Tuesday, 7 July 2020

Old variety shows in Old Buckenham

Fund raising in the past
With many people stuck indoors, much clearing out has been going on. Here is the text (very slightly edited) of a notice produced nearly forty years ago to go with a collection of photographs taken at the time of village shows.
The village variety shows of the 1980s were held in the old village hall (a wooden hut on the Attleborough Road). They were produced by Shirley Knight and Julian Goodey helped by a merry band of local performers. These shows were in aid of funds for a new village hall. When the new hall was opened they continued with lavish productions.
Sadly, some of the performers are no longer with us but happy memories remain. Such was the enthusiasm that the shows had to be performed on three nights a week. It is estimated that over the period £3,000 was raised for the hall and the church. On a Wednesday evening prior to the show tickets were sold at hall resulting in queues outside.
Each show was in two distinct halves. The first was of individual acts and groups of performers and dancers. The second half followed a theme such as the wild west, the circus and Old Buckenham itself - the Normans, the Romans and the Airfield.
Rehearsals started at least two months ahead, on Saturdays and Sundays, sometimes all day. Jackie Rout, a professional dancer, was in charge of the dancers ranging from teenagers to OAPs. The music was in the capable hands of Michael Dann and David Buckle. Thanks to the hard work of Pat Read and her team some excellent costumes were produced.
Videos and now DVDs of the shows have been made and it is hoped to show parts, or all of these, to the public in the future.

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