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Chads Theatre 2016 – 2017 Season – Descriptions & Characters

 

10th – 17th September 2016

Private Fears in Public Places (Alan Ayckbourn)

On a single set, which represents a hotel bar, a café, a private house, several flats and an estate agent’s office, we are invited to follow the everyday lives of six people, over s series of more than fifty short scenes.   They are a brother and sister; a well-to-do couple looking for a flat; the barman of an expensive hotel; and a female employee of an estate agent.  As the action develops we become aware how, in one way or another, the lives of each of these characters become entangled with each other – and to what extent their personal secrets play a part in their lives.

 

Ambrose (the barman) – middle-aged

Charlotte – attractive, restrained – 30-35

Stewart – works with Charlotte – 25-35

Imogen – Stewart’s sister – 25-30

Dan – idle, feckless, drinks too much – 30+

Nicola – Dan’s partner –stylish – 30+

(Arthur:  the off-stage voice of Ambrose’s elderly and confused father)

 

22nd – 29th October 2016

A Doll’s House (Henrik Ibsen)

Torvald Helmer lives with his wife, Nora, and their three young children.   They are apparently very happy; but some years ago Torvald was seriously ill, and Nora needed to raise some money to pay for his treatment.   Krogstad, a lawyer, offered to help, but he required a signature on a promissory note.  Nora produced the document, apparently signed by her father; but she had in fact forged his signature since he was unable to sign it himself. Now she is being threatened by Krogstad with exposure. Torvald is furious with Nora, but when he realises that the danger is past, he resumes his role as the caring and devoted husband. Nora is not convinced; she is tired of being treated like an irresponsible child, and she is determined to end what she sees as a futile marriage.

 

Torvald – 35-40

Nora – 35-40

Nils Krogstad – 35-40

Mrs Linde – family friend – 40+

Dr Rank – 40/50 (could be older)

Anne-Marie – family servant, nursemaid – 60;  Helene – housemaid – 20+

 

10th – 17th December 2016

Kidnapped at Christmas (Willis Hall)

Two criminals share a cell in a local prison.   As the festive season approaches, the prisoners become determined to escape – anything would be better than being stuck in the theatre with the audience, who appear to be “a bunch of rascals and villains.”  To secure their freedom, they plan to kidnap Alexander, the son of the local detective constable; they also appear to have kidnapped “little Kevin”, the son of another local policeman.   The escaped convicts are driven to various tricks and disguises: they encounter, among others, a local      headmaster (who seems to have an uncanny resemblance to Frankenstein’s monster).  Much of the comedy comes from the way the author treats the audience as part of the plot, and is constantly subverting the usual conventions of the theatre.

 

Gilbert (a convict)

Crosby (another convict)

Mullins (a prison warder)

McBain (another one)

D.C.Grummett

Clara, his wife

Alexander, their son – age 13

Evadne Docherty,  mother of Kevin – 35-40

Horace Winston Allardyce – a headmaster – middle-aged

 

28th January – 4th February 2017

On Golden Pond (Ernest Thompson)

For the last 48 years, Norman Thayer and his wife Ethel have had a holiday at their summer home in Golden Pond.  Norman is 80; Ethel, about ten years younger.   They are visited by their divorced daughter, Chelsea, who brings along her dentist fiancé, and his young son.  The couple go off to Europe, leaving the boy in the care of the old people.   The boy becomes part of their lives, and takes the place of the “grandchild” they never had.   The relationship between the older couple is somehow strengthened by the events of the play, and by the atmosphere of this beautiful part of the world

Norman Thayer – 80

Ethel Thayer – 70

Charlie Martin, the local mailman – 40-45

Chelsea – 42

Bill Ray – 40-45

Billy Ray – 13

 

11th – 18th March 2017

The Rivals (Richard Brinsley Sheridan)

Set in Bath in 1775, this comedy deals riotously with the machinations and misunderstandings of courtship.   Mrs Malaprop plans to marry off her niece, Lydia, to Jack Absolute, a young army captain; Lydia (who detests formal engagements, and has set her mind on a romantic elopement) is already secretly betrothed to another – who turns out to be Jack Absolute, in disguise.  Meanwhile Julia, Lydia’s close friend, is plagued by a lover, Falkland, who is insanely jealous, to the point where he almost ruins his chances.  Lydia has two other admirers: Bob Acres, a country squire who has ambitions to be a gentleman; and Sit Lucius O’Trigger, a fiery Irishman, whose love-letters to Lydia are delivered by Lucy (Lydia’s maid) to Mrs Malaprop – with predictable consequences.   Sheridan set the whole action in the space of five hours – by which time secrets are out, deceptions are exposed, and the duel (which might have brought serious consequences) is happily averted.

 

Sir Anthony Absolute – 50/60

Captain Absolute, his son – 25/30

Falkland – 25/30

Acres – 35+

Sir Lucius O’Trigger – 35/40

Fag, Jack’s manservant

Mrs Malaprop – 55/60

Lydia – 20/25

Julia – 25+

Lucy -20/30

David, a servant

Coachman

 

13th – 20th May 2017

Visiting Mr Green (Jeff Baron)

When Mr Green, a retired dry cleaner, wanders into New York traffic, he is almost knocked down by a car driven by Ross Gardiner, a young company executive.    Ross is given a community order by which he has to visit the old widower once a week to give him any help he might need.   The two men have nothing in common, and neither of them approves of this arrangement – in fact,  Mr Green is openly hostile.   However, as the weeks go by they develop an understanding which leads to a surprising and rewarding conclusion.

 

Mr Green – 84

Ross Gardiner – 30

 

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