Friday 13th May turned out to be lucky for some when we again took to the stage with Cissie’s Songbook. This time we were better rehearsed, and there was time to think about aspects of staging and scene transition that hadn’t worked so well at the first performance last year.
I was lucky to be joined again by Neil Fordham, whose melifluous tenor voice is perfectly suited to songs of the period. The accompanist was a local pianist, Peter Riddle, a man of talent and good humour, and it was good to know the musical accompaniment was in such a safe pair of hands.
The evening was a fund-raiser for the Wirksworth Care Project and Friends of Waltham House, with the show followed by supper, wine and a raffle. We presented it in the residents lounge of the care home, and much hard work took place behind the scenes to pull the evening together, with the committee working tirelessly to get everything in place. But current estimates for money raised stand at £800, so well worth the work.
It was a lovely evening, with an appreciative audience who didn’t hesitate to participate. And it was so rewarding and humbling to be thanked by older members of the audience, who were moved to tears by memories evoked by some of the songs. People said they found it engaging, moving and funny, all I could hope to hear. There were one or two hiccups, but we are not professionals, and the odd slip may be excused. Especially as they added to the humour. I went to pick up the ‘baby’ doll, only to find it upside down with the feet sticking out at the top of the shawl. This made me giggle, and my fellow performer leaned in to the microphone, and explained to the audience that it was my first baby, and I would get the hang of it!