The die was cast ....... the first night set. There was no turning back now .......
Even in those early naive days, we still realised that it was going to be impossible to perform the entire movie, so it was decided to pick out selected bits which the audience might appreciate. In hindsight we were probably absolutely terrible (I dont think "probably" even comes into it!) with very ropey costumes, and definitely not enough rehearsals before hand ...... but then Belfast hadnt had a RHPS performance group before, ............. the whole thing was meant to add to the fun of the film .......... and after all ......... the audience didnt have to pay anything extra for the experience!
Memories of that first night must start with the audience. What an audience! The film was being shown in the larger QFT 1, as opposed to the usual venue the smaller, QFT2. The larger seated approximately 240 ............ and it was full .......... and the audience were absolutely mad, or should I say MAD! They shouted, and danced.
Lip Service really doubted whether this was such a good idea after all ........ but the show had to go on, we couldnt turn and run! After the pre-show numbers the idea was to have a costume competition, this had been advertised in advance in an effort to encourage people to dress up. A selection of people were plucked from the audience in costume by group members and brought to the front. The winner was to be chosen in the time honoured tradition......... the clap-ometer. To be more exact it was two pieces of cardboard, one with a scale drawn on it the other cut in the shape of an arrow, and ably operated by Roisin (Columbia) and Leanne (Magenta).
Precedents set that night which the group would maintain operate for the years to come, included the free issue of a Lip Service Newsheet, with current Rocky information both stage and screen, Virgin Certificates, which in later years changed their name to Lost Cherry Certificates, and Davy introducing the group to the audience with Roisin following up with Rocky etiquette, house rules (basically no flour and nothing to be thrown at the screen! - nothing too draconian) the all important Virgin initiation and of course the obligatory R.O.C.K.Y. chant.