It's a Wonderful Life

From the 18th to the 20th of December Strathmore Cricket Club once again played host to Forfar Dramatic Society. For those three nights the Nigel Hazel Lounge became a radio studio where audiences could hear, and contribute their reactions to, performance's of "It's a Wonderful Life".

Adapted for 'Radio on Stage' by Tony Palermo, from the classic film, this version of the show featured a cast of 10 creating the the voices of all the characters and crowds. Alongside this the Sound Effects team provided a fantastic mix of live and pre-recorded effects, music and atmospheres. Audience members were given a real treat - whether they chose to close their eyes and listen to the finished radio presentation; or to watch the actors switching places and voices, and the ingenious methods the sound team used to create their aural scenery.

Featuring one our largest casts this season, Forfar Dramatic Society took particular pleasure in presenting this festive treat. The club would like to thank Strathmore CC once again for their hospitality. We would also like to thank all those audience members who attended, especially the sell out Thursday crowd, for coming along, and for their extremely positive feedback.

We hope everyone enjoyed their Mulled wine, their refreshments, and the performance. We look forward to seeing you all again in the new year as our season continues.

Look for more information about our upcoming Burns Supper, and about our next show, Frank McGuiness' "Factory Girls", which will see us returning to the cricket club in March.

Rehearsals Underway

Rehearsals for our radio production of It's a Wonderful Life are now well underway and the show is already looking good.

If you love the Christmas classic, don't miss the chance to see our
radio production, complete with live sound effects, in the comfort of
Strathmore Cricket Club.

We're back at Lochside following our successful visit for Lilies on the
Land and we can promise a warm welcome to all of you who come along.

It's a Wonderful Life gives us the chance to present in a different
acting style, with the emphasis on words rather than pictures and
action. We're enjoying the different challenge and we're confident that
you will enjoy the final product.

So don't miss the show - tickets are available online now.


Entertaining Lilies High on Nostalgia

Last night saw the first of four performances of Lilies on the Land, the Society’s November production.

An appreciative audience were engaged throughout by a thoroughly well
thought-out and directed piece of theatre by improvised movement and
individual characterisation

Basically, the play is a selection of delightful and very different
personal reminiscences, taken from one hundred and forty letters written
to Saga Magazine following an invitation for submissions from those
women who offered their services to the Second World
War by becoming a land girl.  These stories were then taken by The
Lion’s Part Theatre Group, and through a series of improvisations,
crafted into a very enjoyable stage play

The action is delivered by four actresses, Kay Brown, Elaine McEwan,
Linda McLaren and Susan Steel and each, in turn, gave excellent
performances throughout, regularly changing character effortlessly so
the audience was never in doubt as to what was going on.  During the
play, the action takes us through the close relationships they built
with their fellow land girls, the heady dances with
the American soldiers and the less salubrious moments of abuse and
exploitation.

The catalyst for the action is Churchill’s death in 1965 which sees the
four women looking back on their time in the ‘Forgotten Army’ during the
war years.  It is the brave, cheerful, authentic voices of the Land
Girls themselves, however, that make the show
so special as they vividly describe the type of work they were required
to undertake.  From back-breaking potato lifting, to the mucking out of
pig sheds, the relief of warming their frozen hands on the cows’ udders
at early morning milking as well as the
euphoria of learning to drive a tractor and plough a perfect furrow.

The play worked well in the intimate surroundings of Strathmore Cricket
Club and it was a brave decision to stage the action with the audience
on two opposite sides, however, this worked really well and the movement
was such that the audience were never distracted. 
The interspersing of nostalgic songs from the period added to the
occasion.

All in all, Lilies on the Land was an entertaining piece of nostalgia,
well directed by Graham Hewitson and put across effectively by the cast
of four


Annual General Meeting

At the recent Annual General Meeting of Forfar Dramatic Society, President Bob Kidd reflected on the past year as one of huge change within the Society.  He said that the members had managed the change by showing flexibility, learning new skills, spreading the organisational load and by adopting good team working practices.
The changes Mr Kidd spoke about were the greatly increased programme of productions which saw nine plays staged and the play entered into the Scottish Community Drama Association annual one act play festival progressing through two rounds to reach the Scottish Finals held in Pitlochry Festival Theatre.
Mr Kidd was delighted to announce Ewan Phillip’s election to the post of President for the     2013 – 2014 session saying that Ewan has the talent, the ideas and the drive to lead the society even further forward in the future.
It was stated at the meeting that the new session would begin on Tuesday 20th August when a function would be held to announce next year’s exciting programme and launch the new season brochure.
Office bearers were elected as follows; President, Ewan Phillip; Vice President, Drew Barnett; Secretary, Linda McLaren; Treasurer, Elaine McEwan and Stage Director, David Allen.

Copperfield a Huge Success!

The Society's  final production of the season, Alastair Cording's stage adaptation of David Copperfield, was performed in Club One.  This is the first time that the Society has performed in the North Street night club but this turned out to be an inspired choice.  It certainly had the feel of an ‘Edinburgh Fringe’ venue and added greatly to the tension and drama when required.  The only disappointment was that this fast paced and exciting adaptation attracted such small audiences.  Those present, however, enthused about the show and was extremely well received.

We join the story in Yarmouth, where Peggotty has taken David to meet Ham and Emily and the others on that wild and dangerous seashore. Back home, there’s a new, cruel, step-father but our hero is soon off, to more cruelty, at boarding school, then on to London, Mr Micawber, more misfortune, on again to Dover and Aunt Betsy, Dora, Uriah Heep, Mr Dick, and so on. If you haven’t read it for a while, you’ll probably find most of what you remember is at least mentioned here.
The cast of ten play all the characters between them.  This could lead to some confusion, however, the characterisation’s are extremely impressive and the audience is never in any doubt about who and what is going on.  Each cast member has their moment, especially Neil Paterson as the exuberant Micawber, Linda McLaren as the loving Peggotty, Ewan Phillip as the creepy Uriah Heep, Marley Laurie, who sees the demise of two of her characters and Bill Atkinson, who is outstanding as Mr Dick.  Kay Brown shows exactly how awful Victorian women could be as the fearsome Jane Murdstone and Winnie Brown captures the eccentric Aunt Betsey to a tee.  Mention must also go to Elaine McEwan as young David and Christopher Hewitson who plays the mature David.  The morphing of one into the other was particularly well handled.  Grahame Millar and Debbie Riley also appear as a number of minor characters to great effect.
The technical side of the production is also well handled, particularly considering the constraints of the venue.  The low ceiling would have been a challenge for the lighting design where credit must go to Graham Hewitson and Douglas Watt.  The numerous, and sometimes very quick, costume changes certainly must have been a challenge for the actors, however, Mary Allen handled the wardrobe logistics very impressively.
Altogether this was an extremely entertaining show, tightly directed by Drew Barnett, with lots of Dickens's familiar strong characters and humour all well-performed with a script that keeps the spirit of the original but makes it into a theatrical experience rather than an abridged version of the novel told through narration
David Copperfield opens tonight!

The preparations are complete.  The rehearsals are over.  Tonight is the real thing.  David Copperfield opens in Club One, North Street, Forfar tonight with a 7:30pm start.  Alistair Cording's brilliant stage adaptation, from Charles Dickens classic novel, is a fast paced yet poignant tale of the life of a little boy in Victorian England and definitely one not to be missed.  Sympathise with David as he grows into manhood by sharing his heartbreak and hardship.  A hopeless romantic, will he eventually find the true love of his life?  David Copperfield runs from tonight, Tuesday 14th to Friday 17th May.  Buy your ticket now by clicking on the link in the panel on the right of this page.



Classic Drama @ CLUB ONE

The Society is in the final stages of rehearsals for our next production, David Copperfield, from the novel by Charles Dickens and brilliantly adapted for the stage by Alistair Cording.  This delightful and iconic play will be performed in Club One, North Street.  The local nightclub is the perfect venue for this period costume drama to be performed.  David Copperfield is one of Dicken's best stories, with more than a hint of his own experiences, and introduces some of his most well known characters.  Why not put the dates in your diary and come along to meet David, Peggotty, Uriah Heep, the Micawbers, Steerforth face to face in this compelling story.

The play will commence at 7:30pm on Tuesday 14th to Friday 17th May 2013.  Tickets costing £8 for Adults and £6 for concessions can be purchased by clicking on the link in the side panel on this page

Success in Pitlochry

Congratulations to cast and crew of Hogmanay for
their creditable performance in the Scottish Finals of the SCDA annual
one-act play festival which was held in Pitlochry Festival Theatre last
weekend.  The cast of Ewan Philip, Bruce Martin, Bill
Atkinson, Martin McKay, Marley Laurie, Leah Gow, Kay Brown, Laurie
Wilson and Carolyn McLean deserve a great deal of credit for reaching
the finals and their first class performance on the Pitlochry stage was a
fitting reward.  While the play itself was not
placed in the first three, the Society did pick up two awards.  The
first for the play which best depicted Scottish life and the second for
the play with the best set design.  Mention should also go to Winnie
Brown who directed the play and David and Mary
Allen who undertook stage management and wordrobe duties.  More
importantly, the team also won the inaugural inter club quiz! The
Society can now return to 'domestic' duties when they stage David
Copperfield in Club One next month.


Changes to our Site

We have made some changes to this site.
Our blog is now embedded in the site, giving you the opportunity to interact with us more easily.
We will be developing our use of the blog, to keep you right up to date
with what's going on in the Society and to comment on our work.
We are currently working on our programme for next season, with
decisions due soon and a launch early in May. If you have any
suggestions, you could post them on the blog.
You could also add your comments or congratulations to our team that is
heading to Pitlochry in JUne for the finals of the SCDA One-act Play
Festival.
Why not take a look?



Full House for Double Bill

Full house notices were posted outside the Plough Inn for the first night of
the Society's Double Bill.  The capacity audience were treated with a
great night of comedy firstly with the David Tristram play
A Bolt from the Blue, followed by James Scotland's hilarious Scots comedy
Hogmanay.  Both casts gave first class performances and the
audience certainly went home having enjoyed the evening's
entertainment.
 

Planning for the Future

The society is already planning its artistic programme for the 2013 - 2014.
The broad plan is to maintain the higher level of performance activity
established this year and present a variety of material that will have
something to suit most tastes.The programme planning group has met once and identified some possible
plays for inclusion in the season, but members are keen to receive
suggestions. If there's a particular play, or type of play, that you
would like to see us stage in Forfar let us know. Email
your suggestions to forfardramatic@live.co.uk.





Rehearsals Underway

Members of the Youth Theatre re-assembled after the Christmas and New Year holiday break on Sunday 13 January 2013.

They began work on their new play - still waiting for a name - with a
script read through and some experimentation with sound effects. From
here on it's full steam ahead with rehearsals.



A Happy New Year


Forfar Dramatic Society would like to wish all our members, supporters and friends a
very happy New Year.  The club starts back after the festive season on
Tuesday 8th January.






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