Bird Bowels & Dog Noses
What a day we had today!
We were at our first venue of the day, St Andrew's Village Hall in Milborne (pictured left), about an hour after we began breakfast. We were able to arrive so speedily thanks to the kind spirits of Roger and Alice (pictured right), custodians of the village hall, who put us up overnight and provided us with generous portions for dinner, breakfast and lunch! Thanks folks — we are very grateful to you for giving us our warmest reception yet!
As usual, we began our "get-in" by unloading the van and laying out our set and props. David (pictured left) worked out how to get our music playing through the sound system and shine some of the hall's theatre lights at the stage (in the theatre world this is known as "LX"). Being our 7th performance, we were well-practised at setting up by now, and ready in 45min for the audience to start pouring through the door!
The audience at West Malling in Kent had given us the story of The Stench of Victory to share with our first Dorset audience. Not to be outdone, the Milborne lot helped us to create a tale even smellier! They told us of a starship carrying space pirates that came across a swarm of space birds, who wore glasses to protect their eyes from star rays (see right). Like seagulls in a car park, these space birds being to poo all over the starship! The extra weight sent the ship in a downward spiral towards a collision with a planet — a planet you may have heard of, called the Planet Earth...
Faced with imminent doom, the pirates could think of only one solution — throwing all of their treasure out of the ship! By doing so, they lightened their weight enough to steer clear of disaster. At first they were sad to lose all their gold and silver. But, when they saw how happy the treasure made everyone down on Earth, the pirates decided they quite liked the feeling of having done a good deed. So they flew away with big smiles — and a desperate longing for a shower...
It was a jolly and fun show, but unfortunately we didn't have time to stick around — we had to be performing in a nearby Dorset village later that afternoon! Since it takes us about an hour to pack up and an hour to get-in, let alone the half-hour we'd need for the travel, we barely had time for lunch. But here again came Roger and Alice to our rescue. It'll be a while before we forget how delicious that quiche was guys! Thanks!
Next stop: Broadmayne Village Hall (pictured left). Once again, the team of volunteers who run events at the hall came together to help ready the venue for our audience (see right). The venue had its own lights, but we had to crack open our own sound equipment this time — needed for our dramatic music for the Genie in the story by Solihull Little Bird Iona, and the Ballad of the Cheeky Man (based on a tale by Lincoln lasses Jennifer, Libby, Abigail and Morgan). These children had all got their stories in our show by participating in our Little Birds storytelling workshops — why not ask your teacher if we can come to your school and hear your stories too?
Preparing our show also involves dressing the entire venue for the audience to be completely immersed in the stories from the moment they step inside. To the left you can see Chip hiding "things" under seats, while David and Paul planted our "idea eggs" around the hall and the lobby — if you look carefully, you can see a green one in the photo to the right...
Then, when the audience began to arrive, many were met by Prince Edward, who had walked out of Lincoln Little Bird Hollie's story to search for his lost "Royal Thingy" (pictured right). Many of our visitors were baffled by his description ("Sort of square... like a football!"), but diligently searched the venue up and down in the hope of helping out. They still hadn't found the Thingy by the beginning of the show, but no-one had a chance to feel upset — not even Prince Edward — as all were soon having too much fun!
After hearing this morning's story from Milborne, the Broadmayne group had a go at crafting a tale for us to take on to Somerset tomorrow. They told of a time when dogs had always fought over bones they found, while their noses were permanently dry from sniffing so close to the ground. One kind and clever dog, Elsie, thought that life would be better for all if everyone stopped fighting and started working together. So after thinking of a cheeky trick, she called out to all the other dogs,
"Guys! I've found a huge mountain of bones! But it's hidden by this invisibility cloak, which makes the whole mountain look like nothing more than a shining shimmering patch of blue. If we all work together to dig it up, maybe we'll get the bones!"
Every single one of the dogs excitedly came to the invisibility cloak to start digging. Nearly all of them got stuck in, but a few paused to wonder why their noses were wet... Elsie, meanwhile, was laughing at a distance. After the dogs had been struggling in vain for hours to dig up the cloak, she cried,
"Everyone! That's not an invisibility cloak at all! It's a lake! See how you've all worked together for something so silly? Wouldn't life be better if we all worked together for sensible reasons?"
Of course, all the dogs agreed — but ever since, dogs have been stuck with wet noses, to remind them of the time when they would fight with each other until a clever dog called Elsie came along.
After such a long, busy and exciting day, we were very glad to be on the road for less than an hour before arriving at our 9th and final destination: Norton Sub Hamdon in Somerset! For more information about our final stop, including how to get tickets, click here now!
2nd August 2012