Miss Lucy May and the North Shields Custard:

I watched the latest series of plays from Cloud Nine on three successive nights and each was a thoroughly good performance – and yet different in some subtle respects, each only to be ever observed once, with no action replay.

This angle came to me on the Saturday afternoon, when, faced with Whitley Bays football game off, I made my way instead along to watch North Shields v Shildon .

A game of clashes at the top of their league and to my joy with the young Miss Lucy May as referee. She had quite a job on and lots of important judgement calls; it moved me to think such decisions here on the pitch have no cameras , no replays , no line technology and therein lies both the fun and the drama . It’s the same with the Cloud Nine stuff and for companies like them – you get one take and make an opinion on what you see – and even when the same show comes along the next night, it has differences , maybe a change in  pace or emphasis , the volume or intonation in the voice , some tweak in the body language , even a different pair of garden shears?

So many people at the football talk of their disdain for the big business slick and egotistical games shown on TV and the so called premiership with the greater pleasure being derived from seeing the local leagues – witness Saturday when finally having Lucy made a decision against Shields, Shildon turned and ran the reverse and in a goalmouth frenzy, got the one goal difference of the game, the custard had been finally served! ( you need to have seen the play , any night to get that point !)

On Saturday night, premiering at the Comrades Club in warm cosy seating, some 60 folks, perhaps ironically largely drawn from Monkseaton as the host of the Sisters plays setting , thoroughly enjoyed it all. The Ettricks got the best reaction all week.  My friend Peter Dean described the night as the  best he’d  ever seen , the bar staff said they had a fabulous time and talking with the Secretary and Treasurer I reckon Cloud Nine will be welcomed back with open arms.   The Clubs generous support with a light closing buffet was much appreciated.

I reckon, from the audience side of the fence- that there’s something new to be gained in watching this stuff night after night – so I wonder what the actors experience themselves as the week goes by?


Mike Jessop.

Updated: January 28, 2015 — 10:37 am
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