Break a leg in Laroles

Laroles? Where’s that then?

Not too far from me actually, here in the Alpujarras. A stage backdrop of winding roads, leading to dramatic drops and stunning views.

Sleepy and tranquil, most visit here for a taste of tranquility, a chance to wind down.

Last weekend, however, there was a bit of a buzz…..

It was caused by Anna Kemp, and her mighty troupe. As they sing out in Les Miserables, (she) Dreamed a Dream.

And it seems if you persevere, dreams really can come true!

The Project

The Project

The Cast

The troupe? A cast made entirely from villagers of this little pueblo, merry men – and mujeres  – a willing Mayor, and many hands.

Anna, who lives in Madrid and holidays as much as possible in Larolesfirst came to the Alpujarras because she was working on the film Al Sur de Granada, based on the life of writer Gerald Brenan.  

Anna on opening night

Anna on opening night

The First Act

Spending Summers in Laroles with the local kids and creating little theatre groups, led to her bright idea of something bigger, something for the whole community, and somewhere inspired by the legendary Rowena Cade and the amazing Minack open air theatre in Cornwall. (*Tip.If you haven’t been there – then go!)

So, inspired by the natural Eras (old threshing circles) splayed around the outskirts of the village, Anna and her crew set to work, rebuilding and refurbishing the old stonework  – hard work too. But with the backing of the local Mayor, and the strong backs of the villagers, they have finished the stage area, and it is truly a stage with a view.

An Era in action in times gone by

An Era in action in times gone by


Last weekend we went to see the culmination of community effort – so far….

Anna, her family, the entire village and friends were there to welcome everyone and reveal the result. We had a lovely evening, under the coloured lights as the balmy evening crept into night. We chatted with both Anna and Manuel Escobosa, the helpful, friendly, and facilitating Mayor, as well as do-ers, shakers and movers from Madrid, and the locals.

Whilst the adults tucked into Migas, Sardinas and Tinto de Verano, I noticed the kids on the stage area, dancing, singing, and performing their own little production, stars in the making!

Everyone is now keen to get the theatre off the ground, and we plan to return on the 16th of this month to see the local kids tread the boards.

Picking the corn from the era into a measuring trough in days gone by

Picking the corn from the era into a measuring trough in days gone by

The Final Act?

They will of course succeed, it’s a brilliant and inspired idea, just perfect for a little pueblo in the Alpujarras, bringing in tourism and breathing life into the area. This community project still requires more awareness of the project, so feel free to shout and share!

There are still major expenses, lighting and sound engineering is not cheap, if you feel you can help out in any way then have a look through these links and contact Anna. or just go and see the project as it happens, get involved in a great plot and be part of the limelight!images

Anna and Co., take a bow!

Reconnecting and Lost Connections

This year seems to be my year for meeting up with old friends, virtual friends, and new friends.  The trouble with social networks like Facebook and Twitter is that you assume people are exactly where you left them, not yesterday, but in my case,oh, 20+ years ago.  Why my life would muddle on and I still expect others to be in the same place I’m not quite sure!

Sometimes, I leave it too late, and have been incredibly saddened by the discovery of ‘way too young’ deaths of once close friends, you just don’t expect it.

I’m the sort of person who doesn’t really do girly, or close groups of female friends, I’m really crap at ‘staying in touch’, I just think if a relationship is good enough, you will always pick it up again, and be able to laugh and share a beer as though you had only met up yesterday.




Although, looking at that hair bear bunch – inc me –  in 1979, perhaps I should leave well enough alone!

This year I went for a long morning walk and a natter in Ireland with Denise, we last chatted in 1985, but had no trouble picking up where we left off. Or recognising each other! We had so much to say we forgot to take a photo.

In Berja, Almeria, last month, lunch was taken sobremesa style, with Elaine and Tomas, not seen since 1991. Again we talked so much we forgot to take a photo, there’s a pattern here, yeah, I kissed that Blarney stone!

On the 3rd of August, I’ll see Sue, my Facebook friend and sharer of posts extraordinaire, we’re going to see Anna Kemp and her exciting open air teatro project in Laroles –  I look forward to meeting her too!

Next week I was supposed to meet up with Kiersten and Richard of Spanish Highs, but the best laid plans have been waylaid – understandably – by a personal crisis so we shall simply take a rain check as they say in the movies and re-schedule. Murtas will still be here! So looking forward to it too.

Kathy, I won’t see you again – but you’re always here somewhere, I miss your mad ways, your great ideas to get us out of an hour or two at work, your friendship, and of course falling out with you every five minutes.♥

So, I wonder who I’ll meet ‘in the flesh’ next? You’d better lock that door!