Eight plays a day for eight days as Arundel's theatre trail returns

Bill Brennan
Bill Brennan

Arundel’s Theatre Trail will be celebrating its 20th year in 2020.

In the meantime, they are promising another cracking selection of plays for their 19th season this year.

Once again, the trail will be offering eight plays a day over eight days.

The line-up will be:

11am, Arundel Town Hall, Algorithm and Blues by Simon Brett

12 noon, Arundel Football Club, Mill Road, Flat Pack Resolution by John Hill

1pm, Arundel Tennis Club, Mill Road, Reading It Back by Gabriel Chanan

2pm, Victoria Institute, An Absence Of by Suzanne Jeans

3pm, 57 Maltravers Street, Vera by Simon Cross

4pm, St Mary’s Gate Inn, Love Through The Ages by Mark Wakeman

5pm, The Cathedral Centre, Fallen Leaves by Jeff Carter

6pm Arundel Youth Club, School Lane, It’s Over Now by Lucy Lucy

The plays, as always, are masterminded by Arundel’s Drip Action theatre company.

“Next year we will have to do something exceptional for the 20th anniversary,” says company founder and artistic director Bill Brennan.

“It is so gratifying. We took the formula, and I like to think it gets more and more well-known each year with the writers. They come mostly from this country, but we do get quite a few entries from America and places further afield.

“We like to think that they take it pretty seriously. And one or two Americans who have had the resources have even come across to this country to see their plays being done.”

The theatre trail hit the right formula pretty much straight away: “There were more venues in houses earlier on, but this year we are going back into one of our old venues, a lovely big kitchen in Arundel.

“But it is the idea of the different venues that people like, the fact that they can go to several in a day. And people also like the whole business of when a play starts you just don’t know where it is going to go… and to have that experience several times in the day is rather nice.

“And it is also good that the word gets out between our regulars as to which plays are good plays to see. Sometimes from page to stage can be interesting, and the plays don’t always work as you might have imagined, but it is all down to the actors and the directors.

“I have got a director for each play. I have been able to stand back a bit now and watch the plates spinning – so eight plays plus the evening play, and I would say that we have probably got about 18 actors, which is quite a tricky ask to find 18 good actors who are available during the day.

“Some are doing several. You will often see an actor whizzing up the high street between plays!”

As ever, it’s a particular kind of play that works.

“It’s interesting that often prior writers come up trumps again because they have seen how it works.

“You don’t want to have too many actors. You don’t want to have too many scene changes. It has all got to be about good writing and a good story.”

Also important is variety across the whole day.

“We wouldn’t say ‘We can’t do that because we have got one like that already’, but it is important to have a good mix of drama and comedy.

“You want to have some serious drama in there, but you also want to have some laughs.”

Season tickets are available from The Book Ferret, 34 High Street, Arundel, BN18 9AB, 01903 885727. Eight-day season tickets for Saturday to Saturday, August 17 to 24 are £30 (no concessions). Three-day season tickets for Saturday to Monday, August 17 to 19 are £25 (no concessions).

Season ticket holders are guaranteed a seat up to 15 minutes before the play starts.

Tickets can be bought at the door, space permitting. £5/£3 students.

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