Littlehampton mayor’s production showed off town’s talented groups

The week started and continued with lots of last-minute preparations for my mayor’s gala performance of Curtain Up, the Sequel!

No matter how much you plan things there is always that nagging feeling that you have forgotten something or someone you haven’t contacted, or certain jobs you just cannot do until the very last minute.

Curtain Up, the Sequel! ZGooIKNR_KY7NX2h71qg

Curtain Up, the Sequel! ZGooIKNR_KY7NX2h71qg

However, putting the show aside, on Tuesday evening I still had a mayoral engagement to attend, and this one was with a slight twist. I had been invited to the Littlehampton Women’s Institute meeting to deliver a talk on my time as mayor.

Having attended many talks it is always apparent how much time and effort goes into making a good one, and although I have delivered a short one about the history of Mewsbrook Park I was fortunate to be given a lot of help from friends who deliver professional talks on this subject.

I decided to not write a full talk but to give myself some key notes to talk on that I thought would be of interest to the group. Having started from the beginning of deciding to run for council, to the reality of being a councillor, then the process of becoming deputy mayor and so on, and how the second year came about.

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I also managed to slip in some personal anecdotes, goals and what I have learned. The talk was well received and I decided to stay for the rest of the meeting as I am always keen to find out more about groups and what they do.

It was great to find out that they were doing things like book clubs, board game afternoons and walks in the bluebell woods, while exploring other, less traditional things including a trip to see one of my own favourite musicals, Priscilla – Queen of the Desert, and had even arranged a group to try one of the new escape rooms, which seem to be a growing trend that I for one am intrigued by.

It was lovely to meet with them all and I would like to thank them for a cheque for £50 that I was presented with towards my fundraising efforts.

Come the weekend it was time to raise as much money as I could through my main fundraiser of the year Curtain Up, the Sequel! at the much loved Windmill Theatre.

This being the second year of staging this type of show I was amazed at how many people were willing to give up their time and be a part of the show again and I would like to thank each and every one of the more than 250 people who were involved in the show as well as everyone who booked tickets.

Last year’s show, in my opinion, was amazing, and this year, unlike most sequels, it wasn’t a watered-down version of the original, but instead thanks to the hard work and determination of all involved, and the groups trying to out do themselves, the show was fantastic and showcased our fabulously talented groups.

The show was opened with myself taking to the stage with We’re Doing a Sequel from Muppets Most Wanted, and while I would love to cover the entire show, this would be simply impossible as it was packed from start to finish.

It included wonderful songs performed as solos, groups and choirs, dazzling dance routines including modern, tap and ballet and even a monologue.

I would like to thank Adult Tap with Charlotte, Dance Industry Studios, Edwin James Festival Choir, Littlehampton Musical Comedy Society, Littlehampton Players Operatic Society, Stage Door Theatre Company, Star Ignited Performance Academy and Virtuoso Dance Company, as well as the numerous people involved behind the scenes who have worked so hard to make this an amazing fundraising event.

I would like to give thanks to Lynne Jones and Jan Combes who co-ordinated this show again for me and to Charlotte Reader who co-ordinated all the chaperones and licensing that we required to make sure the younger members of the groups could take part.

While I cannot yet announce the actual figure raised, as there are still costs to be paid out, through ticket sales, raffle, programme sales, page sponsorship and a bucket collection at the end I feel it safe to say the show will have raised approximately £5,000!

I feel so lucky to have such amazing people around me who have done so much to help me in this endeavour.

Unfortunately this will be the last Mayor’s Moment for now until May 9, owing to the fact that as of March 19 all councillors will enter into a period of purdah, which is the pre-election period for the forthcoming elections for Littlehampton Town Council and Arun District Council, and prevents us from taking advantage of situations which could be advantageous to any candidate or party during this time.

I will of course do my best to update you on my return in May where I will remain as mayor until May 16 before handing over the chain of office.

Regardless of how you vote, I would encourage you all to not lose your opportunity to shape the future of this town and ensure you take the time to vote on May 2.

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