Southwick players get ready to compete in drama festival

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Harrowing and hilarious in equal measure, Visiting Mr Green promises a thought-provoking evening of entertainment.

The Southwick Players are looking for prizes with their take on Jeff Baron’s tale of unlikely friendship.

The play, which looks at themes including love, stereotyping, prejudice and isolation, is the company’s Brighton and Hove Arts Council’s Drama Festival 2012 entry, and will run at The Barn Theatre, Southwick, from October 10 to 13.

Amanda Solomon, spokeswoman for the company, said: “Visiting Mr Green tells the story of 86-year-old widower, Mr Green, and his relationship with a young corporate executive who, when found guilty of reckless driving, is ordered to make weekly visits to the elderly man.

“This play, in two acts, begins as a comedy but develops into a gripping and poignant drama.”

The play will be directed by H Reeves, of Meadway Court, Southwick ,and stars Ron Common of Hillside, Portslade, as retired Jewish dry cleaner, Mr Green, and Nick Simon, from The Drive, Hove, as the young executive, Ross Gardiner.

Amanda said: “This talented trio last worked together when they all took leading roles in Southwick Players’ acclaimed production of Cold Comfort Farm, a production that swept the board with awards including best play, best director and best set in the same drama festival two years ago.

“The annual Brighton and Hove Arts Council Drama Awards recognises achievement by not-for-profit theatre companies,” she said.

“Southwick Players is one of six theatre groups in an area covering Burgess Hill, Brighton, Lewes and Rottingdean who enter a play of their choice between September and November.”

This year, Sian Webber, an actor with more than 20 years’ experience on both stage and screen, will adjudicate the competition.

Sian, best known for playing Emma Neesome in the 1980s BBC drama series Howard’s Way, will do so by attending a performance by each of the participating companies.

Amanda added: “When the performance ends, she gives detailed comments on it , usually with the audience invited to stay and listen in.

“For both the theatre company and the public , this offers a rare opportunity to hear expert professional criticism on the spot.

“Ask about adjudication night when booking your seats.”

Southwick will be up against Lewes Theatre Club’s production of Calendar Girls, by Tim Firth, Rottindean Drama Society’s Venus Observed, by Christopher Fry and, Mike Harding’s Fur Coat and No Knickers, presented by Burgess Hill Theatre Club. Winners will be announced in December.

Visiting Mr Green will start at 7.45pm each evening.

To book tickets, priced £10, or £9 concessions, call the box office, on 01273 597094 or log on to the website www.southwick