Tipton panto group carry on despite challenges of pandemic
- Credit: Shan Merritt
In spite of the lockdowns and Covid restrictions, Tipton Players and Pantomime Society (TIPPS) has continued to be active, writes Kyle Hayes - chair of TIPPS.
But it was earlier in the year when our lives were all a show, “Detention!” was staged to considerable acclaim. During that show a raffle was held and donations were generously given for donations to two charities. One was Children’s Hospice Southwest which was nominated by the children in the performance and the other was The Royal British Legion. The latter was selected because the numbers in the show were recounting life during the Second World War.
Very shortly after that we were in lockdown and all activities ceased. That meant we were unable to have presentation ceremonies where the donations were handed over. These ceremonies are good for the charity and good for TIPPS. Therefore £308.50 has been sent with a cheque and a simple note to both. It is a time when all charities need every donation they can get.
But, like a phoenix from the ashes of lockdown TIPPS rose to present two wonderful afternoons of entertainment. Like all other societies we had to cancel everything and go into a veritable form of hibernation. However, we have the luxury of being able to perform outside, so TIPPS al Fresco was devised.
It was TIPPS version of Talking Heads. Groups of people gathering for rehearsals was no longer possible but if everyone learnt their part at home and then came along and performed alone – or with a partner who was in their bubble – all would conform with government guidelines. Only 25 would be allowed in the audience so that physical distancing could be followed, one way systems, phone numbers taken for track and trace, hands sanitised as one came through the gate and all the chairs in separate groups, named and sanitised to the nth degree.
After two performances the donations which were so generously given raised £126 for Devon Freewheelers. Well done TIPPS!