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Programme for Taunton Thespians' production of Outside Edge


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Richard Harris' Outside Edge is a very funny play indeed, and the director (for once) had a firm idea of the image for posters and programme cover, which took a while but works quite well. Typeface …

Richard Harris' Outside Edge is a very funny play indeed, and the director (for once) had a firm idea of the image for posters and programme cover, which took a while but works quite well. Typeface deliberately Eurostile for that 1970s feel I remembered from Letraset on the Plymouth Polytechnic magazine back then... Excellent photographs by Mark Dawson

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  • 1. 1 Outside Edgethe classic cricket comedy by Richard Harris 13–17 March 2012 Programme £2 Programme pages.indd 1 3/6/2012 12:12:54 AM
  • 2. 2 We are grateful to the following: for displaying billboards: Yule Brown, Taunton; The Crown & Sceptre, Taunton; Richard Moore, Taunton; Mr & Mrs Tooze, Chelston for promotional displays: Shops & other premises in Taunton and elsewhere for deploying billboards: Mark Dawson for financial support: Our advertisers for transporting the set Webbers Removals for loan of Cricket Equipment Paul Dimond; Rob Stevens; Emma Vicarage; Bridgetown CC for the dartboard Mrs Jenny Fowler for the antique bat Simon Spalding for darts, helmet & payphone Stuart Lyddon for beer crates John Weller for franking service Learning South West for the licence Samuel French Ltd for printing services Express Print, Taunton for all their help Members of Taunton Thespians Taunton Thespians is a Registered Charity, Number 800217 Programme pages.indd 2 3/6/2012 12:12:56 AM
  • 3. 3 The play is set in the 1970s, when some vices were less frowned upon than now, and some attitudes were very different to those of today. The setting is in and around a slightly run-down cricket pavilion in a village in Surrey, England. There will be a interval of 20 minutes between the acts. Please note that cigarettes are smoked during the performance Taunton Thespians present Outside Edgeby Richard Harris Act One About 1.00pm on a fine summer’s day Act Two About 5.30pm, the same day Programme pages.indd 3 3/6/2012 12:12:56 AM
  • 4. 4 In rehearsal Programme pages.indd 4 3/6/2012 12:13:25 AM
  • 5. 5 About the Author Richard Harris (b. London 1934) is a prolific British television writer, most active from the early 1960s to the mid-1990s. He writes primarily for the crime and detective genres, having contributed episodes of series like The Avengers, The Saint, The Sweeney, Armchair Mystery Theatre, and Target. He has helped to create several standout programmes, including Adam Adamant Lives!, Man in a Suitcase, and Shoestring. Despite a career which has been largely spent crime and detective works, in 1994 he won the prize for best situation comedy from the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain for Outside Edge, a programme he had originated as a stage play. Indeed, though the majority of his work has been for television, a substantial amount of his output has been for the stage. Harris began writing freelance episodes for British television in his mid-twenties. His first sale was to Sydney Newman’s 1960 ITV series, Police Surgeon, for which he wrote the final episode, The Bigger They Are. Though he wrote for the initial runs of The Avengers and The Saint, much of the early 1960s was dominated by his contributions to anthological mystery programmes like The Edgar Wallace Mystery Theatre and situation comedies like Hancock. His attempts at comedies in the early 1960s were largely collaborative efforts with Dennis Spooner. These joint efforts did not establish either writer in the comedy genre, Instead, as their two failed pilots for Comedy Playhouse proved, the duo were really more interested in writing dramatic works. Despite his commercial failures with Spooner, he continued to collaborate with others during his early career — perhaps most successfully in 1966’s Adam Adamant Returns!, whose pilot he wrote with Donald Cotton. By the end of the decade, he had contributed individual episodes to no less than twenty series. From the late 1960s onward, producers began allowing him to write a number of “first episodes”, effectively making him co-creator of a number of projects like The Gamblers and Life and Death of Penelope. Although he turned a number of ideas into initial scripts, he only occasionally received an on-screen credit. This is evident in two of his most recent shows, both adapted from literature. In The Last Detective, he is recognized as having “devised the series for television”. On A Touch of Frost, he is not — despite having written the programme’s first season. Beginning in about 1971. Harris turned his earlier comedic ambitions towards the stage. The vast majority of his comedic work, even if it later ended up film, derives from his career as a playwright. Throughout the 1970s, a new play of his would be produced almost annually. Though the frequency of his stage work slowed in later decades, his plays continued to debut into the early part of the 21st century. Outside Edge opened at the Hampstead Theatre in London on 24th July 1979 and transferred to the Queen’s Theatre on 11th September 1979. The cast was as follows: • Roger - Richard Kane • Miriam - Julia McKenzie • Kevin - Ian Trigger • Maggie - Maureen Lipman • Bob - John Kane • Ginnie - Susan Carpenter • Dennis - Julian Curry • Alex - Martin Wimbush • Sharon - Natalie Forbes In 1982 the play was adapted for a one-off television show, starring Paul Eddington as Roger, Prunella Scales as Miriam, Jonathan Lynn as Kevin and Maureen Lipman as Maggie. The cast also featured Gary Waldhorn as Dennis and Leslie Ash as Sharon. In the mid-1990s, Harris adapted the play into a sitcom on ITV, starring Robert Daws as Roger, Brenda Blethyn as Miriam, Timothy Spall as Kevin and Josie Lawrence as Maggie. Information from Wikipedia, the free online encyclopaedia Programme pages.indd 5 3/6/2012 12:13:25 AM
  • 6. 6 Open 7 days a week: Lunch from 12 noon - 2pm• Restaurant closed 3pm - 6pm• Dinner service 6pm until 9pm, close about 11pm.• Dogs welcome in the bar Pre-theatre dinners for Tacchi Morris on request Peter & Val Mustoe took ownership mid September 2011 Introducing exotic meats into our menu when available The Monkton Inn, Blundells Lane, West Monkton. Tel: 01823 412 414 or 079 000 80442 Email: Web: Programme pages.indd 6 3/6/2012 12:13:28 AM
  • 7. 7 Outside Edge - Director’s Cut: Five Day Test While driving home from a recent rehearsal, listening to a therapeutic blast of Mozart’s Jupiter symphony on the radio, it struck me like a cricket ball on the bonce how similar directing and conducting are. As an erstwhile woodwind soloist in many orchestras, I had the luxury of occasionally shining and also the enjoyment of participating in the rich harmonies found in full orchestral scoring. A conductor (a rôle I have never been offered but one I would quite like to try) aims to pull together all those disparate solo performances, quieten some down, exhort others to even greater effort and sit hard on the inevitable bum note. A director has much the same job to do, especially in a play like Outside Edge which is, par excellence, an ensemble piece. Every team member has their shining moment, but the overall effect, if I’ve got it right, should be of a close-knit company pulling together, timing their entrances, speeches and actions to perfection, and bringing the entire enterprise to a triumphant and harmonious finish. No room for any Corporal Joneses in this outfit… Speaking as an actor, I think Outside Edge, with its nine magnificent roles, offers wonderful opportunities for thespians (with or without a capital ‘T’) to hone and display their comic timing, accents, physical comedy, ability to handle ‘business’, interaction with others and teamwork. It is a superbly written play which requires the entire cast to work closely and seamlessly together. As a novice director, on the other hand, it offers multiple stumbling blocks, as I’ve discovered when approaching the directing crease for the first time. Why is it that a cricketer has mysteriously drifted stage left and is now blocking a critical piece of action? Why are those two speeches always delivered on top of one another? What do you do if an audio cue of a loud appeal doesn’t materialise and the actor doesn’t therefore come out with his or her line? And how can you produce enough volume from your actors to stifle the irritating if appropriate creaking of the ancient rostra forming the basis of our cricket pavilion? And of course, the perennial question all directors ask themselves (unless they’re rich, famous or cavalier enough not to care): Will the audience like it? We hope so. The cast members (who have endured with commendable equanimity my petty nitpicking for three months), crew (who have helped realise my vision of this pitched battle with the British Railways Maintenance Division, Yeading East) and I thank you cordially for coming along and we now throw down a marking-up glove with the timely challenge: How’s that? Jane Edwards Programme pages.indd 7 3/6/2012 12:13:31 AM
  • 8. 8 CRIME SCENE DO NOT CROSSCRIME SCENE DO NOT CROSS C R O S S C R IM E S C E N E D O N O T C R O S S C R ENEDONOT MURDER MYSTERY EVENTS With many devious plots, dastardly characters and devilish ideas, we have been providing murder, mysytery and intrigue throughout the South West and beyond since 2005. Whether you are holding a small intimate party or an entertainment for 100s, we can adapt or produce a story to suit your guests, venue and pocket and provide as much or as little as you need to ensure that your event goes with a bang. No event too small and hundreds if exciting stories to enjoy over a meal with fr in the privacy of youown hom and lalalalalallalalalalalalalallalalalaaa nevery takegreat care to lalalalalallalalalallalalalalallalalallalalalalallaablkood happy enjoy happy clever idea Whatevere your ideas we have something that will make everybody scratch their head ANNOUNCEYOUROWNMURDER Tailor-made and off-the-peg Murder mysteries to die for(01460) 241915 / 07747 633 The ExamineMysteries forAdult parties, hens, etc Childrens’ partiesSchool fun & science days Fund-raisingHotels, pubs etcChristmas, Halloween and more Programme pages.indd 8 3/6/2012 12:13:43 AM
  • 9. 9 CRICKET CALYPSO De West Indians have come to town To hit de ball all over de groun’ De English, dey struggle wid might an’ main… To get de Lord to send down de rain. Clive Lloyd de captain takes all de pressure, Lookin’ like an absent-minded professor. De way to dismiss a man of his class is To get short-leg to breathe on his glasses. De vice-captain’s Somerset’s Richards Viv, De greatest Antiguan dat ever did live. To catch him you’ve got one chance in a million; Put all your fielders inside de pavilion. Gordon Greenidge is only in clover If he can reach 50 in de first over. Des Haynes smiles bright as de sun in de sky, But if you run him out, he’ll have a good cry. De English complain dat Kallicharan Don’t look like a proper West Indi-an. An’ Lightnin’ Bacchus is anudder man Dey wish was playin’ for Pakistan. Collis King hits as hard as a ragin’ lion, An’ de fielders could do wid gloves of iron. Derek Parry takes wickets, as much as you need, But can’t play in Tests ‘cos he’s de wrong speed. De wicket-keeper’s a source of worry – Should it be D. Murray, or should it be D. Murray? Poor Lawrence Rowe’s suffered more dan a little – Two hours in de field means two weeks in hospital. De fast bowlers’ union is very strong, When dey strike, negotiations don’t last long. De sight of Croft causes many alarms, He bowls like a windmill wid six arms. Malcolm Marshall runs like Olympic sprinter, An’ de batsman’s bat turns into a splinter, An’ Holding runs from so far in de deep, By de time he arrives, de batsman’s asleep. Roberts frowns like he’s feelin’ too sick to play, But de batsman’s de one dat limps away, De English say Big Joel’s bowlin’ ain’t cricket – He leans down de pitch an’ drops de ball straight on de wicket. De West Indians have come to town To hit de ball all over de groun’ I wish de whole worl’ learned to play Cricket de Caribbean way. David Henry Wilson, 1980 About Taunton Thespians The Taunton Thespians have been providing live theatre for and by the people of Taunton and surrounding area since 1928, when Ian Hay’s Tilly of Bloomsbury was staged for 3 nights at the Lyceum Theatre (now a block of flats at the end of Station Road). The Thespians' home is “The Place” in Wilfred Road, Taunton. Every year the Thespians entertain thousands of people by: Staging two major productions at the Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre• Participating in drama festivals in other theatres around Somerset• Putting on in-house productions for members• Spending two weeks on the road with a touring production every summer• We also provide Murder Mystery evenings for parties and fund-raising events around the area, and are developing our outreach activities further. To see what's happening in amateur drama in Taunton, come along to a Club Night. There's no charge, and you're very welcome. Just drop along to The Place at 7.30pm on the first Wednesday of any month from September to May. If you do fancy joining us, there’s plenty to do, and it doesn’t have to involve getting up on stage. Actors and actresses are always welcome, of course, but we do need people who want to design and build our sets, sort out costumes, do makeup and hair, all sorts of things. Membership is only £12 a year, and it’s just about the most fun you can have for a pound a month! For more details call John Burbery on 01823 442118 or email Programme pages.indd 9 3/6/2012 12:13:43 AM
  • 10. 10 The Boys Bob Dennis Roger Alex Kevin Alan Coles Brian Lewis Richard Stenner Adam Smith Stuart Lloyd Programme pages.indd 10 3/6/2012 12:13:46 AM
  • 11. 11 Maggie Ginnie Miriam Sharon Jane Leakey Lucy Monaghan Rachel Buttell Hayley Watson plus a special guest appearance by Maat Ward as Charles The Girls Programme pages.indd 11 3/6/2012 12:13:48 AM
  • 12. 12 Backstage Team Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jane Edwards Producer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Polly Bray Stage Manager . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Michael Gilbert DSM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Keith Gibbons Set Design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ray Court Set Construction & Painting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ray Court, Di Rawle, Mark Dawson, Pauline Tilley, Angela Widgery, Jane Edwards, Rachel Buttell, Stuart Lloyd, Lucy Monaghan, Conor Gilbert, Nicola Dawson and Swannie Sound . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Will Bower Lighting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dan Crowther Props . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . David Northey & Jane Burt Costume . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Charlotte Briggs & Kirsten Whyte FOH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nicola Dawson Prompt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Rene Kilner Original Music . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Tony Leach Graphic Design & Programme . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Michael Gilbert Photography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mark Dawson Publicity Team . . Ron Roberts, Rene Kilner, Nicola Dawson, Jane Edwards, Rachel Buttell, Dona Bullion, Michael Gilbert Programme pages.indd 12 3/6/2012 12:13:49 AM
  • 13. 13 Programme pages.indd 13 3/6/2012 12:13:55 AM
  • 14. 14 Alan Coles - Bob Although I have been performing in Taunton and around Somerset for nearly 20 years in musicals, operettas and even operas, this will be my first ever play. It’s going to be strange without anything to sing, but a relief not to have to dance. Thanks must go to Jane Edwards, our director, firstly for persuading me to even think about auditioning for a part I am strictly far too old to play, for subsequently casting me and then patiently moulding a performance over the last 3 months. Enjoy the show, but please don’t laugh quietly; I might take it personally. Richard Stenner - Roger I find it quite hard to believe that nearly 36 years have passed since heading up the cast in the first major play to be staged at the Brewhouse Theatre in April 1976. Since then, I have been on and off the boards in numerous societies’ shows in and around the county. Outside Edge is only my fourth appearance with the Taunton Thespians in which I play Roger Dervish, the impossible Team Captain and equally impossible husband to long suffering Miriam – hardly a “perfect match” in more ways than one. Never having been a member of any 1st, 2nd or even 3rd Eleven, the notion of me heading a cricket team to victory is laughable to say the least; however, this is theatre, where anything is possible! Lucy Monaghan - Ginnie Everybody watching this play will be able to observe an aspect of themselves, or indeed their other-halves, in a character. Ginnie - a sarcastic, vain, emotionally unstable young lady – is a complex character, to which I was able to relate to in some ways (I won’t say to which characteristics I immediately related), but which took me some time truly to understand. I now see facets of Ginnie in everyone and want to defend her as a passionate, insecure and witty woman. I hope all these layers of Ginnie become visible as the story progresses. Rachel Buttell - Miriam Miriam is a dream role. Although she comes across as uptight, tetchy, brittle, I think she's shy and although uneasy talking to people, she's a helper/supporter who dreams of a Saturday when the teas go without hitch and everyone gets on together. I wonder what she would be like if she had a husband who appreciates her and could give her a cuddle now and again. Completely different from my relationship... I've been very lucky to have a boyfriend who has helped me learn those lines - although he has started calling me "darling" a lot, and expects me to make him tea all the time! Programme pages.indd 14 3/6/2012 12:13:56 AM
  • 15. 15 Brian Lewis - Dennis Having joined Taunton Thespians in 2011 I was delighted to be Assistant Stage Manager for both The Good Doctor and A Murder is Announced. However, there’s nothing quite like a spot of acting and I am very excited to be performing in Outside Edge; it’s my first acting appearance at the Tacchi–Morris Arts Centre and also my first appearance for Taunton Thespians in a full length play. I enjoyed the two readings of this play more than any other so far and I have high hopes that the audiences will also find it hilarious. Stuart Lloyd - Kevin This is quite a departure for me, having previously only taken part in pantomime and musical theatre. For years I have enjoyed watching Thespians’ productions, but this is the first time I have taken part. I have seen Outside Edge on many occasions and as it combines two of my favourite things, comedy and cricket - how could I resist? It is a great opportunity for me to play Kevin, who unfortunately shares a lot of my character traits. Those who know me well could only agree! Jane Leakey - Maggie I am thrilled to be working with the Thespians once again since playing Jacie Triplethree in Alan Ayckourn's Comic Potential, for which I won the Best Actress Rose Bowl Award. I am a puppeteer, writer, teacher and director and work with Fat Cat Theatre Company. I have worked at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden (model room) and performed stand-up at the BBC Television Centre. When not performing, I am a wildlife photographer and work with endangered animals: gorillas, chimps and monkeys in Cameroon and elephants in Thailand. I can't wait to work with rescued cheetahs and baboons in Namibia later this year Programme pages.indd 15 3/6/2012 12:13:57 AM
  • 16. 16 Adam Smith - Alex A lifetime ambition fulfilled; this is the first time I will have performed as an actor, ever. I am half terrified, half excited, and half something else entirely. The entire cast and crew have been wonderful to work with, everyone has been very supportive and I can't describe how much I've learnt during the past few weeks, about myself and the ways of theatre. I'd like to think that this is the first of many plays that I'll be a part of in the near future! Fingers crossed... Thank you, everyone. Maat Ward - Charles One of the drawbacks of being in a play (especially a good one) is that you can’t be in it and watch it at the same time. With Outside Edge, I feel I’ve done just that – due to a few scheduling conflicts, I’ve stood in for five characters (I’m hoping to complete the set before curtain up), but my actual part is small enough that in many rehearsals I’ve had the privilege of just settling back and watching an excellent bunch of actors pull together a very good show – one that just gets sharper and funnier every time I see it. Hayley Watson - Sharon It's always a real treat for an actor when they get to experience a play, with which they have enjoyed previous involvement, from a different angle. A few years ago I played Maggie, and am now playing Sharon, a fun little cameo with lots of angst and social awkwardness which has certainly allowed me to do just this. I've also greatly enjoyed the role as sadly, after almost two years, several 'major productions', a good dose of murder mysteries, one summer tour, and a drama festival entry, Outside Edge marks the end of my run with the Taunton Thespians due to me relocating. A big thank you to everyone for the part they have played in making my journey with the Thespians a thoroughly enjoyable one! Programme pages.indd 16 3/6/2012 12:13:57 AM
  • 17. 17 ordsords andand adiesadies On Tour 2012 Present dream on...dream on... Auditions at The Place, WIlfred Rd, Taunton, 19th & 21st of March, 7.30pm Terry Pratchett’sTerry Pratchett’s comic fantasycomic fantasy Programme pages.indd 17 3/6/2012 12:15:00 AM
  • 18. 18 This production is entered for The Phoebe Rees Awards Founded by Phoebe Rees and run by the Somerset Fellowship of Drama, the competition is open to amateur drama societies and groups in Somerset. Plays are adjudicated by members of the Fellowship’s committee who also run an annual Original Playwriting Festival and the county’s first round of the All England Theatre Festival, and organise drama training. The Rose Bowl Awards Founded by the families of Walter Hawkins and John Coe, this is now funded through the Quartet Community Foundation, with individual awards sponsored by the Bristol Evening Post. Amateur operatic and dramatic productions throughout former Avon, Gloucester and Somerset are assessed by GODA qualified adjudicators Taunton Thespians are members of NODA The National Operatic and Dramatic Association (NODA), founded in 1899, is the main representative body for amateur theatre in the UK. It has a membership of some 2500 amateur/community theatre groups and 3000 individual enthusiasts throughout the UK, staging musicals, operas, plays, concerts and pantomimes in a wide variety of performing venues, ranging from the country's leading professional theatres to village halls. Members have access to a wide range of benefits. NODA aims To give a shared voice to the amateur theatre sector• To help amateur societies and individuals achieve the highest standards of• best practice and performance To provide leadership and advice to enable the amateur theatre sector to• tackle the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century Murder Mystery evenings Are you looking for a fun evening to raise money for your school, local community or favourate charity? Or are you simply interested in running a lively, fun social event? Do you have access to a hall or meeting room? If so, why not book the Taunton Thespians to run a murder mystery evening for you. Thespians will supply actors to perform an entertaining who-dun-it right in front of your eyes and will involve the whole audience in solving the mystery. These evenings work very well when combined with a supper. Dates are available in the autumn For availability, fees and further details contact or phone 01823 270249. Programme pages.indd 18 3/6/2012 12:15:08 AM
  • 19. 19 Programme pages.indd 19 3/6/2012 12:15:09 AM
  • 20. 20 Taunton’s premier independent estate agents If you are thinking of buying or selling in the area, contact us first Estate agents - Valuers - Auctioneers Residential, Commercial & Development Surveyors Letting Agents & Property Management Winchester House, Corporation Street, Taunton TA1 4AJ 01823 332121 Programme pages.indd 20 3/6/2012 12:15:15 AM