PLAY READING FOR FUN 14 SEPTEMBER

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 vicechair@wcds.co.uk

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.

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TIME WAS

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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Play Reading for Fun 14 September