PEOPLE who have the courage to perform and entertain on a stage have my utmost admiration and respect.

Apart from a couple of cameo appearances at the Westonzoyland cubs, scout, brownies and guides Gang Show back in the late 1970s and in Westonzoyland Primary School’s production of The Wind in the Willows, my stage career ended as quickly as it had started.

Of course, it didn’t help that I could not dance or sing, my timing was terrible, I was very shy and lacked confidence. Ever since then, performing in front of a live audience has always absolutely terrified me.

There are so many people I know though who absolutely love performing and who are very good at doing it. Some are involved with carnival and others are not, and they regularly perform in shows in theatres and venues in the town and around the county.

Bridgwater is full of artistic and theatrical talent right across the age spectrum, and I believe one of the main reasons for this is our carnival tradition and related activities.

We are so fortunate with the number of high quality stage shows we have the opportunity to watch in Bridgwater. Just last month our carnival clubs were back on the Town Hall stage entertaining the public during the Old Folks Show, and listening to the feedback from some of those who attended, the standard of the performances were better than even.

And looking ahead, Muses Theatre Productions are presenting The Producers at The McMillan Theatre between 12 and 16 April, followed by Bridgwater Operatic Society’s production of Priscilla Queen of the Desert later in May. Both involve individuals who are involved with our carnival activities, and I am really looking forward to watching the shows.

We are of course making arrangements for our eagerly anticipated 2022 Bridgwater Carnival Concerts, which return to Bridgwater Town Hall between 3 and 15 October following a Pandemic related two year pause.

As part of this, we have started the search for our carnival concert front of curtain acts for the two-week show. We are seeking vocalists, musicians, comedians, magicians, dancers and all round general entertainers who enjoy performing on a stage and in front of an audience for a five-minute slot. If you think you have what it takes and would be interested in auditioning, we would love to hear from you.

lease contact Anne Middleton at or complete the relevant application form available from The auditions take place on Tuesday 24 May, and the closing date for applications is Tuesday 17 May.

Finally, I would like to close by talking about a different stage altogether. This is the worldwide stage Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival will be on when it takes part in the Queen’s Jubilee Pageant in London on Sunday 5 June.

Work on the ‘happy and glorious’ themed cart is progressing well, and nearly 200 carnivalites are involved with the prestigious project. During the pageant, 32 costumed performers will sing and dance on the cart, with a further 110 dancing in the street in front of our entry. It really will be a sight to behold, and everyone is incredibly excited to be involved in this once in a life time experience.

The stage doesn’t get much bigger than being watched by a worldwide and international audience, and as always our carnivalites will do our carnival, the town, and the South West proud.

Until the next time…

Written by Dave Stokes, publicity director