The Ladykillers at the Stables – and a striking textile exhibition

A quick update.  Went to the Stables last night to see The Ladykillers – it was excellent, one of the best Stables plays I have seen. Unfortunately it ends on 14 February, but there is also an excellent textile exhibition at the theatre gallery which continues until the end of March.
     It was a full house. My WI gang had been the night before. I had not
joined them because firstly it was my Stanza poetry group that night,
and secondly Philosopher had already bought our tickets.

     What struck me most was the set design and the staging. Clever lighting, sound effects and projections set the period (mid-fifties) and brought essential railway goings-on to life, especially when the Professor was run over by a train! The stage design was an ambitious (for the Stables) two level set up, showing the ground floor of the old house but also the bedroom.
      The acting was also excellent, particularly Rob Hustwayte as the Professor. Mrs Wilberforce could perhaps have hammed it up a bit more, but that was only a small point.
       In the interval, as usual, we went down and viewed the art exhibition in the theatre gallery. This time it was textiles from two local artists, Tricia Neve and Christine M’baye. Tricia produces more delicate work, painting on silk, which is then then embellished with embroidery and beads. Christine does brightly coloured patchwork and applique pieces, and 3D effect felt and fabric wall-hangings. There were local landscapes, jungle scenes and sea scenes.   I very much liked Christine’s work – very colourful and vibrant, but unfortunately can’t find many photographs to put on here.

Christine M’Baye
Christine M’Baye
Tricia Neve

       The exhibition caught my attention because next month at WI we are starting work on our Centenary Quilt, and this exhibition would provide excellent inspiration.
       Each member, no matter how butterfingersy and hopeless we are at crafty stuff, will be expected to produce a square. Those who can’t sew a stitch can use felt, iron-on patches or fabric paint, but of course the traditional way to make a quilt is patchwork.
       Battleaxe would put herself  in the very bottom ability group as far as womanly crafts are concerned, but I usually go along to the WI Craft Group meeting for a cuppa and a piece of cake. It is a good opportunity to talk to other members in a less frantic environment than the main meetings.
       Would you believe, at the last meeting I learned to crochet? Friend and fellow committee member Jan gave some of us a lesson, and I borrowed a crochet hook and the Ladybird Book of Crochet from her. The Ladybird book, dating from the 70s,  is excellent, although I can’t see myself making a poncho for my dolly. Not to be defeated, I practiced at home, and to date I have produced a wobbly-edged square, a little round mat thing and what looks like an egg cosy. It is actually remarkably relaxing, and my next task is to try and follow a pattern. Crochet feels to me potentially a bit more rewarding than knitting – the way you can create almost any shape by increasing or decreasing stitches as you go along.
      I must be going womanly in the head – this morning I saw an excellent sewing-machine in the weekly bargains section in Aldi, and felt unaccountably drawn to it.

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