Theatre Club Hope To Tour On Off-Islands This Summer

The Town Hall Theatre is being refurbished this summer

The Town Hall Theatre is being refurbished this summer

St Mary’s Theatre Club are hoping to take their summer productions to the off-islands this year.

The refurbishment of the Town Hall has left them without a permanent venue, so the club will be performing two short plays by Alan Ayckbourn, ‘Gosforth’s Fete’ and ‘Between Mouthfuls’ at various venues around St Mary’s and the off-islands over the summer.

Each is around 45 minutes and they’ll be performed back-to-back. The first performance is expected to be in mid June.

Last year’s club chairman, Tom Scott says it has been some time since they’ve performed outside St Mary’s and they’re currently identifying suitable locations including Holgate’s Green and the Chaplaincy Gardens.

At the Clubs AGM last night there were some changes to the committee. The club operates a rolling three year chair, and former chairman Tom stood down to be replaced by vice chair Rachel Easterbrook. Gail Sibley was voted in as the new vice chair.

Ryan Knappman is the youth representative, with Richard Farr looking after the storeroom and Dave Chodkiewicz on marketing.

Dave, Richard and Kevin Leeman will be sharing the directing and production of this year’s plays.

The next major event for the club is the One Act Play Festival, being organised by Jenny Byers next month. BBC scriptwriter, Paul Dodgson, will be coming over again to judge the contest. Tom says he’ll be coaching the writers and this year, he’s also running a radio-acting course with Lifelong Learning. Tom says this should help make ‘The Islanders’ even better.

The club’s annual Turner Award, named after Ellen Turner, one of founder members 40 years ago, was given to Maggie Perkovic. This was in recognition of Maggie’s long service to the club and also for standing in at short notice in last year’s play.

Theatre Club members raised £1,400 this year. Some of their proceeds were given to the Fourth Wall Theatre Company who brought a production of the ‘Sociable Plover’ to the Town Hall. Donations were also made to St Mary’s Girl Guides, Crisis, Cornwall Air Ambulance, Hospital League of Friends, Royal British Legion, Macmillan Nurses, the Five Islands School and the Bring Judy Home Fund. Tom Scott offered his Chairman’s fund to Médecins Sans Frontières.

Tom says it’s been a sad year, with the passing of Shirley Smith and Jim Johnson senior, as well as club member Maureen Carter losing her husband John.

But he says the group are looking forward to getting into the newly refurbished Town Hall later this year. Tom says it will be nice to have somewhere that’s warm and more user friendly to rehearse in this winter.