Newsletter Christmas 2013
Over the next two Wednesdays (27th November and 4th December) DORCHESTER DRAMA are holding Creative Writing Murder Mystery Workshops and Impro which we will use as a basis for our February Murder Mystery and Meal production (nice and early so won’t interfere with the community play). They will take place at Sunninghill Community Hall 7:30pm
Life and Beth and beyond!!
The next couple of Wednesday nights we would like to start some fun work on our Spring adventure!!! The committee are keen to put on a two night murder mystery and meal (probably on the Friday and Saturday that will start the February half term). That will leave those involved in the Community Play a chance to be involved in both!!
So on Wednesday 27th November and Wednesday 4th December we are meeting in the hall for 7:30pm to do a couple of creative workshops, planning and writing a murder mystery (and probably so,e impro) that we can then rehearse and perform in the New year. It should be a lot of fun and a lot less commitment than a full production run. Anne Reeve will lead the sessions but is keen for someone to else to do the actual directing!! Should be a good way to start doing some directing with a lot of support.
Can you give us an idea if you are keen to get involved please.
We are still taking bookings for our Weatherspoons Christmas meal 7pm for 7:30pm Sunday 15th December. We have to book this soon so please email me back ASAP.
The committee are also looking at a number of different acting experiences which would be a lot less commitment than a full production which would be a lot of fun and keep those not cast in a play still involved. More details of these soon!
Life and Beth reviews
Dorchester Drama finds festive fun and gloom in Ayckbourn’s Life and Beth – Blackmore Vale Magazine
AS if Christmas itself isn’t bad enough, Alan Ayckbourn adds a supernatural twist to this bitter-sweet comedy.
The appearance of Beth’s late husband Gordon, somehow summoned back by a Christmas Eve prayer, is too much even for his long-suffering and not very mournful widow, Beth.
Add visits by Beth’s boozy sister-in-law Connie, son Martin and his odd girlfriend Ella and the mix is ripe for a festive explosion.
Dorchester Drama has crowned its 50th anniversary year with this outstanding production.
Directors Paul Lawless, who pops up as a policeman, and Richelle Khan – stepping in at short notice because of illness as Ella – deserve so much of the credit for this highly enjoyable show. They successfully find the balance between laugh aloud comedy and the darkness that lies beneath the surface of these mostly ludicrous characters.
Stella Hollis is perfect as the patient, exasperated and sharply funny Beth.
Sarah Hayes turns in a terrific performance as Connie, revealing flickers of jealousy and weakness as the drinking proves to be a problem for all.
Ashley Newman portrays Martin as a loving and well-meaning son, but also a man who has major problems with relationships – a tricky mix that he does well.
The vicar is of the soppy and awkward type, nicely captured by Anthony Atkins, while Nick Heape generates humour from the hugely irritating Gordon.
It is a strong cast, well supported technically – Jonathan Reeve does sterling service with light and sound – to do full justice to Ayckbourn’s jaundiced view of a family Christmas.
The Town House Killings
Some members of Dorchester Drama with Atmos Theatre Company, were involved in a Murder Mystery Tour on behalf of the Dorchester Arts centre.
This involved three grisly murders in three locations, ending in the final and probably bloodiest murder during a buffet for the guests in the Wessex Royale Hotel.
This involved about I hours rehearsal, a lot of impro and a very amused, intrigued and pleased audience!!
This very positive collaboration with the Arts centre has led us to open discussions with them as to the potential of other similar ventures. Watch this space.
Raiders of the Lost Past
Last summer Dorchester Drama were contacted by UK TV who are producing ( and now showing on Yesterday channel) Raiders of the Lost Past, which is a thirteen part series on the intrepid treasure-hunting tales that artefact-hungry historians have set out on.
The episode concerned the search for the lost site of Knossos on the Island of Crete by Victorian Archaeologist, Arthur Evans. There was a short notice request for extras sent out by David Reeve, to which a number of us responded. Unfortunately. Those adult ladies who volunteered were rejected!!! No, not modern day sexism by the production company, but Victorian sexism by Arthur Evans, who by all accounts was renown for not letting women onto his Archaeological sites!! In the end Nick and Isabel Heape attended. The planned day in Tout quarry was cancelled due to fog ( it was supposed to be the Mediterranean), the next day was truly Mediterranean and the filming went ahead. Great (and Hot) fun!
As a result of Dorchester Drama’s developing collaboration with other Arts organisations in and around Dorchester, we are looking to further our current relationship with Sunninghill School and will be co using the rehearsal space with the Community Play. We have also agreed with the Community play organisers to pull together a ‘ Drama Fair’ during one of their latter Sunday rehearsals, with a view to inviting all interested Drama and stage related organisations to set up their stall as it were, and both encourage and invite Community play participants to get involved after the Completion of Drummer Hodge as a legacy to the Community play. Watch this space.