New directors were given a chance and others new to the stage made their debut performance in a Southwick Players triple bill last week.
Three one-act plays were produced in one evening for a three-night run at the Barn Theatre, Southwick.
Helen Armes and Sarah Papouis were directing for the first time, with the support of a mentor, and experienced director Sally Diver was put in charge of a youth production for the first time.
The young actors were up first, with their take on Philip Ridley’s Sparkleshark.
Although several had never been on stage before, the group put on a confident performance and fed off each other well.
A few need to work on their enunciation but this will come with experience.
Set on a roof, the story tackles the issue of bullying and brings together teenagers with different characters.
Felix Sheridan was the shy poet and storyteller Jake, Leah Caplan the new girl, Polly, who brought everyone together, and Louis Johnson was brilliant as ‘turbo dream-babe’ Russell, with Luke Fleming and Luke Madill as his sidekicks Buzz and Speed.
Easy Stages, by Nick Warburton, was the second play of the night and my personal favourite of the trio.
It was hilarious watching the antics of a stage crew rehearsing the set changes for a production of Hamlet.
Louise Yeo, as stage manager Gerry, grew ever more manic as her team made one mistake after another.
Yvonne Fair was hilarious as the squeaky Patsy and Amy Bowyer provided a nice contrast as the vehement Alice. Zoe Edden made a fine Gill, a slightly mad old lady.
There were many in the audience who clearly recognised the dynamics in an amateur dramatics society but even for those who had only ever been in the audience, it made for a very funny 45 minutes or so.
The final play was Gosforth’s Fête by Alan Ayckbourne, a farcical look at preparations for a village fair, set in 1977, where everything possible goes wrong.
There was often a lot going on at the same time and different conversations overlapping each other but it was great fun.
Terri Geal as Milly and Ron Common as the vicar led the way with a comical routine round the table when the water urn failed to turn off.
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