And so does Beaufort! If my fellow countryman Piers Morgan, former newspaper editor now of TV fame, had been in the audience at last Saturday's performance of “Arsenic And Old Lace” he would certainly have led the standing ovation from the packed house following the final curtain.
I don't often watch America’s Got Talent, but when I do I am often very disappointed in the talent on offer. Not so when, with some mixed feelings (I am not normally given to attendance at amateur dramatic shows unless forced so to do when a member of the family is performing) I went to USC – Beaufort for the Beaufort Theatre (the spelling is theirs not mine) Companies first ever production.
Upon entering the auditorium I was immediately struck by the scene on the stage which confronted me, the living room of the Brewster home in Brooklyn. The people responsible for the production of the scenery deserve a round of applause of their very own.
I have been aware of Kesselrings classic comedy since I was a lad. Indeed I remember my parents rapturously recounting the performance they saw in London shortly after the end of WW11. I would not hesitate to suggest that the quality of the acting by that all-professional cast was no better than that of our local thespians comprising as it did a cast of all amateurs, save one.
I was somewhat nervous when the curtain rose for Act 1; such is my nature when amateurs take to the unaccustomed environs of the stage. I need not have been, as from the moment that Sheila Tombe and Fred Wilson uttered their first lines I realized I was unnecessarily worried.
It would be wrong to single out any other performances as all were of the highest standard.
I could understand that visiting professional actor Tom Schuster (Jonathan Brewster) had little trouble memorizing his part, after all it is his trade. My mind boggles, however, at the thought of my having to remember more than a line or two so all credit to the other members of the cast for getting through what is a pretty lengthy play with nary a prompt.
Bonnie Hargrove, Executive Director, of Beaufort Performing Arts informed the audience at the beginning of the evening that it is the hope of Beaufort Theatre Company to put on as many as four shows in 2010 starting with “You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown” next spring. She also invited aspiring actors amongst us to audition for this show by going to beaufortperformingarts.com or calling 843-521-4145.
I am eagerly awaiting my next night out at our local theater (note how I have adapted to American spelling) and in the interim wish Co-Directors Jeff Evans and Ian Sprague the “very best of British luck”… or should that be '”break a leg!”?
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