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Review From Sue Flint.

No it’s not the title of a book, but rather it is a stage play, written and presented by Sharon Rose.  If you have read other blogs I have written, you will see she has written four books about her journey through breast cancer, sepsis and other life’s tragic events.

I was so thrilled when Sharon asked me to attend/review the play held in a local High School hall.  The day arrived and I was so excited for Sharon.  Writing and publishing memoirs and supporting local charities is one thing, but staging a play is taking her story to a whole new level.  Sharon has proved that if you want to make dreams come true just keep on working towards them and sure enough it will happen.

The music started and the salsa dancers, dressed in black and red sashayed around the stage with the backdrop of Blackpool Salsa Weekend, Feb 2015.  We were soon then into a family life scene which portrayed mental and physical abuse and the first reference to the charity ‘Pathways’ (a local supporting agency for those experiencing domestic violence).  The scene quickly changes from normal daily household life – kids and mum doing their own thing – to a visit from an angry, controlling man (ex husband/child’s father).  It makes shocking viewing but highlights our need to be aware that this sort of relationship is a ‘normal’ part of existence in some households.

Back to the Salsa class and the audience began to laugh.  Being a beginner and meeting different members of the group the leading lady, Becky Easen as Lucy, is soon in the arms of a ‘show off’ and ‘daddy dancer’ and she was having trouble with knowing her left from right.

Scene changes were effortless and with minimal props one quickly knew where we were next.  Lucy was a Health Visitor, stressed out in the baby clinic with the workload and facing cut-backs in the service.  Another scene and we were in Magaluf on the beach and at the airport which afforded the audience more giggles.

A ticking clock featured several times throughout the production and also projector pictures on the screen behind the actors helping us to know the year and be aware of how precious time is.  This is a quote that was screened early on:

Not only were the cast giving their time freely but without realising it they probably didn’t bargain for the feeling of great elation at their first efforts of performance, whether it be in acting, dancing, singing, stage hand or showing the audience to their seats.  Sharon, will no doubt have set many on a road of self-discovery, be it empathy for the tragic circumstances of the story, performing ballet, playing the guitar, singing either alone or in a choir.  I was struck by the many talents before me.  The young girl named Summer who danced to a recording of Barbra Streisand – Papa can you hear me (from Yentl) must have melted many a heart with her beauty and suppleness and again later in her second solo dance.  Ali Gilbert, Sharon’s son, is also very talented playing the guitar and singing equal to that of an X Factor winner, and the ladies choir and soloist young Jenny in a red dress all all added beauty and uplifted our spirits.

Messages regarding the urgency of treatment for SEPSIS and the scariness of being treated for CANCER would have, I am sure, resonated with members of the audience who may have encountered these dreaded illnesses either for themselves or someone they care for.

The words of the final song “Even if we can’t find heaven, I’ll walk through hell with you, I’ll stand by you, you are not alone…” really got me.  When we are ill it may feel like we are very alone, but as cast members joined the choir to fill the stage it made you realise there are loads of people pulling you through – doctors, nurses, friends, colleagues, family, charitable organisations, hobby groups etc.

The event raised over £1,600 for sharing between local and national charities.  Sharon said I was there to ‘critique’ the show but there is no criticism to be found.  I am just full of admiration and feel that this show should be repeated, perhaps in another part of town, neighbouring towns etc.  The messages are clear – there is help out there; also you can have fun dancing, singing, writing or whatever your passion or hobby is as well as endure life’s scary moments; do what you can when you can.  TIME is precious, use it wisely and fully because in a Split Second life as you know it can change.

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