I’ve treated myself to several concerts of late. The Party In The Park at Happy Valley military grounds was cancelled due to the Queen’s death last year, but this year proudly boasted almost all of Paphos’ top bands. Now the proud owner of a camper van, I was pleased to give it its first festival experience and have private facilities on tap! Festival attendance was poor to begin with, but filled out as the day went on.
Following the pandemic’s dearth of entertainment, we now once again have a great choice.
Every Wednesday local musicians gather at The Veteran’s Bar in Peiga for an informal open mic / jam session. A year ago tragedy struck when Paul Lowndes, a talented multi-instrumentalist and popular gentleman, died in a car accident as he was leaving the venue. Last week his colleagues held a memorial jam session for him which I went along to. The group is well established yet openly welcoming to newcomers, and of late has become one of the most popular such groups on the island.
Four days later I went along to the Emba Theatre to see two choirs in concert. Harmony have been running for several years and have an excellent reputation; Spellbound was created only last January, with a six-week ‘taster course’ which I took part in. A close-harmony, a capella group: I found the sound created by the blend of voices utterly gorgeous, but couldn’t commit to joining long-term, so I was dying to hear the concert. The evening was triumphant, both choirs performing impeccably and even squishing on stage together for a final song in which, it has to be said, there was spellbinding harmony!
The same week three singers from the new age band Enigma – famous for their Gregorian chant-inspired music – played a concert at Monte Caputo in Limassol. Whereas the above choirs used solo piano or backing tracks, this trio boasted a ten-piece string section, guitar, bass, keyboards, drums and two dancers and played a haunting, dynamic concert that was extremely well received by the huge audience. The venue was an adventure in itself, reminiscent of a UK Caesar’s Palace, with levels of tables and chairs and a bar serving eye-wateringly expensive drinks and platters of fruits.
Now it’s my turn to take to the stage and entertain others, and I’m thrilled to be stepping into the glass slippers again in the title role of Cinderella. Stage One Theatre Group are putting on a traditional family pantomime, complete with garishly costumed dames, principal boys played by long-legged ladies, comedy, slapstick, tongue-in-cheek gags and plenty of song and dance. If we can’t be on the beach, let’s head for the theatre and a complete evening’s escapism! The Emba venue boasts a bar inside the auditorium with very reasonable prices and friendly volunteer staff – you can even enjoy a drink after the show and mingle with the cast and crew. The theatre group celebrates forty years this year, and is well worth joining just for the social aspect if the limelights – or operating the limelights – doesn’t appeal. They produce four plays a year themselves, including the occasional pantomime or musical, plus co-productions with other groups such as the choirs described above. They meet at least monthly for social evenings at the theatre, sometimes with entertainment put on, as well as meals out and the renowned annual ‘PAFTAS’ when awards are presented to best actor and so on, bringing a little West End glamour . Volunteers are needed in all departments: on stage, backstage, wardrobe, technics, sound, light, bar, box office, ushers, first aid, publicity…but there are also dozens of members who simply enjoy the plays and the social side and support the theatre that way.
It’s the second time I’ve played the role, and I’ve also in the past played Buttons and Fairy Godmother. Meanwhile my brother in the UK has professionally played Ugly Sister many times – and I found out just this week, that many moons ago, my mother portrayed Baron Hardup at a seaside theatre. So I’m definitely keeping with family tradition – oh yes I am!
Jezebel plays the title role in ‘Cinderella’ at The Emba Theatre December 4th – 9th. 7.30pm (8th 6.30pm).