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Shirley spirit saves the day at variety show

IT was a case of the show must go on - when the organisers of a production held at Shirley

IT was a case of the show must go on - when the organisers of a production held at Shirley Institute resorted to candlelight after a power cut plunged them into darkness last Sunday.

The Annual Variety Show, which kicked off at 2pm on November 16 at the venue in Bills Lane with an audience of about 110 people was just about to start when there was a total electricity blackout in the area of Shirley surrounding Bills Lane.

Malcolm Turner, Chairman of Shirley Institute, said: "We got a lot of candles from down the cellar and put them around the stage and just carried on. The whole thing was a real success."

"The majority of people were senior citizens in the audience and it made them feel nostalgic, reminding them of the war years when the lights went out during the Blitz. It was like going back in time."

"Despite the power cut, everything ran along fine and at the end of the evening spectators came up to me and said how unusual it was."

The power supply was resumed at approximately 4.30pm just 30 minutes before the end of the show.

Sitting in the audience was the Deputy Mayor of Solihull, Councillor Gary Allport and his wife, Gail, the Deputy Mayoress.

The vocalists, performing in the event, Dave Barry and Maggie O'Hara had to sing without the aid of any instruments powered by electricity and everything was done manually.

Refreshments for the show were provided by a water heating facility in a camper van which belonged to Dave Barry's family and was stationed outside the building.

Speaking after the event, the Deputy Mayor, Cllr Allport, said: "Everyone did marvellously well to put the show on, they brewed up the tea and coffee from a camper van and even though there was no electricity until about 4.30pm, there was lots of Shirley spirit in evidence with everyone helping each other."



Cathrina Hulse
Multimedia Journalist
Annette Belcher
Multimedia Journalist
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