Zoom has been the main way we have continued our drama activities over the last year. Our policy has been to encourage as many of the membership as possible in our online activities. This has generally involved writing and performing our own sketches. The resultant output was fed into our special events such as Cafe evenings, Burns Night, and the Christmas Celebration and the sketches captured with Zoom video and edited.
On 13th March 2020 we managed to put on our ACT WRITE DIRECT production to an invited audience just before lockdown. We made mobile phone records of the sketches and have recently extracted the audio tracks from them. Whilst not of studio quality we thought it would be nice to share the audio tracks with a wider audience. There is a selection of these, together with audio tracks from some of our Zoom Cafe Theatre plays where they have been written by members.
OUR COUNTRY'S GOOD
the Spring Production, was postponed in March 2020. Tony Clark, the Director, looks forward to the new production date of April 2022.
Our Country’s Good
by Timberlake Wertenbaker
Our Country’s Good is set in the first penal colony in Australia and follows the extraordinary and sometimes hilarious story of their production of a restoration comedy with a cast of convicts. Their success, achieved despite the brutality and many conflicts of convict and colony life, is heart-warming.
June & September 2020
The Cafe Evenings in June and September
were a great success, and some of the recordings can be found in
October 2020 to March 2021
THE RELAY PLAY WRITING was an intriguing exercise which gave us stimulus through the darker months and which finally provided 3 play reading evenings in February/March which were enjoyed by members. We hope this may be run again if circumstances allow it.
PLAY READING ZOOMS
Courtesy of the BBC
CLAIRE IN THE COMMUNITY
Courtesy of the BBC
ISOBEL ARNETT ZOOM WORKSHOP
Isobel Arnett is an experienced professional actor who trained at the Rose Bruford College, and acts and teaches locally. No one who attended her first drama workshop for us in the village hall could doubt that a follow-up would be welcome. But even a dedicated amateur might have been daunted by the thought of a Saturday morning workshop on Stanislavskian techniques delivered online.
Our confidence was fully justified by the success of this event. After a brief introduction and career summary, Isobel outlined the historical background and took us through the steps of 'The System', carefully explaining its relevance for the amateur in suitable contexts.
Instead of dry academic theory, we were treated to engaging accounts of everyday on-stage situations and how the actor might approach them. I found that the practical exercises had an unexpected meditative and calming quality, and I was sorry when it all ended.
The workshop was rounded off with a question-and-answer session, and we were left even more eager to know when we can get back on stage and make it work for us. Perhaps that is the ultimate "Magic If".
For those of us wanting to know more, some books were recommended. What more could we want?
Thank you, Isobel. Come back soon.
Full Moon at The Bridge Street Cafe By LEAFY SCOTT adapted by SUZIE WILDE
Even those who knew Leafy best might have been surprised that she could inject so much fun and love of life into what she knew was her last work. These qualities shone through vividly in the well-rehearsed reading that we enjoyed last week.
WIth her daughter Lydia among the cast of thirteen and Naomi and Harry also watching, the intense desire to get it right was palpable. But we need not have worried. Everyone including the actors who joined us since Leafy's passing in 2018 conveyed the warmth that the script required, and even the technology was on its best behaviour.
This must have been a relief to director Tiffin Jones and to author Suzie Wilde who skilfully adapted it. Originally called Swear not by the Moon for its first reading in 2017, it later became The Inconstant Moon.
The newly revised title emphasises the setting for the mischief and macaroons of the second act. We avoid giving any more information about the storyline, as we still hope to stage Full Moon at the Bridge Street Café as a fund-raiser one day.
Leafy, your legacy is not over yet.
February, March and April 2021
PLAY READING ZOOMS
The three relay plays
MAYHEM MISCHIEF AND MERRIMENT
MAY 13th at 7.30pm
Our thanks to Heather Birchenough for organising this event with two enjoyable plays by Nicolas Ridley followed by Call My Bluff. Our devious Quizmaster, and his team, managed to bluff us yet again, and the event was efficiently scored by polling, organised by our Zoom supremo.