We had been invited by the lovely Louis to visit the school he was the headteacher of , so off we went on another action packed day courtesy of spiral. Now I would be lying if I said I wasn't nervous , I don't speak a word of Spanish and was worried about communicating with the children, but I needn't have worried. As soon as we entered the classroom we were greeted with handmade Christmas cards from the children. Zoe used her Powers of persuasion ( her beautiful smile) got everyone up on their feet and began to teach them songs and games. I noticed that some young boys were not joining in so I ventured over with the idea that I could somehow entertain them, so they could feel as involved as the rest. I managed to ask the classroom assistant for paper and pens and set about writing my name on paper and drawing and encouraging the children to do the same. Soon it didn't matter about the language barrier as me and the little boys were off creating artistic masterpieces! I really enjoyed working with the little boys as it was a challenge at first but also very enjoyable , it made me think of my time at Strathmoore school earlier in the year and how much I loved it and working with characters such as Kaz!
After our visit to the school me and Zoe and ' Shotgun'carol headed to Lupa for our final food supplies. We were shopping to get the ingredients to make an English feast for 14 people so we had to get everything right. When we were talking to Carol in the car it was obvious the passion she has for her job as she told us about her life in Spiral and the work she does. With our shopping trolley filled to the max we headed back to the village for rehearsal.
The dress rehearsal was an event in itself as so many new people arrived , so it was hugging and kissing all round. However amongst the chaos a show began to form and we began to see how things would take form for the next day. After our rehearsal we all had our jobs to do in the cooking of the feast. I myself was in charge of gravy which I made from scratch with the helpful guidance of chef supreme , Chris ! Once all the food was cooked we all gathered around the table for a feast like no other! The feast was filled with delicious food, laughter and wine all in all a perfect evening. Me and my fellow students had been working on a song as a creative way to say thank you to Spiral for their hospitality and giving us the opportunity to work with them. We sang our own interpretation of ' the 12days of Christmas' an wrote a song called ' Thank you , Beliva' for the villagers. After our sing song it was time for bed as Saturday was show day and bound to be mad !
We spent the day making final adjustments to the space and cleaning up basically getting prepared for the evenings events. As usual we had our siesta and delicious meal but we didn't have long because we had to be back and ready to go for the evenings two performances. As part of the play they had real food on the table which we later got to sample but in the mean time we had to make sure none of it got eaten before hand. We all had jobs to do and mine and Hannah's was sound , which wasn't as complicated as we thought luckily we only had to press a button. Even though we weren't actually in it I did still get nervous for the actors as for many of them they had never acted before. The show was a complete success we had more than capacity in the hall and the audience thoroughly enjoyed the show as did the actors. Their was such characters in the show that it was their personality and enthusiasm that really brought the show to life. After two fantastic performances we began to pack away but the villagers wouldn't let us instead we all drank champagne and sampled their delicious food instead.
Once the champagne glasses were empty and everyone had made speech's it was our turn to perform so we took to the stage. It all got very emotional as both villagers and visitors began to get teary eyed, I think they really liked the song and someone even translated it into Spanish ! After the song the bagpipes started and so did the dancing ! We all had a great time dancing I even got to dance with the wonderful Cello! When we had danced so much we couldn't dance anymore we packed up all the equipment into the van. Once the room was back to normal it felt rather empty , so much had taken place in the space it was strange to see how it looked before. Once again champagne was given out to toast the nights success we then of course headed to the bar ! The bar itself was something else only a few chairs and a wood draw for a till ! It was great to relax and just chat while sipping ridiculously cheap martini ! The whole village was so welcoming that I felt really sad to be leaving the next day.
On out last day we had arranged to go to mass at the local church with some of the villagers. The church had its own band and choir and some of the actors from the show were in it. The mass ceremony was obviously very important to the community that went so we did our best to respect this. The church itself was extremely fascinating with lots of religious artefacts and paintings and even a model of Bethlehem. After mass we didnt have long to pack before leaving but we still managed a visit to cello's home and were shown were we could stay if we wanted to come back again!
It felt so strange to leave the village as we had been thrown into the deep end and I had loved it . I actully didnt want to leave and would of loved to stay for longer. As we drove out of the village I couldnt help but stare at the beautiful scenery we were leaving behind. So we were on our way to Santander early so we could take a look at Carols hometown. Santander is a strange city in some respects as its scenery appears to juxtapose itself , you have a marina leading to the sea and then the snow topped mountains but it worked and was a stunning sight to behold.
We went to a wonderful christmas market were I bought myself a delightul headpiece , I just couldnt resist. A cup of green tea later and it was time to go to the airport and say our goodbyes. Once in airport it got rather emotional as we said our goodbyes and thanked Carol and Martha for our time in spain and thanked them for being so wonderful and accomidating. Before we knew it we were back on the plane homeward bound to England just in time for christmas.
I am eternally grateful for my time in spain and for the opportunity , it is a experience I will never forget. I learnt so much from Spiral from their presentations on spain to the practical things we got involved with. Working with Spiral has really opened my eyes to Community theatre and what comminuity theatre can be. In that one week alone I learnt so much and was just great to be apart of. It was great to work with people of all ages and really get involved with the community. My time is spain was wonderful I was luckily enough to meet wonderful people and have a fatastic time , working with Spiral has made me think about my future and opened my eyes to another branch of theatre.