A Weekend Review – Take 3 |A Mess In A Dress

Wow – what a weekend!

It’s alright having absolutely tons to blog about, but it’s a bit of a swine when you don’t actually have time to type a bleeding word! I’m writing this on my lunch break at work, scoffing my Oxtail soup, in the hope that I can edit and add photos tonight and actually get a post out.  There’s so much to tell you!

It began at Chatsworth, as these posts so often do!  You may not be aware of this, but Chatsworth House has its very own theatre.  Really, it does.  It’s hidden in one of the towers and is hardly ever open to the public.  As someone who visits Chatsworth a ridiculous number of times a year, I have only glimpsed it once on a Friends’ Preview Day.

I recently discovered that there is an amateur dramatic society that are blessed to perform two shows a year in this gem of a venue.  They are called the “Chatsworth Players” and are led by the fabulous Sylvia Jackson.  When I heard about their most recent production “The Heiress”, I knew that I had to go along.

I arrived in Derbyshire a little earlier than I had intended, so there was just enough time for me to drop into one of my favourite restaurants, The Devonshire Arms at Beeley, for a quick dessert and a cheeky cocktail.  (Well, sometimes you just have to treat yourself)

With a full tummy and a slight glow from the drinky, I headed to Chatworth and entered the theatre.  It’s quite eerie being at Chatsworth at night when there are not many people around, but I love it. You feel like part of some secret society.

The theatre was as beautiful as I remembered.  It’s quite small, but very traditional with red velvet curtains and an intricately decorated proscenium arch.  There are beautiful paintings on the wall and it really is a lovely environment to spend an evening.

The play was brilliant.  “The Heiress” was not a play I was familiar with, which is unusual for me, but it was quite a refreshing change to watch a story unfold without knowing how it was going to end.  The actors all played their roles really well.  I particularly liked the two sisters, Lavinia and Lizzie, who were very natural and easy to watch.  I just wish they could have had more stage time.  The actress portraying the role of the heiress, “Catherine Sloper” handled her character development really well, managing to show her growth from a shy, reserved girl to a more confident, assertive woman.  The ending (which I won’t spoil) was particularly satisfying.

I have to give Sylvia Jackson a special mention, as she is such a vibrant personality.  She gave a small talk before the play started and was so entertaining that I could have happily spent the whole evening watching her!  She’s the kind of person who must have hundreds of anecdotes to share and I’m sure I could listen to her talking for hours without getting bored.

In the interval we got to go and have drinks in the Sculpture gallery.  I do love it when I get to see Chatsworth in a different light – it manages to bring a new lease of life to the place and makes me feel like I’m experiencing everything for the first time again.

I had such a great evening and I can’t wait to find out what the next performance is so that I can get my tickets booked.  Who knows, maybe one day I may even audition to join them!

Saturday held the long awaited wedding of my Uncle, but I’m not going to go into any detail about that here.  I will need a separate post about that, in order to share all of the lovely details and the many, many photos.

On Sunday, we had the final dress rehearsal for our Burlesque show.  All of the dances looked really strong, the costumes are fabulous and I can’t wait for showtime now.  Everyone is being really complimentary about my dancing and for the first time ever I’m really starting to embrace the fact that I’m actually pretty good.  It’s quite refreshing for me to actually enjoy my achievements and revel in them, rather than trying to play them down.  The main event is next Saturday and I’m sure I’ll be bursting with things to tell you afterwards.

So that was my weekend, and although it was amazing I’m now thoroughly shattered and struggling to find time to recover.  UI have so many things planned in October and the month has only really just begun.  Still, I’ll also have plenty of lovely memories to look back on and I wouldn’t want to miss out on a single thing.

Did you have a busy weekend?  Or some much needed rest?  Leave me a comment below or tweet me @awholenewme2014

If you enjoyed reading this you might also like:

A Weekend Review

The Easter Weekend Review

Pride and Prejudice Live!

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