The Tamaritans Theatre Company in Plymouth, Devon
14th-17th February 2018 Production "A Bunch of Amateurs"
Directed by: Noel Preston-Jones
Dates: Wednesday 14th February - Saturday 17th February 2018
Times: 7.30pm with matinee on Saturday at 2.30pm
In the play we meet Jefferson Steele, a fading Hollywood action hero who is trying to revive his flagging career. He arrives in England to play King Lear in Stratford – only to find that this is not the birthplace of the Bard but a sleepy Suffolk village. And, instead of Kenneth Branagh and Dame Judi Dench, the cast are a bunch of amateurs trying to save their theatre from developers. Sparks fly as Jefferson’s monstrous ego encounters the reality of drama on a small stage and the challenges of interpreting Shakespeare’s wonderful dialogue.
|Dorothy Nettle||Rebekah Ash|
|Jefferson Steele||Jim Black|
|Mary Plunkett||Debbie Temple|
|Nigel Dewbury||Richard Haighton|
|Dennis Dobbins||Owen Lawton|
|Lauren Bell||Katy Gamble|
|Jessica Steele||Sarah Adderley|
|Journalist 1||Helen Lawton|
|Journalist 2||Andrew Horigan|
|Journalist 3||Connie Land|
On Monday evening, we had our Technical Rehearsal for our production of “A Bunch of Amateurs”. During the second act, our leading man, Mr Jefferson Steele, played by the inimitable Jim Black, sustained an injury to his leg. He would like to say that this injury occurred whilst performing his own stunts -does walking from the middle of the stage slightly to the left count?
By Tuesday afternoon, his leg was in plaster and the Cumberland Centre had kindly furnished him with a pair of crutches.
In amateur theatre there are no stand-ins, understudies or stunt doubles (although there might be some doubling up of characters as this can be interesting theatrically!)
So, by the Dress Rehearsal, we had, in the true spirit of amateur theatre, and with enormous generosity of spirit, the leading man (Jim) taking notes from the auditorium (with an elevated leg) and the Director (Noel) attempting to play the leading man. There were numerous discoveries during the course of the evening. The dark glasses, essential to the characterisation of the ageing Hollywood superstar, proved to be an obstacle to, well, reading the script.
“The show must go on” however. We hope that these last minute events do not detract too much from your enjoyment of “A Bunch of Amateurs”. In the circumstances, I know you will join me in wishing all of the cast and crew “Good luck” with the show although I would strongly advise against anyone uttering the words “Break a leg”!