Dramatic society set to return to the stage next week

In another step towards a return to normality, theatre productions in Forfar are set to resume next week for the first time in more than a year and a half.

Monday, 30th August 2021, 11:40am
Dramatic society set to return to the stage next week
Graham Hewitson and Helen Shearer as Jack and Liz.

Forfar Dramatic Society (FDS) will return to live performance with a production of John Godber’s classic comedy ‘September in the Rain’, which runs in Studio 132 East High Street, Forfar, from September 8-11, nightly at 7.30 pm.

‘September in the Rain’ is a semi-autobiographical play in which Godber retells stories of his grandparents’ annual holidays in Blackpool.

Jack – a typical old-school Yorkshire miner – and his wife Liz honeymooned in Blackpool and returned there almost every year for 40 years.

Their annual vacation moved from high summer to September to accommodate Jack’s holidays from the pit.

The opening of the play finds them sitting on a bench on the seafront, waiting for their coach to leave at the end of another week in Blackpool.

From there, the two of them take the audience on a gentle and touching journey through the story of two lives spent together, as they share their

holiday reminiscences.

Jack and Liz are both strong characters who know what they think and want. They rarely view the world through the same lens, but through the years and the rain, the tears and many disagreements, laughter, dancing and sunshine emerge.

Although they frequently argue, there is an unbreakable and tender bond between them.

John Godber’s classic two-hander vividly captures the classic seaside holiday and its place in the lives of ordinary working people. ‘September in the Rain’ is a human story, packed with nostalgia, humour and warmth.

According to Club President Christopher Hewitson, ‘September in the Rain’ is an ideal play for the dramatic society’s return to the stage.

He said: “The timing is perfect. Our production in Forfar opens on the same day as this year’s St Leger Festival at Doncaster Race Course.

"More importantly, the play is a two-hander with minimal set requirements, which makes it possible for us to welcome our audience back safely to Studio 132.

“Although legal physical distancing requirements have been relaxed, the Society is very aware that the country is still in the midst of a global pandemic and that a visit to the show might be the first ‘post-lockdown’ outing to a public event for some people.

“We have carefully assessed the risks associated with this show and we can assure everyone that appropriate public health measures will be undertaken to ensure that everyone is as safe as they can be.

"We have reduced our seating capacity and will be implementing arrangements to help people move around the building comfortably.

Hopefully, we have struck the right balance between making it safe to come along, while keeping as normal a theatre experience as possible.”

Members of FDS are all looking forward to staging the show and entertaining a live audience again.

Through-out the pandemic, the Society has remained active, producing a series of radio plays, some original ‘crowd-sourced’ short plays, a murder mystery and a performance of ‘Bombshells’, but performing online is very different to being in front of an audience.

According to Christopher, the online work has been important for the club.

He continued: “It has kept us engaged, active and together over the 20 months since we last welcomed people in to Studio 132, but it’s time to get back to what we all enjoy doing – entertaining and sharing a theatre experience with Forfar folk.

“And, all being well, this is just the beginning of what will be a ‘normal’ season for us in 2021/22.”

Tickets for ‘September in the Rain’ are only available online or at the door. Details of online purchasing can be found on the society’s website at www.forfardramatic.com.

Anyone encountering difficulty with online purchases should email info@forfardramatic.com.

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