance to wait a moment whilst you run to the toilet.

This being said Mrs M and I joined the other ‘theatre-goers’ (for that is what we now were) and took our seats to watch JB Priestly’s Good Companions.

It was the most enjoyable evening and I judged it as a triumph for a number of reasons; Firstly, within the first couple of minutes I had stopped seeing the performers as actors and believed them to be their characters. Secondly, the time went by so very quickly.

It was a great performance and an enjoyable experience; one which I hope to repeat again soon. I am slightly surprised that it has taken me so long to get there given the fact that I really enjoy community events, however large or small they may be.

It is tempting to think that only the larger well attended events can be considered as successful. Yet our towns and villages are filled with programmes that could be considered as insignificant to the rest of the world. In fact these moments act as the glue that holds our communities together.

Not too long ago I had the pleasure of celebrating the ninetieth anniversary of the Royal British Legion.

The Legion had organised an event in our local town centre to remember the great work that this organisation has done over the years.

It was a typical small town, British event. I say this not as a compliment. It had bands, and stalls, and food, and drink, and entertainment. Given that it was held in this country it also had rain.

Perhaps the organisers would have felt a little downhearted at the weather but the event was a success in so many other ways. They had managed to bring the community together and celebrated their excellent organisation’s anniversary.

Both occasions display what is best about our community; real people using their skills to provide a place for people to connect. For me this was a great antidote to the world view propagated by shows like the X-Factor.

I for one was glad to have attended both the play and the anniversary celebration. We made new friends at the Royal British Legion and we attended Good Companions with our own good companions.

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