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Return to Gauda Prime 2011 - Report by Lorna

Return to Gauda Prime 2011


RTGP was one of the best conventions I have attended. OK, there weren't many attendees, but that made it special. I have based the report below on the emails I sent to Lurena who couldn't go to it. I am not a late night person, so I missed the discussions on the Galactic war. Someone else can write about that.

I arrived at the hotel quite early, had some lunch and was able to check into my room. After that Gary arrived with his costumes, so I helped him unload them from the car into his room. Brad and Paula were arriving from America that morning, and when Brad phoned and said they were on the train to Oxford, both Gary and I went to meet them. It was easy to recognise them and we hugged and almost immediately started talking as if we had known each other for years. While they were having a shower and tidying up, Gary was able to set his display in the Conference Room. Fortunately Hazel had arrived, which was good as she is the one who always does the fancy things, making sure that the costumes are displayed at their best. Brad, Paula, Gary, Hazel and I were sitting in the foyer when Michael came and started chatting to us, so that was a wonderful start to our weekend. 

The hotel prices were a little expensive so only eight of us had dinner there. The organisers took the guests out and some of the other attendees went to find a cheaper meal, but after they returned we sat in the bar talking. I retired to bed early, but everyone else had a great time discussing our show!

The hotel breakfast was really good, everything you could want to eat laid out in buffet style. I had cold meat, olive bread, fruit and a croissant. The others had the English "fry-up"!

In the Convention Room, Gary's costumes were already in place. Now we had The Horizon desk set up and Exterminator brought in his models. Clanger also brought an Avon costume, so the room looked really nice.

The proceedings started with Kevin Davies telling us about the day. He was a great MC and with his son Liam was making a DVD of the event.

The morning started with Michael and Gareth reading poems and prose, which was really delightful. We then had the Big Finish people talking about their project, and playing a piece from Michael's recording. He sounded just like Vila all those years ago. Following this we had a buffet lunch which was absolutely delicious. I have never had such good food at a convention before. Over lunch they showed the blooper tape. I have seen this many times, but it is always fun to see it with other fans. Then it was the charity auction. I was a bit worried about this as, with only 30 people, I didn't think there would be much bidding. This was the case most times, with only 1 person bidding. However most things went and I think Clare was pleased. We then had the autograph session, which was lovely because there were so few people queuing was not a problem.

After the autograph session, I decided to go to my room for a nap and a shower. Then I went back to the Con Room to see what was going on, and there was Stephen Greif! I had missed his autograph session but did manage to get a photo. Winnie wanted to get a photo of Gareth shooting Stephen but didn't want to ask, so I did, and it was a great photo!

Lurena had made me a costume based on the outfit that Jenna was wearing in the first two episodes, so now it was time to put it on and go to the Gala Dinner. It had been set up with one long table, so we had some good conversations. The food was lovely but I didn't eat all mine as I can't digest food that time of night, but that didn't matter. Michael and Gareth, with the assistance of Brad, put on a brilliant cabaret act.

Sunday was the visit to Pyrton Village Hall. The first thing we saw when we arrived were Red Kites circling above. They really are spreading across Britain! Beautiful birds.

It was intended to film a short skit on the scene between Blake and Avon in Terminal. As Paul couldn't be at the Convention, Michael did a very good impression of Avon. Kevin, Scott and Liam were very busy in the next hour setting things up. A bed was put up for Gareth with a drip feed of whiskey! Then all the lighting, cameras etc. It took a long time, but it was so interesting to see the process of filming. Gareth and Michael were very good and I hope some day this does make it onto a DVD.

Then we went for lunch at a pub a short distance away. We had a typical British roast meal as a carvery. It was very nice, and Brad and Paula enjoyed the experience. Kevin did some more filming, including interviewing us all. Then it was over. Only a couple of days, but they were days to remember for a long time.
Thank you, Clare and the team.



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