Saturday, 26 May 2012

Well done BADS

It's been a busy week for us this week, having the production at Bilton Amateur Dramatic Society on for 4 nights, preceded by two rehearsal nights. However, as I reflect on the whole process, it's been a great success and I am extremely pleased with the end result. Producing and directing a play at amateur level is much more hands on than a professional director I would imagine, since there are no allocated jobs  for things such as wardrobe, make-up/hair or props, and the director is also the producer, therefore responsible for the whole production, including (in my case, but not everyone is the same) organising cover for Front-of-house (even if it means doing so myself), and having a say in what costumes each person is going to wear. I'm quite fussy about that, as I really believe that what you wear in a play can add so much more to your character, that it's important to pay attention to this.

This play was set in the 1980s, so I was thrilled to re-live my youth by crimping Ellie's hair for her each night - with my own crimpers from the 1980s, I might add! Ellie was less thrilled by it, and couldn't understand why we all had such big hair then, but it just shows how much fashion changes. Every new generation find it hilarious to look at the clothes and hair of their parents or older friends - I remember thinking how weird the beehive hairdo was that my mum used to wear in the 1960s!

I was quite an intense director, I think - and I must have irritated the cast at times with my insistence on attention to detail, yet I was pleased to hear from the NODA representative who came on Thursday, that he appreciated the fact that everything was "real" as he put it - we try to make everything as credible as possible in our society, otherwise you may as well not bother, I think. He recognised also that a lot of work had gone into the production. General comments throughout the week were all complimentary - Ellie was, quite rightly, highly praised for her faultless American accent; Nikki on her superb characterisation; Mike on his fine acting skills; Charlotte on her gentle interpretation of the young wife and Andy on his sterling performance of his character. There were no "weak links" in the words of my step-daughter, and she is very critical of amateur productions, so that was praise indeed!

I was particularly pleased with the way everyone developed throughout the week - adapting their delivery of certain lines in order to get the most out of them, and for the best audience reaction. I even gave notes prior to the Thursday night performance, having been in the audience for the previous two nights, and I'm happy to say that the cast listened and acted on my notes, which I believe made for a perfect final performance on Friday.

Charlotte, our newest member, very kindly baked us a cake which was delicious, and I was presented with a gift of some beautiful flowers and a bottle of my favourite red wine, McGuigans Black Label - couldn't have been better!

Next on the horizon is the Junior and Youth production at the end of July - casting is changing week by week as members drop out, so we may have to have a recruitment drive in order to ensure we can put the plays on, but I'm sure it will all pan out in the end.

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