Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

This week we had our first meeting of 2021, consisting of a post-Christmas catch-up and planned for our AGM and election of officers next Thursday (14th January).

Party Time!

We rounded off the year in style with our first ever on line party, kicking off with a catch up, then opening our Secret Santa gifts before having Christmas dinner.

Chris led the Longevity Awards, with certificates sent by email for length of service, then Haina took the lead co-ordinating the talent show, featuring people singing, performing skits and even interviewing this years top personality, Corona Virus.  We also premiered our Christmas song/video, put together by George.  This is available on AOTV (YouTube):  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JWMfm8utuRk

We then had a fun quiz, hosted by Dean. We will be reconvening in the new year.

Have a safe Christmas.

Festive Spirits

This week, to get us into the spirit(s) of the season, we read a script of Dickens’s “Christmas Carol”.  This was multi-narrated by five actors playing multiple characters (fun after a few drinks).

We are looking forward to our Christmas party next week, being held at this year’s top venue –  HOME! We also discussed future plans for a splinter writing group, which will be organised by next year’s committee, whomever that comprises.

Blithe Sprirts

This week we had a bit of chat and some music from Sam prior to reading a excerpts script sourced  by Dean of Blithe Spirit (Noel Coward).  Haina’s echo-y flat really helped add an other-worldy aspect as she played someone’s dead wife.

We also discussed plans for our Christmas party and the possibility of doing a seasonal music based feature. 

Dic o’Des

This week, after our weekly catch up and a discussion about the merits of ginger based beverages, Dean set us a quiz, which Chris won. Along with trying to work out the answers there was also a theme linking the answers – no one guessed that this was the late great Des O’Conner and the lyrics to his hit “Dic a Dum Dum”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OUiuVNWxYA

Weekly catch up and plans for the future

This week group members have been mainly: watching Christmas DVDs; helping their partner move; being frustrated by moving home and baking lemon and walnut cake (it’s a  thing); vexed with their optician; starting a new job in which they have encountered ghosts; stress at work; been furloughed; had night mares involving Ross Kemp; pulling their back; having post work piss up via Zoom; enjoying a new job role, and  pleased with Trump being voted out and an Archers character coming out as bi.

Our discussion them turned to the future, planning events for the Christmas Party (which will be on Zoom, natch) and how we will organise elections for our January AGM.

Foiled (Guy Fawkes Night) Plots

We had planned on reading some inspiring speeches on Thursday (to tie in with the times), but our own chat got in the way, and carried on for way longer than the usual hour. However, it’s important now, more than ever that we check in on each others mental health. As Bob Hoskins said, “It’s good to talk”!  We wound up leaving the speeches to Malcolm X and caught up (hopefully we will do the planned activity another time).

Members variously:

  • Had met their godson, been on a covid-walk, had a virtual boogie at a Sweat night via Twitch and has an un-refundable radiator.
  • Have recovered from a recent bout of feeling ill, been to Blackpool and has de-Halloweened their flat.
  • Have been mainly working and has been given cloak and dagger / spy movie style instructions for an appointment at the QE.
  • Were on a tourism tip, and returned (briefly) to the Coffin Works and visited a Van Gogh experience.
  • Have had a long week, with new hours combined with a return to university (with recycled lectures) and relegated to tambourines.
  • Have been getting rid of stuff in the house and not getting rid of wildlife in the garden.
  • Have has been meeting previously unmet (in person) colleagues and performing virtual waves to a Covid-co-worker.
  • Fell foul of a fake that he was going to be furloughed, bus is likely to get a new job next week.
  • Did a Halloween run from Warstone Lane and has been appreciating the decorations in his neighbourhood.

And someone mentioned thongs.

And now for something completely different

Simon’s report on this weeks’ meeting:

“This week was rather a contrast to the previous meeting. Perhaps saying we went from the sublime to the ridiculous would be going too far but….

We started with the usual catch-up while we waited for our esteemed secretary to arrive – including a discussion of interior lighting (and tales of exploding candles) with the addition of an IT lesson – just when we thought that there was nothing new technologically George introduced some people to the joys of being able to WhatsApp from the web. 

Once Dean joined us he turned quizmaster for a Halloween quiz that ranged from cinema to European folklore, by way of Día de los Muertos, the Addams family’s butler and of course the Scottish play! Al proved to be the champion of this Spooktacular (though bonus points to Sarah and George for illustrating their score sheets with ghosts).

After the quiz we chatted about horror movies and that fortunately on zoom you can see behind you – though that didn’t take account of the horror of someone (or something) coming through the screen! Luckily (or perhaps sadly given the lack of human contact) that didn’t happen this evening.

We were then treated to innuendo from Al (he protested his innocence but he clearly knows his audience) and then a live musical performance from Sam on the keyboard – perhaps not quite operatic but entertaining none the less. Although many of us were appalled at the appearance of a very early Christmas tree behind him!

To return to Shakespeare “When shall we (hopefully more than) three meet again”? Well the current hurley-burley might not be done by next week but we’ll be getting together on zoom for sure! See you there for more fun, Acting Out style “

Acting Out: the Laramie Project

Guest blog by Al:

It was great to see people again after a week away and we spent the first part of the meeting catching up as usual, unfortunately we lost a few members at that point as their meals were ready – apparently duck legs take an hour and half to cook – who knew?!

[Somebody’s dinner]

Chris led the remainder of the group in the preparing and Zoom performing of some short monologues from the Laramie Project – a play about the homophobic murder of Matthew Shepard in America in the 1990s. It was powerful stuff and I for one found performing my piece incredibly emotional. Whilst that might not sound like the ‘fun’ we usually have at Acting Out and not light relief during a pandemic, for me it was equally valuable. Such pieces help us to explore painful emotions and I found it ultimately moving and exhilarating. Drama is such a good way to do this and ultimately can be a real boon four our mental health; as long, of course, that this is done in a safe way. A huge thank you to the small group who remained for this – we checked out with each other all the way through and the trust we have as a group made this, for me, a deeply positive experience. A real strength of Acting Out that we can do this.

We ended the session on a lighter note and I am left with the image of Chris’s flaccid candle – you had to be there!