The Centenary Centre was filled to capacity for this very special joint event with Ballaugh Heritage Trust. The stage set was very striking, a 3 – D silhouette of our ancient castle and cathedral with a large orange sun and sky projected on a backdrop. This was so effective that it must be used again. Sam Knight was the multi-talented craftsman.
Bill Quine, chairman, made the welcome and introduced Marilyn Cannel, in costume, setting the scene for 1911. She was a brilliant compere, setting the scene for one hundred years ago – the date that was being recreated. This was helped by reading various news items between acts, starting with the information that the Steam Packet had carried one million passengers to the Island in that year!
The opening act raised a great aaagh as a line of beautifully uniformed year 3 children processed onto the stage to sing and accompany themselves on percussion instruments. This was a great credit to them and their staff. For many, it was their first time on a theatre stage and should encourage them in further performances. We look forward to seeing them back in some of the many musical, dance and theatrical events that we hold. It is so important to involve children in this way. It often leads to life-long love of the arts.
Mike Durber, suitably attired, used his fine bass voice to great effect, singing I’m a Native of Peel and Asleep on the Deep, reflecting the terrible loss of life at sea a century ago. Marilyn played the accompaniment.
Sarah Christian recited a poem about King George V’s visit to Peel, followed by Andrew Williamson’s fine singing of two sea songs. Fenella Bazin was his accompanist.
The news of the launch of the Titanic was followed by Bill Quine’s dialect recitations. The delightful chanteuse, Doona Lambden, sang two songs, most sweetly. A promising young performer.
More news. Graham White made the first flight in the Isle of Man.
Karen Elliott sang Come to the Fair and the Deemster’s Daughter. Another fine performance. Then Andrew Williamson’s fine voice gave us two more sea songs.
Edgar Cowin, Captain of Ballaugh parish, recited some passages from T.E. Brown, the poet having died a couple of years earlier.
A further news item recorded the death of an 8 year old killed by a car when they jumped out of a cart in front of it. A freak accident in 1911.
The great excitement was the TT races run over the mountain course for the first time.
Tony Quirk then did a recitation dedicated to his late father, Harrison, a favourite in his repertoire. This was a poignant moment, Harrison having been such a key figure in both Peel and its Trust.
Karen Elliott, radiantly costumed, sang Linden Lea and the Manx folk song, Home – one of her favourites.
All too soon came the raffle and supper. What a marvellous evening. Here’s to a repeat!