This weekend, the Junior and Youth section members of Bilton Amateur Dramatic Society are performing their Summer Production. On Saturday July 24th and Sunday July 25th at 7.30pm, they will entertain family, friends and anyone else who turns up to watch them.
Keith and I have been busy making sure all the props and costumes are made/bought/acquired and in the right place ready for the dress rehearsal on Saturday afternoon. Today we have designed the programme - a tight fit due to the fact that there are 23 named characters in the Junior play and four separate plays for the Youth with at least 5 characters in each of those!
The Juniors are performing a play that was written by one of our members, Andy Jowett, for the school-children he teaches at Preston Primary School. We saw it performed there a couple of years ago and thought it would be a good play to do in order to involve all the members. As it turned out, we have had to incorporate two of the Youth Section members and double up on some of the parts as people dropped out! Drama is a big commitment and not many young children are able to cope with the dedication required to rehearse on a regular basis - often to the detriment of going out with their friends! However, with a few slight alterations to the script and by omitting the songs from the original play (it would have taken way too long to rehearse those as well) we are now hoping to stage a play that lasts approximately 1 hour 15 minutes. There are three main characters - Singalong Spike, Detective Inspector Moldiwarp and Chief Superintendent Mole. Singalong Spike (Bethany Jones) is the leader of a criminal gang who open the play by stealing a pile of gold from the police and attempt to take it out of the country in order to get it laundered for cash. Along the way, as DI Moldiwarp (Bethan Holloway) constantly tries to keep up with the gang, we meet several characters with ridiculous names such as Bob the Carver (how did he get that name, I wonder?) and Reg Beet. C.S. Mole (Molly Robinson) is the boss in charge of the police force and he is determined to make his mark by catching Spike and his gang. Therefore he decides to send one of his young officers under-cover in order to find out what Spike's plans are. PC Jasper (Daniel Robinson) is selected to become one of the "glam rock gang". His cover is blown, however, when Stunning Suzi (Matheea Ellerby) overhears him reporting back to his boss after a meeting with the gang. The final result proves that crime doesn't really pay, but in order to find out what happens you will have to come along and watch!
The Youth Section will be performing four short sketches. First of all, they all take part in "12 Angry Pigs" written by Wade Bradford
They are all wearing very eerie-looking pig masks for this production and here are a few pics of them when they first tried them on a couple of weeks ago:
I love the fact that Molly is wearing her glasses over her mask, and the boys just loved posing for this photograph! Also included in the 12 Pigs Spoof are a few characters from children's nursery rhymes/stories such as the Big Bad Wolf, Little Red Riding Hood and Little Boy Blue. We have selected some of the members from the Junior section to play those parts.
The other 3 sketches are written by Johnny Ball. "Mind The Trains" is set in a railway station and features a star performance from a weighing machine, expertly crafted by Keith! Also appearing are a strangulated Tannoy voice courtesy of Molly Robinson, an odd chap sometimes known as Jacob Preston and a Sales Lady with all the customer service skills of an old mop. Johnny Ball has written all these sketches with great use of words to convey double meanings and create laughter. One of the opening lines makes me chuckle: Business Man:I say, Porter, have you seen your level crossing? One gate is half open and the other gate is half closed." Porter replies with: Yes, sir, we're half expecting a train. Certainly groan-inducing lines, but a lot of fun to do.
"The Sins of Cinderella" is a spoof of the famous panto, complete with Buttons, Cinderella, Fairy Godmother, Ugly Sisters and an orchestra of sorts! Sourcing the costumes for this has been a lot of fun, particularly trying to make the costume for the Fairy Godmother. I am not in any way handy with a needle, but I will persevere and create something for the job when necessary, albeit by hand. Fortunately, the Fairy Godmother in this production is supposed to be wearing a very tatty outfit, so I am happy with the result!
Finally, "Full Of Eastern Promise" is a tale of mistaken identity and long-lost sons returning. As this sketch was very difficult to learn, the teenagers involved in this play have really done us proud. When you have a character named "Iyam" and several cast members saying it out loud at different points, it gets very confusing! I think the audience will leave with a smile on their faces at the end of the evenings - and for the right reason, too.
I think next week I will be mostly lying down and relaxing.......Until the play reading I have to plan for the adults, that is!