Blog: The Siege of Westacre
0945hrs: A large number of vehicles are arriving in the car park. They appear to have coordinated their arrival. This is most unusual.
0955hrs: I have been observing these vehicles for some ten minutes now. Their behaviour is most irregular. They enter the car park, eject a child, and leave. This is evidently cause for alarm.
1010hrs: They have entered the building. These children are obviously invaders, intent on taking over our theatre. I must establish a plan of action.
1015hrs: My worst fears have been realised. Within minutes they had taken over the studio, the rehearsal space and much of the intervening area. There was little time to respond. A number of us have established a stronghold in the office. There is no way of knowing what will happen next. We must prepare ourselves for a long siege.
1130hrs: The children appear to have begun a reconnoitre of the surrounding lawn.
1135hrs: They are practising military manoeuvres. Cartwheels seem to be heavily involved. We intend to retaliate with rolly pollies.
1200hrs: Plan aborted! There are more of them than we realised! We are heavily outnumbered. I fear there is little we can do other than lock ourselves in the office and wait out the siege. We have rations of cake. I only hope it lasts.
1500hrs: The children appear to be departing. Could it be that we have survived?
1525hrs: All the children are gone. We’ve made it! Finish all the cake!
0950hrs: It seems we were too hasty in our celebrations. The children are returning, in the same formation as yesterday. We are already barricading ourselves in.
1000hrs: Alas! Much of my regiment are absent. I can only hope that they are far from here, in a place of safety. Andy, Isobel and I are all that remain.
1045hrs: Andy and Isobel are to fight their way through to the van. I have tried to persuade them otherwise, but they are determined.
1115hrs: I am alone. Trapped in this office, with no way to contact the outside world except via the telephone that keeps ringing. I don’t know why it does that.
1130hrs: The supplies are dwindling – tea, coffee and washing-up liquid are all that remain. I shall have to be strict with my rations if I am to survive.
1200hrs: It is clear that I have no hope. My only solace is that one day, this journal may be found and turned into a big-budget action movie, with Arnold Schwarzenegger playing the leading role. I think I’d like that.
1205hrs: I can bear it no longer. I must see the outside of this office one last time. This is the end. Tell my wife I love her.
1230hrs: I have decided to stop being silly and actually write a blog post. Here goes:
I think the most important thing to establish is that I am not married. Something which both me and my wife are very pleased about.
I think the second most important thing to establish is that we are not under any kind of siege.
There are however, a great may children at the theatre. We are in the middle of our half-term workshops for youngsters, led by Camilla, Hayley and Charly, all of whom are doing a stellar job.
But they’re not important.
What is important is that all the kids appear to be having a marvellous time. It certainly sounds that way. We aim to give them the most positive experience we can; educational and (more importantly) enjoyable.
In fact, we hope they enjoy it so much that they book for our workshops in August – Dramalive! for 9-11 year olds (25th-28th August) and Midsummer Mayhem, for 12-16 year olds (3rd-7th August). I mention it just on the off-chance you are young. Or know someone who is. Always good to see new faces.
Blatant marketing aside, everyone at Westacre is very dedicated to our various programmes for youths; six year-olds to undergraduates, and everything in between. And we really do hope that everyone who comes through our door feels welcomes and has a great time.
Believe it or not, I was once youthful. And I have hazy memories of coming to Westacre for the first time as a workshop participant, knowing nothing about theatre. Now I work here, and speculate with horror about what would have happened had I continued studying chemistry. No offence to chemists, who probably make up about 90% of the readership, knowing my luck.
The kids have gone for another jaunt around the lawn. It isn’t much of a secret that I have no great fondness for children – I often go to great lengths to avoid them, and for these three days I am remaining what I consider a safe distance. But it is nice to see them enjoying themselves from my perch. It will be eerily quiet when the workshop is over.
Many thanks must go out to the workshop leaders; Hayley, Charly and Camilla, who (by the way) has her own theatre company – MissAdventures Theatre Company. Go and have a look at the website.
It sounds like the workshop is wrapping up for the day, so I think I should wrap up this blog. It’s much too long, anyway.