AmDramAmateur Dramatics
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The cast as a whole demonstrates that amdram productions can challenge actors far more than some professional ones, and that there are amdram actors who can, with the guidance of the right director, certainly rise to the challenge.
The larger community of Alvechurch has a lot to offer in terms of facilities such as schools, shops, restaurants, railway station and a marina, but village life in Rowney Green is certainly very active with barn dances, pilates classes, horticultural appreciation and amdram all taking place in the village hall.
Yet Monday's first night performance was launched with a rare moment of true amdram mayhem when the curtain on which the preshow video of the sea is projected got stuck halfway.
When a philandering amdram ham and his leading lady lover are found decapitated in their car following a dire musical performance of Romeo & Juliet, while everyone else is quick to write it off as an accident, Angel's trained senses are less convinced.
Elsewhere performances rarely rise above your average amdram nativity production, though Ciaran Hinds does slice the sacrificial ham pretty thick as Herod.
For the hundred or so young people who crowded onto the stage to give us the betrothal dances, prayer dances and so on, things which give Coppelia its essential charm, things were not quite so fluid and we move into Amdram structures.
But the whole thing mostly resembled an amdram piece presented by YTS conscripts.
This is clearly destined to become a staple of the amdram calendar and I thought it would be a good idea to evaluate its strengths and weaknesses, almost as a service to companies searching around for new contemporary material.
Reluctantly agreeing, as part of his probation, to take part in an amdram production of the Passion Play organised by his local priest (Tom Georgerson), Jimmy gradually finds himself becoming increasingly involved, getting the luvvies thrown out, giving the script a harder feel and kicking the cast into more committed performances.
The Royal Shakespeare Company has opened up The Other Place to amdram, which is better than leaving it in its current gaping emptiness.
Actually, they don't wave very well and the effect is rather like a Monday in an amdram play week.