Last night saw our Town Hall properly open its doors for the first time in over 50 years. And what a night it was.
Mountain Music, performed by the phenomenally talented Little Bulb Theatre, tells the story of European settlers setting out to find a new life on foreign shores, taking their musical traditions with them. There their songs and melodies merge with the musical styles of the Cherokee and the African slaves to become the music of Apalachian Mountains and, in more modern times, the globally known songs and and names from Nashville.
Parts 1 and 2 of Mountain Music present a portait of Europe where people seek an escape from poverty, freedom of religion and adventure in foreign lands. Sold the dream of America, they embark on the Davey Crocket upon which conditions are somewhat worse than they had hoped. Eventually arriving in America they go forth in search of new beginnings, taking their music with them where it evolves to tell the story of their new lives. Part 3 jumps forward in time to the era of recorded music with portraits of, mostly, long gone performers returning to entertain their audience one more time.
The range, quality and energy of the music was astounding. We laughed and laughed, not least at improvised moments when things maybe didn’t quite go to plan! Some of us danced. Some shared a whiskey (how often does the cast pour the audience a dram?!). We all loved it, and Little Bulb loved us!
We had a full house at the Town Hall. Our chair, Emma, welcomed everyone and in so doing revealed her inner-self to be a stand-up performer. The Bear provided us with a bar. Volunteers staffed the doors. Goodwill came in abundance as we embraced the return to use of one of our most iconic buildings.
In reopening the Town Hall Wiveliscombe has scaled a mountain. With the music of Little Bulb we celebrated that mountain: “Country roads, take me home to the place I belong, Wiveliscombe, mountain mamma, take me home, country roads“. It was almost heaven; an evening to remember for many years to come.