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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.

We did it!!!

What can I say other than we did it, not only raising £1800 for three local cancer charities but also awareness about The UK Sepsis Trust and Pathway project . We also raised money for CRUK  with the money raised in the interval  I purchased 53 pounds worth of fleeces for star fish project to hand over to the homeless  from the CRUK shop in Tamworth. I had a survivor tree at the performance where people donated money to talk about surviving cancer and placing a tag on the tree to celebrate life, this is now in the church in Tamworth and more tags can be added for this cause.

I have been a bit quiet for me I do know that but I have been busy reflecting on the events of last week The first ever performance of “SPLIT SECOND” my dream and vision became a reality. I can honestly say a successful reality,I’m so proud and very humbled at the community spirit that actually was the ethos to this play.

Split Second raised a full house of money for the local chosen cancer charities, thanks to you the Audience who bought tickets to come to support us and see our play/show.

I had some very powerful messages I wanted to portray with the help of the Arts and actors interpretation rather than just my usual written word.

Firstly the skills of the actors, Becky Easen Terry O’Neill Greg Hughes The children Summer, Nathan, Carly Nicklin Joshua Hankey Our very bad guy Rob Adcock. Oly Mason Guy Chambers Conrad Slater Maureen Hankey jenny fallon James Duncan Fredrick Vanstone Rachel Dixon Yoland Farrell Ali Gilbert Helen Oreilly Marie Whyte and me

The joy that music brings us as we watched the fun and happiness shine through the salsa moves performed by Alison Harper Havana-Dance and Stafford Salsa The emotional interpretation as Summer danced and congratulations to Summer for her most enchanting choreography. Finally the touching scene when Jenny Fallon touched all our hearts and souls singing “Stand by You ” by Rachel Platten, accompanied by Hannah woodroofe pianist and The Tamworth ladies choir

With the excellence of the Directors Yoland Farrell Rachel Dixon and the enthusiasm of my stage crew. James Lawson James Hankey Matt Clifton Mary Lynn William morris and Alistair

The messages come through loud and clear to our Audience

The way life can change in a Split Second , whether that be a change for the worst or the better.

The way cancer changes you and affects those close to you.

Recognising the signs of Sepsis has become high profile, but because of the Speed Sepsis can also change lives and if not detected quick enough can be fatal, The Sepsis Trust is keen on educating the public as well as health professionals.

The story of Split second many knew was inspired by the events in my life leading to the cancer diagnosis.

I say inspired as I must clarify that the Domestic violence was inspired mainly by the unfortunate experience I have gained in my working career.

I have learned that writing things you know about, is imperative, especially when covering the subject of Domestic violence. This is important in relation to supporting people with the correct advice and information in the follow up from giving out powerful messages and the conscious knowledge of protection of women and their safety is paramount. I do understand men are exposed to this too

Even split second far outreached my expectations.

It has also given me the inspiration for my next play. I hope to take everything I have learnt from the split second journey and at least make things a bit easier for my cast and crew.

I hope everyone has a wonderful happy xmas.

 

2018 WATCH THIS SPACE

Proceeds from the sales of the DVDs of the show will be donated to The Pathway Project and The UK Sepsis Trust. Also personal gifts to  those  I know  are enduring cancer treatment this xmas.

 

Split Second Performance

Our Split Second play has almost sold out!!! Only a hand full of tickets available for £8 each. There are two Performances on Saturday 18th November at The Wilnecote High School Theatre, B77 5LF.

The play, which has been written by myself is to portray many messages including the value of healthy relationships, living life to the full and the power of music and dance as a therapy.

The money raised by these performances will be split between a number of charities, Tamworth well Being and Cancer Support Centre, Breast Friends Sutton Coldfield and Tamworth and St Giles Hospice, who all helped me personally in one way or another in my own cancer journey.

The Survivors Tree

The CRUK survivors tree –  The message this Xmas was to give Strength and hope to those diagnosed with cancer that there is life after cancer . The baubles all have a name and type of cancer With year of diagnosis. There was a host of trees , which were all on display in St Edithas church Tamworth, People voted for their Favorite tree and I won the individual trophy for 2016. £50 was raised for CRUK.

 

Pathway Project

Our Pathway Project tin is still in action at the Hunt and Gather shop in Lichfield. This charity is close to my heart. From when I was working as a health visitor and supported women and children. Through a traumatic unsettling time Regain their worth and life back again . Turning victims into survivors.

Please visit the Pathway Project website for the wonderful work that they do.

Ali and Movember Fundraising

This is my son Ali, he released a single and held a charity night for the Movember foundation Category Men’s mental health and suicide prevention, he raised a fantastic £350 for this great cause!

 

Please check out the links for the charity single and more about the event – also please like his Facebook page for more music and events – https://www.facebook.com/Ali-Gilbert-Music-140341122818016/?fref=ts

http://www.tamworthherald.co.uk/singer-s-mission-to-help-fight-mental-illness/story-29844427-detail/story.html

Alzheimer’s society fund raising and supporting Raynor Stock-Lynch climbing Kilamanjaro

I spent a day in Planter’s Garden Center Raising money for Alzheimer’s Society by Book signing, the tin is still in action raising money for Rayor’s Kilimanjaro Challenge in Heritage Rooms the Mitchell craft centre, Sutton Coldfield.