Good News and Bad News

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Good News and Bad News

Postby Chris » 26 Aug 2017, 20:24

First the bad news. If you haven't alread heard, my marionette theatre, The Harlequin Puppet Theatre in Rhos-on-Sea, North Wales, suffered an arson attack on August 2nd with fire damage sufficient to close me down for the rest of the Summer Season so the normal 6 week season lasted, this year, two days. I optimistically hope to reopen for the October Half Term but as the process of getting estimates, for cleaning theatre, seats etc and estimates for new doors and carpenty work, for electrical restoration and plate glass supply and fitting, proceeds at a snail space this seems increasingly unlikely. It's a nightmare.

The Good News. Those of you who swear by Sanderson's Throat Specific will probably be aware that it has been off the market for some months. Bottles have been selling on ebay at ridiculous prices. Apparently there was a run on the stuff in the winter months. Anyway I have been informed by the manufacturers that new stocks have been sent to the wholesalers and your local chemists should be able to get it by the end of next week. So if Boots or Asda or whoever you normally order from tell you that it is unavailable ask them to try again. It is!
It's good to squawk!
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Re: Good News and Bad News

Postby Richard Coombs » 27 Aug 2017, 22:31

Hello Chris

NO ...I had no idea your theatre hd a fire.
Arsen ..even worse.

I am so sorry.
What a dreadful blow. Was it the auditorium end or the stage end?

I ask only to pray that it wasn't the end where puppets are kept.
Damage to the building is bad enough ...but loss of puppets would be ...well unimaginably awful.

Sending you a big internet hug, and very best wishes for as smooth a rebuild as possible.

Very best wishes.
Richard.
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Re: Good News and Bad News

Postby lesclarke » 28 Aug 2017, 01:54

Hi there Chris,
been offline with poor broadband for quite a while, so only heard last week, all the best with
the renovations, and good luck with continuing the tradition of The Harlequin.

As our American 'cousins' say "stuff' happens!"

Things like this take time to sort out, but it will get sorted, all the best, les @ properpunch.

BTW, posting at 1.55am Yorkshire Time after doing 'my usual', working with Punch, arriving home at 6pm, deciding at 6.30 to have a 'nap' and then waking up 7 hours later!
As if I haven't got enough to do today, with all I've got to do today.
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Re: Good News and Bad News

Postby Chris » 28 Aug 2017, 16:01

Thanks Richard and Les for your sympathy. No puppets were burnt. In fact the fire the doors were burned down and a plate glass window was smashed - but the damage which closed me down was the smoke damage. This is horrendous and gets everywhere. Apart from the appalling smell everything from floor to ceiling, and in every area, is covered with a layer of oily black soot, combined with in some areas a coating of grey sand-like gritty ash. The actual physical replacement (doors, window and electrics) will cost perhaps 4 thousand, the cleaning will probably cost nearer 30. Those are my guesses from what few estimates have come in - I'm probably hopelessly wrong.
Everything needs specialist cleaning - 118 seats, stage curtains, the roof. the walls, the murals, puppets and scenery and furniture in the foyer. Actually I was lucky with the puppets since many of them were covered in bags, and the stage curtains absorbed and blocked a lot of the smoke from doing too much backstage damage.
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Re: Good News and Bad News

Postby Miraiker » 12 Sep 2017, 10:31

Hello Chris
I am not sure that the good news quite balances out the bad news but it's wonderful that you can see any good at all at the moment.
We are all thinking of you here in Claydon and hope that the insurers work quickly to help you.
Best wishes
Batteys all
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Re: Good News and Bad News

Postby Chris » 12 Sep 2017, 11:05

Thanks Miraiker,
No change at the moment. A few school workshop shows are coming in and even a couple of birthday party enquiries (quite a rarity these days), but not dates when anybody is going to actually start doing any work towards healing Harlequin. Meanwhile I am trying to do everything in the theatre foyer (the only place relatively unaffected by the fire) which is becoming more and more cluttered. To add to my joy I've still got diggers and dumper trucks churning up my drive and the constant noise of site machinery and drilling. The big house next door to the theatre got planning permission to become 6 houses. They started building over 5 years ago! Three of four built have been sold, two are yet to be completed. At the moment they are clearing all the rubble at the from to the three sold so that their gardens and parking spaces can be completed since nobody can move in until that is done.
Last night they accidently cut through my water supply (for the fourth time) and couldn't get the necessary coupling until this morning. Earlier in the year I had to cancel a week because I was without toilets when they disconnected my sewage pipe. And before that I was without electricity for three days when they accidently chopped through the mains!
The Harlequin is having its annus horribilis although the last four haven't been all that jolly.
Still, I've things to look forward to this month. I hope to go to Kidology, the children's entertainer convention in Birmingham, and then later in the month I plan a trip to Skipton for their glorious two day International Puppet festival. That is, unless those are the very times when they decide to clean the theatre!
I hope not because they are both events I really enjoy.
http://www.kidologyuk.co.uk
http://www.skiptonpuppetfestival.co.uk/page53.html
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