Roughshod on the road: familiar faces in Sunderland

Michael PerkinsOh The joys of being re-united with familiar faces… One of the great things about doing Roughshod for a second year is getting to return to places that I visited last year with Roughshod 2012.

So when I found out that we were heading back to Sunderland but this year with different organisers you can imagine my turmoil! Roughshod 2012 had a glorious time in Sunderland last year, with Father David and Father Andrew being a highlight of our stay. (Joe described them as Sunderland’s very own Morecambe and Wise on the old Roughshod blog).

But never fear,  we had fantastic organisers in ‘Youth For Christ’ and then St Gabriel’s over our two weeks. They more than lived up to the job (we even got a puppet show from some of the kids at St Gabriel’s). We were worked hard over our two weeks in Sunderland too, and it was great to be able to use our full range of sketches, workshops and other material in different places. In fact we really got to test our skills with the broadest age range, performing for both the St Gabriel’s Youth Group and Day Club For The Elderly on the same day. Such a range of activity isn’t  something we’re guaranteed at every Roughshod Base, and it keeps us on our toes, making sure we can still remember all our pieces. In fact I’ve started a tally of each sketch we perform – and if you’re wondering, Newcomer e.g ‘Gav the chav’ at the gates of heaven, is by far the most performed.

What was especially nice was to find out that we were brought back to Sunderland because of a solitary workshop we had done the year before. The organisers at St Gabriel’s had been so impressed that they’d invited us back for a whole week! A great compliment to the work of the company (not to mention the work of Roughshod 2012.)  Still, the icing on the Sunderland cake?  I discovered I was returning to stay with the previously mentioned Father David Chadwick who I had gotten to know the previous year. So at the end of the day it was fantastic to be able to relax, spend time and catch-up with people who were generous enough (or maybe mad enough) to put me up again! I was introduced to classic episodes of ‘Doctor Who’, re-introduced to the ‘who’s birthday today’ quiz and generally looked after incredibly well by both David and Andrew, or as they shall be forever remembered by Roughshod 2013 ‘The Fathers’.