New drama group for Worthing

It's a comedy, but there is a lot more to it than that, says David Morgan who directs the first production from the new Worthing Drama Company.

new drama in Worthing
new drama in Worthing

The Cemetery Club by Ivan Menchall will run from Thursday to Saturday, February 23-25 at The Sealight Theatre, Worthing College.

David, who is also the company’s chairman, said: “We just saw an opportunity to do something different, and we are very fortunate to have access to The Sealight Theatre which is a wonderful venue that has been very good to us.

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“My wife Alicia and I have both seen the play before, and it’s a great opportunity for three women (played by Alicia and by Sandra Smith and Yvette Walters) to get to grips with a really well-written character. And it is not just a comedy. It is hilariously funny, but it centres around three women that have all lost their husbands and go regularly to visit the cemetery.

“They are New York women which tells you all you want to know, and the New York Jewish humour is embedded in the whole thing. It is a drama as well as a comedy, and it has got its ups and downs. I have got a really good cast of five, and the three actresses who play the ladies are all hugely experienced. All of them have taken to their roles wonderfully well.

“They are three very different ladies. You have got a woman called Ida who is a sweet woman. Her husband has died, and she is wanting to move on but is quite nervous. Doris has got to the point where her husband has died and she thinks that’s it for her. She is very respectful and goes once a month to the cemetery and always will do. And then you have got Lucille who is very different. She is feisty. It appears that her husband was a bit of a philanderer, and she now wants to play the field. She is fed up with going to the cemetery…

“You have got the drama of these three women all reacting in different ways. And within that you have got Sam, a butcher that has lost his wife. Lucille beams down on him but it is not actually her that she is drawn to.

“I was anxious from the beginning that we should not get too bogged down with the New York Jewish accent. The drama is so well written that if you get too bogged down with the accent, you might miss the humour. A lot of comedy is about timing. It really is. It is about how the line is delivered, and when you don’t get too bogged down with the accent, the accent just comes anyway. All five of them have got the accent down to a T.”

David has spent 40 years in amateur dramatics as an actor: “But with this company, we were all just looking for something else. And we discovered that there were other people looking for something different too. This is very modern theatre. There will be furniture, a back cloth and really very little else. Quite often one of the mistakes that amateur groups make is that they throw an awful lot of scenery on, and you don’t need to do that. You can give the audience a bit more credit than that.

“We are still in our first flight as a company, but we are very keen not to be known as ‘the Worthing Drama Company, oh, they always play there’. We were keen to be a drama company that puts on plays in various places. This one and the next will be at The Sealight Theatre, but after that, I don’t know. We will see. We think there is room for a society that has a modern outlook doing different productions in different places.”

Tickets are £10, and the show time is 7.30pm.

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