Boards beckon

AS my legion of fans will know, I have, for some time now, been an enthusiastic member of what is commonly described as the Ipswich awfully Operatic and ever-so-ever-so Dramatic Society.

AS my legion of fans will know, I have, for some time now, been an enthusiastic member of what is commonly described as the Ipswich awfully Operatic and ever-so-ever-so Dramatic Society.

I have trod the boards with abandon, not only at the Ipswich Regent but also the Spa Pavilion in the Edwardian seaside resort of Felixstowe - I am normally the 'fat boy at the back'.

For those who are fans of the IODS, it will not have escaped your notice that I wasn't in the latest production by the group of The Full Monty which got rave reviews and looked a lot of fun.

So now, flushed with success, the society is once again preparing to delight audiences with its next show, this time Singing in the Rain.


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Now I'm no Gene Kelly, indeed, where dancing is concerned I'm less strictly ballroom than more strictly Demis Roussos. Nevertheless the lure of the stage is a powerful one and I'm toying with the idea of throwing my hat in the ring in the forthcoming auditions. I normally play the role of tubby boy at the back.

The other day as we were driving through the ancient Suffolk town of Woodbridge after a seafood cocktail baguette and a packet of cheese and onion for a light midweek lunch, I said to my plain-speaking-photographer-friend Lucy, who has been performing since she was in a gym slip, that I wasn't sure I'd be able to keep up with the younger fitter dancers and might look a bit out of place being unable to tap dance.

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She said: "You might as well do it, it will get you out of the house."

"But I'm not sure I'm good enough," I replied hoping for a modicum of encouragement and to be told what an amazing stage presence I have.

Lucy, said: "Well I wouldn't bother then, they won't miss you."

Not quite the answer I was after.

She went on: "I'm not going to massage your already too large ego James, just shut up and do it."

I expect I'll give it a go. I daren't do otherwise now.

I should have been an underwear model.

I just never had the body. However, I was treated to a taste of what the life of a supermodel must be like when I popped into Ipswich's Basement Gallery recently.

Sure in the knowledge the camera just adores me, a lady photographer called Moggy attempted to turn me into a work of art.

I'm just waiting for Milan to call…

MY grandmother Marston celebrated her 93rd birthday this weekend.

She had a tasty gin and tonic, and looked through some old photographs before a birthday luncheon.

"Look at me," she said as we admired a lady in her early 40s resplendent in evening wear and jewels, "I wonder where I got those gloves?"

Of course it was so long ago, that no one knew the answer.

I suggested she might make 100. "Oh Christ," she replied and took another sip.

Over lunch she went on to describe how she used to cook stuffed sheep's hearts when she had a family to feed - I can't say I was too keen on the idea. What are they like? Do you remember eating a dish like that? Do drop me a line. Can you even buy hearts these days?

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