Sunday, July 20, 2014

Bootleggers and running shoes ~ it's all go in Frome

Makeshift Musicals are back at the Merlin! A year on from their first show, Daisy Graham directs another medley of highlights from musicals reconstructed in a new storyline with an exhuberant cast and live band. New York State of Mind, scripted by Lily Sweeney, is set in a speakeasy at the start of prohibition and this all-young company revels in the potential offered by the era. The Charleston dancers are a delight, the politician is suitably corrupt, and love prevails despite star-crossing. The mostly-teenage cast (Jack Brotherton as bootlegger Sam is the Bugsy Malone-style member of troupe at just 11) are all talented and watchable, with some outstanding performances ~ including a show-stopping version of You're just too good to be true by Ben Hardy-Phillips. A joyous & thoroughly enjoyable performance.

From tap-dance to foot-slog: this Sunday 750 runners took to the streets for the Frome Half Marathon. I'd really wanted to join them this year, so next best thing was to be a marshall. In my racing days I never realised what complex organisation went on behind the scenes ~ it was a military operation, though a good-humoured one. The senior marshalls do all the complex stuff with maps and Police liaise, I just turned up for a couple of briefings & got to wear a yellow jacket and put out cones which later may have to be justified to drivers who hadn't noticed the road closure notices around the town ~ I was lucky as 99% politely complied, only one bully opted for pavement driving and argument ~ and then you stand in the sunshine clapping as hundreds of runners steam, saunter, and struggle past. This takes over two hours so my reluctantly idle legs were envious of my energetic arms by the end.
 Here's some of the steamers, 183 is Tom Dudden from Bath, still turbo-charged near the end of the half-marathon which he won in a tidy 1.19  seven full minutes before second place, and 243 is Diane Hier, first female in 1hr.43 and one of the amazing Avon Valley contingency. Frome's Paul Ryman (790) romped to victory in the 10K - and the bear is a Frome Running Club member too... Most runners opted for the traditional vest and shorts: Superman, Wonderwoman, two fairies, and a monk, all well deserved their cheers for crowd entertainment.

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