HASLAND: St Paul’s Church congregation stage music hall


The social committee of St Paul’s Church, Hasland, organised an old time music hall evening in the north aisle of the church, all the participants coming from the church congregation. Master of Ceremonies for the evening was the Rector of Hasland, Fr Malcolm Ainscough, who introduced the evening of buffoonery, tomfoolery, with edifying erudition, mesmeric mystification, and Victorian conviviality, typical of the good old time music hall.

The singing group opened the proceedings, with multitudinous mellifluous mesmerising musicality and recitative – and everyone was invited to join in. There was a recitation of Antipodean verse by George Russell, magically recited through the ether in George’s absence. The terpsichorean pirouetting circumbobulating juvenile marvel Helena Bond entertained in the art of dance. Mr Barrie Dore entertained the audience with more dittyrambic declamatory doggerel daringly didactic for their delight. The first half of the show ended with songs by Richard and Alexia Arnold – esoteric incultural indoctrination, undoubtedly indomitable duplicity from Richard and the juvenile wonder Miss Alexia Arnold.

There followed a faith supper, contributed by all the 60 people present, after which everyone enjoyed the sililoquist, a monologist, fluently floridly vocalising Erica Esposito. Then came ‘The Black Widow’, a comic melodrama presented by St Paul’s Players, in which the audience was warned to be prepared to weep for the heroine, be appalled by the evil widow, and amazed by the thespian tragedians and comedians. Those taking part were Maria Watson, Verna Webb, Hilary Gilliver, Ian Basford, Stuart Bailey, Claire Ashmore, Muriel Haslam, Father Malcolm Ainscough, Stephen Wright, Janet Harvey, Alison Basford, and the dog Tiddles played by himself.

The grand finale saw Catherine Uttley with melodious renderings on the pianoforte.

Everyone agreed that they had experienced a wonderful evening’s entertainment, with the ladies looking lovely in Victorian costumes, and the men looking good as well. As an added bonus, the event raised £177 for church funds.