Murder in the Main at the St Leonard's Centre

On behalf of the Basingstoke Lions I’d like to sincerely thank Ann Davis and The Oakley Pantomime Society (TOPS) for staging this performance on our behalf. And I’d also like to thank the Oakley residents who turned out on such an awful night to support it. Truly village folk have more spirit than “townies” and laugh at AMBER weather warnings. It was a sell out and everyone got there. Marvellous!!

I don’t think any of the Lions Club members had ever experienced such a production and there was some trepidation about what it entailed. But the “Crime Writers” quiz got us off to a good start with table partners happily getting to know each other and contributing answers. So, when the main event kicked off we were up and running. Gradually the plot unfolded as the peccadillos of the characters were revealed – bribery, corruption, infidelity – all the little things that make life interesting!

The big surprise for the Lions was the appearance of our immediate past President in the cast. One immediately felt that her Machiavellian character (she’s quite sweet really) required very little in the way of acting skill, and it came as no surprise whatsoever when she was duly murdered. But, by whom? We had to wait until we’d had supper for the dénouement. The suspense was killing!

Over supper each table had to decide who they most favoured as the murderer and why. There were only five people on our table and none of us agreed about anything! Eventually we decided our choice by majority decision. Talk about a camel being a horse designed by a committee!!!!!!! We got it wrong, both individually and collectively! But what fun!!! It was a great evening’s entertainment and our spirits weren’t even damped by having to dig the cars out of the snow at the end of the evening.

Thank you again TOPS. I don’t yet know by how much our charity account will benefit from the evening’s shenanigans. But I do know that we also owe a huge vote of thanks to Perspectives Consulting for donating the bottles of wine as the winners’ prizes.

Lions Clubs International, of which we are a part, is a great organisation because it provides a forum through which individuals can help their local communities. Each Club is responsible for itself and the way that it responds to local needs. In the past we have supported major charity projects. But most now have their own fundraising teams. Nowadays we focus our resources on problems brought to our attention by social services, citizen’s advice bureaux and other reputable organisations. It is truly amazing how many people have problems which are resolved by our Welfare Committee with limited resources.

So, many thanks to all contributors once again.