After our 'Christmas Cabaret Party'

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Jilly's JottingsAfter the Christmas Cabaret Party at Cobham Village Hall (18 December 2009 7pm)

Oh the weather outside was frightful but the welcome was so delightful!

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And since we knew this was the place to go we ignored the fact that the weather forecast was dropping to well below freezing and it might, therefore, be tricky getting home, and we said ‘ let it snow let it snow let it snow' - which it had been doing earlier in the day! But that didn't deter the 125 people who had braved the elements for this last social event of the year. Margaret Grinter met us with a welcoming smile and, what's more, a glass of hot spicy mulled wine! 

The social team had gone to a great deal of trouble to decorate the hall with a sparkly silver Christmas tree on the stage, fairy lights around the room and candlelit tables with white cloths, red napkins and vases of flowers.

Steven Dibley, who had compèred our Eurovision Party in May, was MC again. He told a few jokes (not suitable for Christmas crackers!) and set us a tantalizing quiz about Christmas No. 1 hits. Then the cabaret began - as it was called a Cabaret Party! The organisers had asked for quality acts - and that is what they were! Helen sang that she couldn't help lovin' dat man of hers, then she was crying a river and finally that that she was a tramp - quite a lot going on in her life but she coped with it beautifully!

Then Trevor Hyland, complete with suitable peeked cap, sang a compelling shaggy dog story about the unusual trials and tribulations of his barge being pulled by an ex-racehorse! Lamb Chop and Tree Frog, Cha Cha, were next, accompanied by their mentor, Lisa Woods, who cheerfully, skilfully and musically helped them through the traumas of various topics including not wanting to go to school and how to swing on a star!

Also flying high with lots of puff and nimble fingers was Kate Swallow who gave a melodic rendering on her flute of Gershwin's 'Embraceable You' and the haunting ‘Annie's Song'. Last, but by no means least, came Clare Kingsbury and her double-act partner, Mary, who announced that they were different from younger performers in that they were there to entertain and not to have affairs - which was quite a relief to those of us who had brought our husbands along! They certainly did what they promised - they entertained with songs, a wry little monologue about husbands, wives and cricket matches; and a rueful sketch, complete with curlers and shower cap, about the problems of putting on a drama production in a retirement home!

Liz Trueman skilfully provided musical accompaniment on the keyboard for these talented performers. After a song from Michael Grinter, and another naughty joke from Steven, dinner was served - very tasty chilli and rice, followed by a choice of pavlova or chocolate pud - excellent value for just £8!

The rest of the evening was in the very capable hands of Liz Trueman's swinging big band, ‘Inside Out' playing various styles of music with Mike Grinter energetically joining them as MC/solo singer for several numbers. It was so relaxing just to sit and listen to music associated with the likes of Glen Miller and Joe Loss that, at times, there were very few dancers on the floor; but it was a different story when it came to the Gay Gordons, line dancing, YMCA and the Locomotion (which developed into the Conga!) - there was hardly any room to move!

When the last dance was announced we were only just getting into the swing of things and we could have rocked around the clock but with the thought of an early start the next day for both the Ladies Choir (singing live on BBC Radio Surrey) and the Mixed Choir (singing in Cobham Farmers' Market) it was probably best that we got as much beauty sleep as possible and all good things must come to an end!

Not so good for the organisers and willing helpers who had to undo everything they had spent time putting in place only a few hours before but they can be assured that it was all well worth their effort. Luckily, there had been no more snow and were able to drive safely home rather than having to be walking in a winter wonderland!




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