Earlier this month, we thoroughly enjoyed meeting promoters, supporters and friends of Live & Local at our annual Showcase & Menu Launches. This year’s events took place at venues in Warwickshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, and Lincolnshire. Due to the COVID-19 crisis, we were disappointed not to be able to put on all of our planned events, however, for those who were unable to attend, the menu will be available to view on our website from the end of March. A massive thank you to everyone who attended and made them such special occasions in an uncertain time.
Each of the evenings began with beautiful buffets provided by local catering services – we may have scoffed more than our fair share of quiche over the four events! While enjoying the food and drinks, guests made the most of this fantastic opportunity to meet with other people involved in some of the many Live & Local events that happen each year across our different counties. This year, we added a new dimension to the networking aspect; every guest was given a name badge and asked to choose a coloured dot depending on their role and experience in hosting Live & Local events. Those who took part said that this was a great conversation starter and really encouraged everybody to get talking.
Staff from Live & Local delivered short, informative talks on topics ranging from our fantastic Big Picture Show film scheme to our links with the Inn Crowd – a scheme that puts professional storytellers and poets into pubs across the country to deliver unforgettably entertaining evenings. We were also able to promote the wonderful work we do with the RTDI (Rural Touring Dance Initiative), which in recent years has led to us putting on shows such as the surreal and charming juggling extravaganza ‘Gibbon’ and the enchanting interpretation of a classic tale, ‘The Little Prince’.
Audiences were treated to performances by some of the artists who will be appearing on our new menu. Psychiatric nurse and performance poet Rob Gee, who delivered a twenty-minute preview of his show ‘Forget Me Not’ – a whodunnit set in an Alzheimer’s ward. The audience found themselves completely absorbed as Rob transformed himself into several quirky characters, all of whom have found themselves caught up in this murder mystery.
Another of our special guests were Live & Local favourites Mumbo Jumbo, with an acoustic, piano-led performance that got everyone’s feet tapping along to an eclectic mix of catchy songs. Not only did they bring their fantastic musicianship (including a kazoo), they also brought a smile to everyone’s faces with their amusing audience interaction.
The imitable Spiltmilk Dance were able to join us and combined dance, comedy and cinema in an extract from their show, ‘Desert Island Flicks’. In the space of 20 minutes they performed odes to some of the greatest films ever to grace the silver screen and had us all guessing which one was which. Is it Brief Encounter? No, The Avengers? Harry Potter!?
Last but by no means least, the Remi Harris duo brought their intricate musical stylings to the party. They played jazzy renditions of old classics, freewheeling original work and even threw a dash of Beethoven into the mix! If you can’t quite picture how Beethoven can be applied to a groove-heavy guitar show, look Remi Harris up and get back to us. We promise you won’t be disappointed.
Thanks again to everyone who came to the events, catered them, played, performed or simply supported us in 2019/2020. It is hugely appreciated and we can’t wait to be together again at a show in the not too distant future. Until next time..!