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London Assurance by Dion Boucicault

The 2013 Christmas production

Although he sounds French, the playwright Dion Boucicault was actually Irish and whilst London Assurance was first performed four years into Victoria’s reign in 1841, this is essentially a Regency farce, and the characters and plot are more like a typical Restoration comedy but with more modern language. That is, plenty of satire about foppish townies versus wily rustic types, mistaken identities and old men chasing innocent young girls, whilst being outwitted by smart young folk, including cheeky servants. There was something for everyone: a lavish costume production with sumptuous wigs and non-stop laughs. So, with the Dickensian look, the play made a perfect pre- Christmas show for the community.

At the centre of the play is a story of young love and, as in most comedies about love, its path does not run smooth! Boucicault was clearly intent on writing a new ‘Restoration Comedy’ for his Victorian audience, so, apart from the young lovers, the rest of the characters (mostly scoundrels of one sort or other, and many not at all what they seem) are traditional ‘archetypes’ – for example, our horsy aristocratic lady is called Lady Gay Spanker, the “Jeevesian” valet is called Cool, the maid is called Pert, and the Lawyer is called Meddle. No prizes for guessing their styles or characters!

The background to this production was that, on seeing the hugely successful and wonderfully lavish National Theatre production of the play in 2010, Sue Rippon was convinced that this would make a hilarious community show for Wedmore. Before that, she - along with most of us - had never even heard of Dion Boucicault!

Rehearsals started in September after a fantastic audition in late July and there was an outstanding cast – indeed, one of the lead actors, Alan Philps, was a formally trained actor. What was also great was the wide geographical spread of the 13 actors – only two actually lived in Wedmore village! The rest came from Wells, Langford, Cheddar, Shepton, Theale, Heath House and Latcham – so whilst not an “international” cast, it was certainly an “intervillage” cast and it was great to see so many people wanting to take part in our own village’s theatre production, directed by Sue Rippon.

The key members of the production team were: Holly Cole as Producer; Geoff Dickson – a professional artist – in charge of set design; Mike Rippon lighting designer; Sue Burton costume; Phil Butterworth sound designer; Cathy Butterworth hair; Jendy Weekes stage manager.

 

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue

A Comical and Satirical Revue

The Club’s 2013 Spring Production -comprising performances of hilarious, uplifting, riotous and occasionally risqué sketches, the show is designed to have wide adult appeal with just the right amount of naughtiness!!!

As those who remember previous recent Revues - particularly “Wedmore in Bloomers” and “Fool’s Gold” - will testify, this is definitely a production not to be missed, helping to herald in the spring and finally blow away those long winter blues.

Set in the Village Hall, the audience will be arranged in congenial café style around the stage. Performances will be on Thursday 11th, Friday 12th and Saturday 13th April commencing at 7.30 pm. On Saturday night a meal will be included in the ticket price and this will be served after the end of the performance. Ticket prices: Thursday & Friday: £8. Saturday: £14 (including meal).

Bazaar & Rummage

 

Thursday 29th, Friday 30th November and Saturday 1st December

Wedmore Hall

 

Best known for creating the character Adrian Mole, this play by Sue Townsend is a full length comedy set in West London in 1982.  It tells the story of three agoraphobic women and their ‘carer’ Gwenda, herself a recovered agoraphobic. Together with trainee social worker Fliss she organises a jumble sale at the local village hall and ‘persuades’ the three sufferers to come and help, in order to get them out of their homes for the first time in many years.

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Bristol Old Vic Theatre School - COLD COMFORT FARM

Wedmore Village Hall Friday 18 May at 7.30 pm

At Wedmore Theatre Club’s invitation, the Theatre School are back again and this year’s production is Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons, adapted by Paul Doust and directed by Christopher Scott.

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