I joined the society back in 1979 for the production of Milk and Honey.
This was the first time I had been given a leading role in any production, but as I have been very lucky in being able to learn a lot of lines, I have managed to keep taking major roles ever since.
I was content to restrict my drama commitments to acting until I retired and had a little more time available. So in 2008 I ventured into directing for the first time. I co-directed our first thriller Deadly Nightcap with Tracy Venables. Then in 2010 we teamed up again to direct the comedy Bedwitchery. On both occasions we were very well supported by our members which made our job so much easier.
If I had to pick out my most enjoyable role it would have to be playing the part of Inspector Pratt in Murdered to Death and Death by Fatal Murder. The plays were so well written and so very funny. As an inept policeman on the lines of Inspector Clouseau the part had to be played very straight. Not easy with a funny script and having to say words all jumbled up. In the second play I had free rein to wander round the stage whenever I wanted to. This meant that no two nights would I be in the same position all the way through. I would trip over the drinks table or a walking stick and drop a “priceless” ornament on the floor.
I saved the best to the last night. I went to lean against the back of an armchair and deliberately missed it and fell over facing upstage. It threw everyone on the stage, and poor Sue Williams who was sat in the armchair at the time had the turban she was wearing almost knocked off her head! I immediately shot back up and kept a blank face. The audience were in fits of laughter as was the rest of the cast!
Unfortunately roles like that don’t come along very often, but when they do, and they go well, it makes all the effort we put into a part so rewarding.
Hopefully in the future we will be able to do some more thrillers because I haven’t had the opportunity yet to take a straight part in a play.
As a society we do try to find plays that are modern or unusual in some way. We are conscious of trying to give our audiences a variety of entertainment so that they and us can experience new things. It makes for a healthy and active group which I hope to have the pleasure of being involved with for many years to come.