Characters looking for change in Worthing open mic night drama

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Chichester and Worthing are getting the premiere of a new play A Different Song by award-winning Worthing writer Liz Tait.

It’s a play which goes behind the scenes at the Charles Dickens Open Mic Night where Kate and Mitch are regular performers and Chrissie has taken over the clipboard and is hosting for the first time. She needs it to go well...

A re-working of Liz’s play, Limelight, previously produced with Brighton-based Beside the Seaside Productions in 2016, it will be at the Chichester Fringe on Saturday, June 15 at 11am at 104 The Hornet, Chichester, PO19 7JR (£8, £6 concession, www.chichesterfringe.co.uk) and the Worthing Festival from Wednesday, June 19-Sunday, June 23 at The Charles Dickens Pub, 54-60 Heene Road, Worthing, BN11 3RG (June 19-21 at 7.30pm; 3pm and 7.30pm on June 22 and 23; £10; www.wegottickets.com/LizTaitProductions). The cast is Sally Best, Andy Hutchison and Helen Rogers.

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Liz explains: “I wrote the play called Limelight back in 2016 and it went to the Brighton Fringe and it went down very well. But it had six people in it and I always thought that I'd like to focus on just two characters from the play and their relationship and that's how this play was born. It's the two characters Mitch and Kate, plus Chrissie who is the host.

Liz Tait (contributed pic)Liz Tait (contributed pic)
Liz Tait (contributed pic)

“Mitch is a seasoned open mic performer. He plays acoustic guitar but he is a bit lost. He has lost his dog. He is grieving for a dog that has had to be put down. He has feelings for Kate, the other performer, but she is married, and his previous marriage broke down because he had an affair. He is very aware that he can't go there. Kate does really like him and it does transpire that her husband has left her which gives the green light for them to go ahead.

“Kate's daughter has left home quite recently so Kate is feeling a bit lost as well. She is a bit lost and lonely. Her one refuge is the open mic night where she can find how she used to be. She used to do quite a lot of singing in her earlier days. Really she is looking for change.”

Liz added: “I have been to some open mic nights and I just like the idea of the community that you get around open mic nights. I was just interested in what draws people to perform in that environment for no money but just for the chance to get up there and do something. And I thought it was quite interesting to look behind the scenes as they are preparing to perform. The story is about change. Mitch feels that he wants to make this his last night performing and Kate comes with a different song that she wants to perform, part of the change in her life.”

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Andy Hutchison is playing Mitch. He has worked extensively in drama, appearing in film, TV and gaining theatre credits in London, Edinburgh Fringe and Australia. Sally Best (Kate) trained at The Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts, gaining a BA in acting. Her credits include Lady Macbeth in Macbeth in Brighton.

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