Chips! 18th June

Rockery Railway Bridge to Wheelock Visitor Moorings

I believe that is a toilet tent

If you are already out and prepared for rain, it’s not so bad when it starts. But starting the day knowing that as soon as you walk out the door you will start to get soggy around the edges and that it won’t stop all day, does put you off somewhat, especially when you had planned to do a section of the Cheshire Locks, which today would have been justified in being called Heartbreak Hill.

A couple of boats passed us and eventually we made the move ourselves as we needed water. Mick valiantly pushed the bow out and cruised the mile and a half to Wheelock where we found a boat moored on the first section of the water point, good job there are two taps!

All rubbish was dealt with as the tank filled and Tilly’s pooh box got a good clean and new litter.

The water point is right by Barchetta Restaurant and the smell emanating from their open doors was of garlic butter, I could almost see a plate of seafood drizzled with it. The restaurant is doing take aways from their menu every evening. We quite quickly decided to find ourselves a mooring for the remainder of the wet day and have a look at their menu.

White bits

Tilly was none too impressed with the soggy world we’d tied up, but she still made the most of it, although it did necessitate extra visits home for Dreamies. During the afternoon Mick and I chose from the menu and placed our order over the phone.

What to do on a very rainy afternoon? Well as we were going to be eating out (but in) this evening we decided to go to the theatre and sat down in our seats (our sofa) to watch The Madness Of George III just before time ran out. This was a production of Alan Bennett’s play that had been produced at Nottingham Playhouse. The title role of George III was played incredibly by Mark Gatiss of The League of Gentleman, Dr Who, Sherlock fame amongst many others.

Parliamentary discussions

The set involved revolving walls and windows, a huge painted front cloth and a backdrop of a Canaletto painting of St Pauls Cathedral. Lots to fill the space and move us from location to location. Wonderful props and costumes, it was well worth watching. Here’s a link to the scenic artists painting the backdrop if you are interested.

On last nights news the theatre industry was highlighted, well after the football and horse racing. The government are going to look into a road map for reopening theatres. Cameron Mackintosh will not be reopening his theatres this year as most of his audience is made up of tourists. Several theatres have already closed their doors for good and others are looking at restructuring and down sizing their staffing with the hope that they will be able to sit out and wait before they can reopen.

Photo from 100 years ago

With staff furloughed and the furlough scheme ending before most theatres think they will be able to reopen, then social distancing reducing capacity to well under the 50% which for most venues is the minimum they need to remain open, the theatre world as we know it could easily be lost forever. It’s not just the small theatres or the big West End shows, but every theatre and company across the country that will be affected. Even The National Theatre and The RSC are looking at reducing staffing levels and making a proportion of staff redundant. Add to this the number of freelance staff who also work in theatre, like myself.

There is the Self Employed Income Support Scheme helping many, but this runs out at the end of August, long before most theatres will be able to reopen. Then there are people like me who do not qualify for the scheme, my small income from renting the house out has exceeded that from my self employment, so I don’t qualify.

Anna in Puss in Boots last Christmas

Many companies in all sectors will not survive the pandemic. British Theatre could be wiped out without support from the government. Last night I sat watching the news concerned that I may have just made the wrong decision about Vienna. Then Anna Tolpott appeared on screen, she is an actor, director and the wife of the Artistic Director at Chipping Norton Theatre!

If you have ever been to a theatre; boo’d at the panto baddie; cried at War Horse; laughed through Bouncers; listened to a Shakespeare history play; watched Pepper Pig with the grand kids; marvelled at the quick costume changes in The Audience; watched multi role play beside the canal by Mikron; seen Fleetwood Mac live in concert; got muddy at a festival; been part of the guffawing audience watching Peter Kay; or enjoyed one of the plays, musicals, dance pieces that are being broadcast into your homes right now, helping to keep you entertained, please will you add your name to this petition to Government.

As we pass the COVID-19 Peak, the Government should: State where the Theatres and Arts fit in the Coronavrius recovery Roadmap, Create a tailor made financial support mechanism for the Arts sector & Clarify how Social Distancing will affect arts spaces like Theatres and Concert Venues.

In their plan to restart the economy, the government has addressed hospitality sectors such as restaurants and cinemas. They’ve stated how the sports will be resumed after the lockdown period. But there has been no mention of the arts. On 13 May Robert Jenrick was directly asked to pledge to protect this industry, which could be without income longer than other sectors, but he failed to give a clear answer. This further shows how the arts are being overlooked. The Govt must show more support for arts.

I don’t often get onto a soap box here on the blog, but right now I feel the need to. Tomorrow I will be adding my photo on social media to the ever growing number of freelancers who work in theatre, both on and off stage. The masses who keep the lights on, tread the boards, hammer them down and paint them.

What’s in the boxes?

After the play, Mick popped over to the restaurant to pick up our food. His a pizza, mine steak and chips! I got some eventually, just a shame I think they came from the chippy and had been kept warm for a while. The steak however was very good and cooked just how I like it, glad we were only a couple of minutes walk away.

Yummy steak

0 locks, 1.41 miles, 1 full water tank, 0 rubbish, 1 soggy moggy, 1 pizza, 1 steak, 1 portion of chips! 20% take away discount, 1 industry on the brink.

5 thoughts on “Chips! 18th June

    1. pipandmick Post author

      Sorted now, technical glitch and I bet it wasn’t all that worth waiting for!
      Thank you so much for signing the petition.

  1. Dave (Scouts)

    Signed several times since i have multiple email addresses 🙂
    A friend of our through Scouts and Pedalcars is a designer at Unusual Rigging and he’s not sure when or if they will be re-starting.

Comments are closed.