Arts scene overview: Making a drama out of competition
9:25am Friday 13th July 2012 in Out and about
IN a summer dominated by the Olympics it seems the spirit of competition is not restricted to sport.
In the world of amateur dramatics competition was keen at the Torch Theatre, Milford Haven last weekend as four one-act plays, each representing the best their country has to offer competed to become crowned as the UK’s best amateur production.
Wales was represented by one of Gwent’s finest societies – The Little Theatre in Blackwood, a company synonymous with excellence.
It was looking to become Wales’ first winners of the competition in more than 20 years. No pressure then.
The play the group performed was written by one of its own members – Graham Evans – and was directed by Neal Maidman.
On the surface it sounds like a highly worthy and rather serious effort.
Its subject matter concerned the formation of the first magistrates’ court, 650 years ago, at Monmouth.
However the approach taken to the subject by Graham Evans, a retired miner and JP, is clearly less Trevor Nunn and more Brian Rix as the approach is comedic and very much in the manner of a farce. Though this year’s prize finally went to Scotland , the spirit of competition came second to the celebration of the form and the enjoyment of performing to a full house. In The Little Theatre’s production – entitled Biscuits – roles were taken by Vic Mills, Graham J Evans, Gwen Livingstone, Gareth Baskerville, Huw Rosser, Trevor Howlett and Yve Price.
Anyone wishing to see this production will can do so this weekend. Not only will the company perform Biscuits, it will also perform also another of its recent successes – Godfather Death.
This was recently performed by the company at a festival in Canada.
They will be performed at the Little Theatre in Tredegar tonight.
Such excellence in the arts is to be found in many guises all over Gwent and in the coming weeks I hope to look at much of the work in the area.
I will visit some of Gwent’s choirs and bands and hear them in performance as well as profiling some of them. There will also be articles on theatre, on jazz and on the arts in all its diversity.
For lovers of the blues there is only one place to be this weekend – the Abertillery Blues Rock Festival.
It has always fascinated me that the simplest of musical forms – basically no more than a 12 bar sequence of three simple chords – should have developed such a range of approaches as well as being responsible for giving birth to a plethora of other musical genres – from jazz to rock and roll.
The idea of hosting a blues festival deep in the Gwent valleys is a magical one and this year’s line-up is sure to attract audiences from far and wide on Friday and Saturday. Headline bands are The Zombies and Vintage Trouble.