As organiser of the proposed 2018 Summer Festival, I would like to keep everybody up-to-date to make sure everybody has the same information. We will meet as a group on 5th, 12th (in the Small Hall) and also 14th March (in the Target Room), to have a look at some potential plays.
Last Monday we had an initial meeting which was attended by Leigh, Jill H., Kerry, Emily, Fiona and Rebecca, Sally, Sue, Karin and myself. As Sally and Sue are relatively new to the club, I improvised a little speech to introduce the Summer Festival and what we did in the past, which I would like to share with everybody.
The Summer Festival was a series of evenings in which the club split into little teams in order to perform short plays lasting half an hour, taking advantage of the local library, which is an ideal space for informal theatre. This was organised by myself, Linda Perry (the “Crocodile’s” mum) and Karin (aka Mrs. Darling). I was Chairman at the time, and the rest of the club collaborated. The purpose was to provide an opportunity for all club members, actors, set decorators, stage managers, young and old, mixed ability, to gather in a different environment and experiment with theatre. It was great for me as a set designer to be able to perform alongside Roger and Wendy in Chekhov’s famous “Proposal”, and our audiences loved the “Deckchairs” series, about two women friends in seemingly familiar situations with an unexpected twist. We even had a local theatre pro, Jenny Quille, direct one of the farces and read poetry. The energy created was fantastic; the buzz of a new theatre festival in Bourne End, people meeting in each others houses to rehearse, and bringing in audiences between 30 to 60 people who enjoyed the evenings. Despite being informal, there was some publicity, we had a simply A4 programme with a synopsis of the play, biographies of the actors, etc. etc. The space, although small, still was sufficient as a changing room for the actors. A typical evening consisted of either two short plays with an interval, or a poetry reading and a short play. One evening we had a monologue (“Roller Coaster”) in the first half. There is lots of room for ideas!
The festival ran for 4 years. Many of the members at the time have left the club, and so this may be a good time to revive the spirit of a festival, with the new members, and providing an opportunity to bring friends, and promote the club. Looking forward to see everybody at the next meetings!