We have just held our auditions for the next play to be performed by the Junior members of Bilton Amateur Dramatic Society and it is with great pride that we are to stage a play originally written for the drama club of a local primary school. One of the adult members of BADS, Andy Jowett (or Mr J as he is affectionately known), is also a teacher at Preston Primary School and he often writes plays for the children to perform. He runs the drama club, so he also gets to direct the plays he has written.
If you click on the title of this post, you will be directed to the blog of Preston Primary School and there you will find many comments relating to the school's production of "You're Nicked".
The play has a large cast, originally with 30 named parts, but we have had to double up some of the parts and cut out a few in order to be able to cast it from within our existing membership of 18. Fortunately, Mr J was quite happy for us to edit his original script in order to make it fit our requirements. The other very fortunate element in using a "home-grown" script is that we have no royalties to pay either! These can often be very expensive for a small society such as ours, so it's really helpful.
We saw the original version of this play at the school, so we know how good it is. Even with some editing, I'm sure our production will be just as enjoyable. We may even invite the original cast members to come along to see it, just to get their reaction!
This play will be performed in July, probably on two separate evenings and on the same night as the performances from the Youth Section.
The laborious process of blocking for all these plays is now in place - it takes a long time to plan all the moves of each actor/actress in order to ensure the play itself runs smoothly and to prevent any awkward positioning or stumbles during the performances. Our study has been a whirr of printing recently, with 21 copies of the play being produced for the Juniors, plus several master copies for us as directors. July seems a long way off, but with only 1 rehearsal a week, this is no mean feat, especially when not all the children will be committed to attending every single rehearsal!!!
Next Monday we will be telling the children what parts they have got and giving them their scripts - hopefully to be looked after but, children being children, no doubt several will be forgotten, eaten, sat on, left in a classroom at school or a combination of all those!
I know that some children will be elated, others disapointed with their allocated parts, but we utilise the same code of conduct in the Junior & Youth section that we do in the adult section at BADS. New members simply do not get large parts in plays. Without previous knowledge of anyone's ability to learn lines, act, or even be reliable to turn up on time to rehearsals every week, we do not take a chance and use our most reliable members for the larger roles. This has always worked and it ensures we produce a professional play each time.
Reactions from the younger members may be posted here next week!