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Happy New Year!

Well, Christmas is over and a New year has begun. Back to work tomorrow, and after the tinsel and fairy lights, family and presents, winter suddenly seems a whole lot darker and longer.

But not for us! While other people hibernate in front of their tellys bored out of their skulls it's straight back into panto rehearsals and fun evenings putting the finishing touches to our show for us. I sincerely hope that you had a peaceful and very enjoyable Christmas and a fun New Years eve. Hopefully you are all rested and raring to go! Words learnt, songs sung, dance moves locked in. It's always a shock, I find, on panto years how little time there is left before the Show Goes On, after the Christmas break. Before Christmas panto was over a month away and now it's less than two weeks until the set goes up. Technical rehearsal completes and then we're into Dress rehearsal week when there's no more to be done. At once scary and exciting. We are going to have a spectacular and fun show. All our work has paid off. All we need is an audience to delight. People for whom we'll lift the dreariness of winter for a couple of hours. For an evening (or afternoon) of laughter and songs and warmth. To send them home with a spring in their step and singing the songs. This is the time when each and every one of us needs to be out there telling all our friends, family and work colleagues what a fantastic show we have and to get them to buy their tickets and come along. We don't want them to miss out. It'll be such a shame if they don't get a chance to come and see our amazing show just because we forgot to tell them how great it is going to be. And if they don't get to see it this year they will never get to see it. This is the only time we will all come together as one big family to perform this show. I'll be taking flyers round my workplace and telling everyone I know to come and see it. Hopefully you will too; to your workplace or schools, wherever you go. Hot on the heels of the panto will be auditions for Jingo. I will be opening auditions to anyone who has an interest in joining in with Castle Players for a celebration of Terry Pratchett's work. Sir Terry would be 70 in April and I am hoping the combination of that and the simple joy of his novels will bring people in both to perform and to watch. Terry Pratchett was once heard to say that anger kept him writing. And Jingo would appear to be one of his inimitable darkly funny comments on the folly of mankind and their incessant bickering. There are a lot of characters in Jingo, 40ish to be imprecise. I have, after considerable time and analysis, established that I can "get away" with 11 actors to portray them eight of whom would ideally be male. So please put the word around amongst your actor friends and acquaintances and please consider auditioning when the time comes. We will start rehearsals fairly soon after panto ends for performances 26th-28th April (being Sir Terry's birthday). Please let me know if you're interested by replying to this or one of the contact emails listed or in person during the panto rehearsals. And I think that'll do this time around. I hope this year brings you all good fortune. See you all at the panto. Get your tickets now and don't forget the splendid meal deal with the Rose and Crown. See ya soon, Loadsa Love. Chairman Steve

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