All the world's a stage

I'LL go anywhere for a canapé and a glass of Chardonnay. I've always enjoyed the varied perks of journalism - the invites to openings and celebrations, mixing with the great and the good, the occasional pen or mouse mat.

I'LL go anywhere for a canapé and a glass of Chardonnay.

I've always enjoyed the varied perks of journalism - the invites to openings and celebrations, mixing with the great and the good, the occasional pen or mouse mat.

In fact I'm quite easily pleased.

So it was eager enthusiasm I accepted an invitation to pop along to The Regent in St Helen's Street to take a look at its finished refurbishment.


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It looks amazing and for us performers - regular readers will know I am a member of the Ipswich awfully Dramatic and ever so Operatic Society (IODS) - it promises to be lovely to venue to show off our skills.

Of course Daniel O'Donnell took to the stage in the updated auditorium last night and crooned his way into Regent history, but in fact I managed to beat him to it.

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You see, during the refurbishment celebration on Friday afternoon the town's leaders, theatrical types and me were assembled on the stage enjoying a glass of something alcoholic and a lovely selection of edibles celebrating the hard work and sterling effort put in to giving the 78-year-old Regent a new lease of life.

Without warning, the curtain drew back the lights shined brightly and I found myself in a prime position looking out towards the lovely new seats, paintwork and carpet.

A cheeky photographer captured the moment, as I, a regular singer/dancer(ish) and 'fat boy at the back' with IODS, found myself in the limelight taking centre stage after 13 weeks of refurbishment.

So you see dear readers, Daniel is really just following in my footsteps.

As fellow guest and Suffolk media mogul Mark Murphy of BBC Radio Suffolk fame said to me as we toured the auditorium: “I'm a bit like you James. I go anywhere if there's a chance of a vol au vent or a mini quiche. Think of all the greats that have performed here. The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Tammy Wynette…and you of course.”

“I know Mark,” I replied as I sipped a white wine.

“Just being here brings back some memories I can tell you. Waiting in the wings, excited and nervous, and trying not to throw up….the nip of medicinal brandy. I can taste the fear now.”

Then I discovered an interesting fact. Mark added: “I appeared on the stage here once as a young lad.”

“Did you Mark?” I asked as I reached for a third smoked salmon and cream cheese nibble.

“Yes I was. I was a co-op junior and I played the back end of a cow.”

How fascinating.

N

Have you appeared on the stage of the Regent? Have you seen Daniel O'Donnell or me perform? Drop me a line do.

I am now 32.

I celebrated my birthday with a glass of champagne and a tasty lasagne (homemade) in my Felixstowe salon with sea views distant.

But it's a funny thing. When I was a youngster people who were 35 seemed terribly old.

It's been a while since I first noticed how young policemen but today something else has happened; I am just beginning to think that even 40 isn't so ancient after all.

I popped in to see my grandmother Lucy who lives in the west of the county the other day.

“How are you?” I asked the ageing lady.

“Well I'm not feeling so well. I'm 93 next month and I think my age might be catching up with me.” she said.

“Oh dear,” I replied “but we're all expecting you to make 100.”

Lucy countered. “Well I suppose there's nothing that really ails me. Perhaps I will but I'm not sure I want to be that old.”

WASN'T it marvellous to see Lady Thatcher outside number 10 the other day?

One of Britain's greatest PMs enjoying a little bit of special attention.

She deserves it. What a woman.

Don't you think?

I STILL haven't won at the bingo. It's getting beyond a joke.

The other day as I stood in the smoking area the legal 10ft away from the door feeling like an untouchable a lady called Sylvie said 'hello.'

“You're James aren't you? I've seen you in the Star. Are you liking living in Felixstowe? Have you won here yet?”

“No Sylvie I haven't.” I replied: “I think I need to be here a bit more often to scoop a prize.”

“Well I come here every day, if they had a bed and breakfast I'd live here, and I haven't had a win for a while.” she told me.

Can you imagine looking for an elusive full house every day? Sylvie must really love it.

What's your passion? Write to me at The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN.

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