Sunday, 5 July 2015

Pirates, More Pirates, Camps, and Eisteddfods

I am long overdue for a general post to tell y'all about how life is going.  So here it is now.  :)

As a lot of you would have known, Mum and Dad were involved in the local production of The Pirates of Penzance this year.  It was all rather exciting, as none of us have been involved with our theatrical society since Beauty and the Beast six years ago, and Mum and Dad have never done one together.  There is a consequence that must be realized when you commit yourself to being in a musical show, and that is that - while everyone involved is a volunteer - everyone must pay by being semi-tortured with the same songs going around and around your head day and night for months on end.  Thankfully, torture is only torture if you don't enjoy, and I think that, on the whole (in our family at least) we enjoyed the show and the music so much that we are only now beginning to wish we could forget it.  For those of you who do not know the story of The Pirates of Penzance here is a synopsis from The Utah Shakespeare Festival website:

On the coast of Cornwall, a gang of pirates play and party as Frederic (a pirate apprentice) reminds the pirate king that his obligation to the gang is soon over. He was apprenticed to the pirates only until his twenty-first birthday, which is that day, and he is leaving them. Ruth (Frederic’s nursery maid when he was younger) explains that Frederic should never have been a pirate except for her mistake: She was told to apprentice Frederic to a pilot, but she misunderstood and placed him with a pirate instead.

Frederic tells the pirates that, after he leaves the gang, he intends to destroy them, not because he doesn’t love them, but because he loathes what they do. He is a slave of duty and, when no longer a pirate, it will be his duty to destroy them. The pirates understand, and also complain that they cannot seem to make money. Because Frederic is a slave-of-duty to the pirates until noon, he tells them why: Because they are all orphans, the pirates will not rob another orphan; and since all their potential victims are aware of this, they all claim to be orphans!

Because Frederic has spent his entire life with the pirates, he has never seen another woman; thus he thinks he may want to take Ruth with him as his wife. He asks Ruth if she is beautiful, and she responds that she is. Frederic, a very trusting young man, says that he believes Ruth and he will not let her age come between them.

At this point, however, Frederic hears a chorus of girls in the vicinity. He sees a group of beautiful young women, realizes he was betrayed by Ruth, and rejects her. Frederic informs the girls that he is a pirate, but not for long. He asks if any of the girls will marry him, and the youngest, Mabel, agrees.

The pirates enter the scene, and each grabs a girl. Major-General Stanley enters and identifies himself as the girls’ father, demanding to know what is taking place. When the pirates tell Major-General Stanley that they intend to marry his daughters, he objects, saying he has an aversion to having pirates for sons-in-law; the pirates respond that they are opposed to having major-generals as fathers-in-law, but that they will put aside the objection.

Knowing about the pirates’ weakness, Major-General Stanley tells them he is an orphan and, thus, disarms the pirates and takes his daughters, along with Frederic, away to his family chapel and estate. The major-general, who actually is not an orphan, soon feels guilty about the lie he told the pirates. Frederic, however, has a plan to lead a squad of zany policemen against the his old gang.

Before he can act, however, the pirate king and Ruth arrive to tell him that he is still obligated to the pirates. Because Frederic was born on February 29 of a leap year, he has served only five birthdays, not the twenty-one required by his contract. A strong sense of duty forces Frederic to relent, and, because he is a member of the pirate band again, to reveal the truth that Major-General Stanley is not an orphan. The pirate king vows that he will have revenge on the major-general.

Mabel enters and begs Frederic not to go back to the pirates, but bound by duty, he leaves. The police ready their attack on the pirates, while the pirates creep in to take revenge on the major-general.

The pirates defeat the police. However, when Ruth divulges that the pirates are really noblemen and they swear their allegiance to the queen, the tables are turned--and the police take the pirates prisoner.

However, because the pirates have never really hurt anyone, they are soon forgiven. The ex-pirates win the girls, Frederic wins Mabel, and everyone lives happily ever after.

Quite frankly, I don't get tired of it - it has become one of my favourite musicals.  In fact, I went to see it five out of the ten shows that were playing here in town!  XDD  It is a very funny show.  Below are a few videos starring Jon English and Simon Gallagher that make up my favourite sequence in the whole thing (although, now that I think about it, it probably won't make a whole lot of sense if you don't know what's going on. XD)  Oh, and as an extra note... *giggles and whispers it* ....  I think our show was better!!!  XDD  But don't tell Jon English or Simon Gallagher that!  If you want to see photos of some of the characters in our show click HERE.  A lot of of these photos seem to be of the senior patrons who support the shows each year, but you can kind of get an idea from some of the pictures.  Oh, and if you look at photo number 10, that's my dad in the foreground with the parrot on his shoulder.  (He played bass.)  =D

Other than Pirates, I have been doing a few different things.  This weekend coming, Jess and I are going to a leaders training camp in preparation for Tahlee kids camp in September.  (It's the same camp I wrote about here.)  We are really looking forward to it.  I have been hanging out for kids camp since I had to say goodbye to my six little girls last year and send them home.  

This week is also the closing date for the region writing eisteddfod that I discovered we have last year.  I only entered two sections last year, but this year I am entering all three - short story, poetry, and a letter to the editor.  I did not enter the short story category last year as fictional prose is not my strong point when it comes to writing.  However I decided to do it this year and I am happy with the results.  Oddly enough, it is the poetry that is eluding me this time.  I kind of know what I am going for, but the right words are evading me at present.  Hopefully they come before the closing date.  We shall see, we shall see!!

Guess what??!  I am (attempting) to learn the violin!  I have sort have been interested for a while, but did not really want to start right at the start with Twinkle Twinkle.  My sister Joy offered to give me a lesson, and so I agreed, provided I could start with the second song.  She agreed.  Actually I don't think she particularly agreed with me, but she decided to humour me anyway.  So now, I have struck up a race with James.  I asked him who would reach performance level of the last song in Suzuki book 1.  He - of course! - is convinced it will be him.  At the risk of sounding like a broken record, we shall see, we shall see!  XDD

Talking about music lessons, I now have three piano students and am meeting with a potential fourth this week.  (Wow!  It's all happening this week!  O.o)  I so much enjoying teaching.  My three students are all ten years old, but apparently the little girl I am meeting on Thursday is only seven and has no musical training so I will be starting from scratch, so to speak.  I am rather looking forward to it.  :)

I think that is all I have to report for now... So long, farewell!  

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