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John R -

Chocfest 2018 capsule review. That was fun!

Chocfest slightly more detailed review: That was lots of fun!

We’d arranged to pick Martin up at noon, and arrived at the site at about 1 pm. Submitted CCCC entry, the first time I’ve tried the recipe and the first time I’ve entered the contest. It looked ok but will it taste ok?...

Dropped bags off in hall, saw lots of people, had chips for lunch. Juggled for a bit, didn't join in the games, did pass a little with Dr Alice and Alasdair. Rescued Balancing Kiwis - thanks to Alasdair for bringing it along! May have set a new pb with five rings, exactly 100 catches, but it wasn't a clean finish.

Paul Silver fell over and got a painful wrist. All sympathy to him, hope it's not broken and heals quick.

Sandwiches from co-op for tea. Played a round of Rhino Hero and didn’t lose. Rescued cake tray since Lorri and the other jury members had finished their work. Then it was time for

the show! One bad tech issue, no sound for the first act after the interval due to laptop software updates. A nightmare for the tech desk and the act but we eventually recovered with impromptu live banjo and audience sing-along, and it was sorted out in time for the last two acts. A good line up and spread of props and disciplines. Rosie Kelly compered.

First half was Georgie Price, with many hats - same routine as at Durham. Worth seeing twice, I do like a nice hat. Imly, also from down south, with a one to five hoop routine which was new to me. Shiny hoops, lovely costume and character. Oscar, with a dragon staff, and a dandy costume (unless he always dresses that sharply which is not impossible) - Smooth contact staff, maybe a little repetitive and would be stronger if a shorter routine? Greeny with a clubs and acro - some nice ground work integrated with catches and club rolls, a single headstand and rolling clubs moment which was astonishing.

Cake results - didn’t place, bah humbug! When I eventually got to taste my own cake, it was clearly massively undercooked, so fair enough. The goo tasted good though!

After the interval, David suffered the sound issues with great grace. Three ball mixed contact and juggling, lots of slow gentle stalls and rolls, and again a very dandyish stage presentation. Tiff entered on a walking ladder, a new and terrifying toy, before giving us a tour of every prop in the suitcase, complete with Brunn finish. A fabulous performer and still ludiccrously good at the technical juggling as well (we saw seven balls here, incredibly solid). Cai Lear with shaker cups and up to 5 beanbags, which vanish and reappear as they are clawed and thrown. Good act but his stage costume hid halfof his face and I’m not sure why. The strong Leeds presence in the show was rounded out with Jon Peat performing a new routine, Firefly. We were asked not to disclose too much about this one. It’s a good routine, it got a standing ovation, and if you’ve never seen Jon going for a double ass-catch wearing nothing but a gold lamé codpiece, well... you still won’t, he remains fully clothed at all times! Thanks to Claire as showrunner and the whole Chocfest team for a great day.

Orinoco - - Parent

Yay for new festival reviewers! Thanks for that John. Congrats on the PB too.

JonPeat - - Parent

Astonishing! I have been beaten to The Edge for writing a review! Well done John!

My mini convention roundup/timeline:

Breakfast: The Red Bus Cafe was open! Big breakfast plate was barely manageable, 3x sausage, 2x egg, hash browns, black pudding, bacon, mushrooms, tomatoes, beans and toast. (Saying that, I also had one of Jenni's sausages and finished her tomatoes...) Mark's sandwich was as big as his head. It was awesomely gluttonous.
No lunch required = more juggling time = genius

Convention: Dumped our stuff in the hall, we were the first to arrive. Hijacked the music system in time for Fever to arrive (took a long time before someone objected to my playlist and killed it!). Good solo club session, slowly getting back into it again. Mark and I had a hatting session where I think we both improved. I did manage a super fluky run of maybe 25 catches with 5 but sadly couldn't get close again, but it was witnessed! Had an excellent passing session with Becky. Worked up to 10 club double double, enjoyed some nice runs of 9 ultimate's and was surprised she hadn't tried 9 clubs on singles. I felt a bit sore and bruised so had a break before joining in some combat in the hall which had begun (a strange cure for feeling bruised and sore now that I write it down...) It was fun.

Games was run by Rob and was good fun and well done. I won 5 ball endurance and the juggling high jump and was well pleased. Cat and I did pretty well in long distance passing but we were all trashed by Dan and Josh who ran out of hall. Club balance endurance made my eyes water again. I let Greeny down during stredging. Cat won hoop gladiators, epic.

Combat tournament:I thought I was doing well in qualifications and then I lost quite a few games at the end, seeded 4th. Was then knocked out by Kilian after quite a long drawn out match which ended 5-4. Disappointed but it let me enjoy the rest of the tournament. Really enjoyed watching Josh making it to the final and having an excellent battle with Adrian who took the crown in the end. Well done to Kilian for taking 3rd place and Callum 4th after another very hard fought match up.

Show stuff: I went along to the show hall and got changed into my gold lamé codpiece (JOKE). Sorted music with Claire, chatted with Phoebe about setting up my props and then generally mooched about and acted suspiciously much to Claire's amusement. Tiff and I warmed up and I practised a bit in the green room so I missed the first half of the show. Found out about the music disaster which was cleanly solved by introducing a replacement laptop into the mix. Always bring your music on multiple devices and in multiple formats just in case the technology says no! I ate cake during the interval, that was lots of fun. Congratulations to Tom et al who won the cake competition again by sheer brute force. (They are judges next year so that everyone else has a chance. ;-))
I was overjoyed with how my routine went and I would like to apologise to everyone I lied to during the day (and previous few weeks), but it had exactly the desired effect that I was aiming for.

Convention end: Cut my finger scraping the ice off the car window and managed to bleed copiously all over my jeans before I noticed. Made it home in one piece despite a very memorable black icy skid on the road outside our house.


Chocfest: I really enjoyed the day and had a wonderful time. Thank you to all of the Yorkies (past and present) who come together and make Chocfest such a success! See you all next year!
Cheers, Jon

P.S: This is a mini convention round up. I will still be writing full convention reviews for the IJA Ezine Magazine, but only for conventions not already featured.

 

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