“Oh yes they did!” at Quidenham Church

Published on: 25 June 2017

We put on a pantomime in Quidenham Church - Ali Baba and the Raiders of the Lost Crypt!

Every month Quidenham (population 120, of whom 25 are nuns in the monastery) has a coffee morning in its ‘Reading Room’ – a small room which seats up to 20, rented from the Quidenham estate for ‘village activities’.

A number of factors paved the way: One of our villagers produces plays in Norwich, another of our villagers does a bit of acting there, and another is good at props for parties and has a daughter in a ballet class. We have an extrovert Quidenham Village Society Chairman, who got to know me when I did a wedding blessing at their summer party. I’m not sure whether the idea came from them or from church folk, but one coffee morning we began talking about what fun it would be to do a dramatical something in church.

The PCC was willing and it sort of went by itself from there, mainly spurred on by the producer and her close friend (the props person). We asked for volunteers, and sort of had enough, with some folk coming from neighbouring villages. I think the church being willing to be taken over, and the vicar’s enthusiasm for being the baddie, were key ingredients, but the greatest strength was the prop maker who organised rehearsals and who seemed boundlessly optimistic that it would all be OK and really carried us all through – it certainly took over her life for a couple of months! Net result in church attendance – one couple came the following week once.

Net result in village-goodwill for the church (and I don’t mean the building) – brilliant.

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