When less can be more

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LAPSED LUVVIE: I haven’t been involved in amateur dramatics for several years.

AS a lapsed luvvie who has not been involved in amateur dramatics for several years, I was looking forward to attending a play by a new group, ACTS, in Benijofar recently.

It was a fun evening with excellent performances from each member of the talented cast. But inevitably it got me reminiscing about past productions that I have been involved in dahling.

A highlight of the year was the Drama Festival Season.

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We usually entered several in our corner of East Anglia, and on one particular occasion we were on a roll with the play we had chosen.

We had already won Best Director, male actor, junior actor and the coveted Best of Festival award, so approaching the final event we were confident of giving a good account of ourselves.

Another group was staging ‘Round and Round the Garden’ – the last play in ‘The Norman Conquests’ trilogy. But our mouths dropped open in disbelief as they proceeded to erect a set that was composed of Astro Turf, picket fencing, garden furniture and 20 young leylandii in pots. It was like an episode of Gardener’s World.

Ours required a simple set depicting a village hall that was under refurbishment. Two step ladders with a plank, and a few tins of paint lying around, which were shuffled around between scenes to give the impression of the passage of time. A dust sheet was draped over the plank, allowing one of the characters, dressed in a dark business suit, being able to enter against a light background. And that was it.

On the final night of the festival, the awards were being handed out, and when it came to Best Set, the adjudicator was gushing in his praise of our minimalist effort. The faces of the cast responsible for the poor man’s Kew Gardens set said it all, but the looks of shock were soon tempered with the reality of having to return all of the borrowed items to the garden centre.

It was one of those times when less was definitely more.

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