Do come along to our next Play Reading for Fun; these evenings are a great opportunity to meet and chat with us, and optionally to read from the chosen play. Non-members are welcome too. Venue: The Five Bells, Smock Alley; Time: 7:30pm. Please contact Angela at firstname.lastname@example.org
We will be reading Treasure House by our very own member Jean Trew. It is a full length comedy with 8 characters (5 female, 3 male). Synopsis: Linda is clearing out her late father's house prior to selling it when she discovers a letter from him confessing to burying treasure under the patio. Aware of her father's shady past, Linda and her wife spend a frantic weekend desperately trying to hide the truth from a series of visitors, requiring some quick thinking and creative lying. But they aren't the only ones being economical with the truth.
We're beginning an occasional series of reminiscenses from our members. This one is from Ralph Wigg.
It was 1954, I was eleven years old and living in Storrington's Windmill Copse. I remember once, asking my mum why dad never seemed to be home at the weekend and even some evenings during the week. Of course, given a few more years, and a little less naivity, I'd have been somewhat apprehensive of the answer. However, she rolled her eyes, saying 'He's up at the hall'! A week or so later, a Sunday morning, dad, while congratulating me on passing my eleven plus, asked me if I'd like to give him a hand 'at the hall'. Naturally I accepted the invitation, curious to find out what he'd been doing up there...
If my memory serves me right, he was driving a beat-up Austin seven at the time and it was in that, that we miraculously arrived in West Chiltington village. Down Church Hill we trundled, to be greeted by a sign announcing 'Elephant & Castle'! For a few seconds I was confused - this was a pub, not a hall. The confusion lasted only a few seconds for we turned right at the bottom of the hill to be confronted by an open field, on which stood a corrugated iron hut. This, I found out later was the Comrades Hall, looking as little like a hall as you can possibly imagine. I gave dad a puzzled look, to which he responded with a smile which said 'Just wait and see!' Inside, what a transformation! It was indeed a hall, albeit fairly basic, chairs along the sides and a stage, on which was what I now know as a box set, looking startlingly real! We were soon joined by others who were obviously part of a team... some names I remember - David Davies who lived in the first house on the left as you climbed Church Hill, Len Geal, Peter Penfold and Stan Gooch who I think ran the stores at the top of the hill. One other neme is imprinted on my memory, that of Miss Bryant as I knew her. At eleven years old, she was just a little scary! My job that day was to paint what I was told were the 'flats', while dad was finishing off his artwork. In the afternoon. I sat and watched in amazement as he brought out the furniture for the play, furniture which he'd built from scratch! It was decorated with cut-outs and a floral design and, following the play, sold off to add to the group's finances. The play was 'Autumn Crocus' and for me, was the inspiration for a lifetime's love of the theatre, both amateur and professional. Ralph .
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