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As the sun shone and summer finally chose to cast its smile in Poole’s direction, Lighthouse: OUTSIDE enjoyed a sensational opening weekend.

Following the success of last year’s inaugural season of performances outdoors in the Amphitheatre to the side of the building, the decision to extend and expand the event this year seems to have been well and truly vindicated by last Saturday’s storming first day that left two very different audiences well satisfied and thoroughly entertained. 

But it could have been a very different story…

On Friday afternoon it became clear that all was not quite as it should have been with the new staging. True to form though, the technical team worked out the problem and even though they carried on into the night to make sure the stage was properly set and the overhead covering fully secure, by Saturday morning everything was in place for the first show at 2pm – Comedy Club 4Kids, in which seasoned stand up comedians do their thing, without the rude bits for a younger audience. 

All was well as the teams arrived at Lighthouse to get the Out There Bar and Grub marquee ready for action. News arrived that two of the three comedians – Paul Duncan McGarrity and Matt Highton – had left London at 10am in the same car; the third, Alison Spittle, was coming by train.

The young audience and their accompanying grown ups were already in the arena when, with 30 minutes left before show time the funny men reported they were still an hour away and the train was running (late) to an emergency timetable

Fortunately, many of expectant audience quickly discovered the simple joys of rolling down the hill and were at best only vaguely aware of the announcement that the show would go up at 2.30pm, half an hour late. 

Meanwhile, the Out There Bar and Grub marquee was doing brisk business by the time the talent arrived by car and literally stepped out of the car and on to the stage for their first live performances in more than a year. They stormed it. 

The end of the afternoon saw excited audience members hopping over a comedian lying prone as the responsible adults gazed on contentedly in the warm sunshine. 

And while nobody is claiming the audience for Live and Unheard matched the young contenders for energetic participation, the reception was just as heartfelt and the appreciation every bit as warm. Just to see live music again was quite a treat. 

And we get to do it all again this weekend with the brilliant Upswing whose Circus Flavours showcases a range of circus skills that the performers then teach to audience members in the subsequent ‘have a go’ workshops that follow each of the six performances.
Published 2 June 2021