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Focus turns to SCDA for Wick and Thurso drama groups

By Staff Reporter- NOSN

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THE county's amateur thespians are back on stage preparing for the SCDA Festival of One-Act Plays after two successful festive panto productions.

Members of Wick Players' junior section are rehearsing Streuth by Michael Green, which will be entered in the open and youth festival, while Thurso Players are putting forward two plays – 54% Acrylic, by David Harrower, and Forget, by Faye Sutherland.

The local heats of the annual community drama festival will be staged in the Assembly Rooms in Wick on Saturday, February 29, starting at 7pm, with the teams hoping to make it through to the Scottish finals in Kirkwall in April, and ultimately the British final in Rhyl in June.

The Wick entry is being directed by Jayden Alexander, while in Thurso Audrey O’Brien will direct 54% Acrylic and Faye Sutherland, who penned Forget, will also direct it.

Both companies have had little time to rest after staging their popular and highly successful pantos – The Little Mermaid in Thurso and Aladdin in Wick.

A scene from Aladdin, staged by Wick Players in the run-up to Christmas. Picture: Alan McGee
A scene from Aladdin, staged by Wick Players in the run-up to Christmas. Picture: Alan McGee

Wick panto director and Wick Players vice-chairman Allan Bruce said: “Reflecting on our Christmas pantomime, it certainly made the months of very hard work and commitment from everyone involved worthwhile, especially when you’re performing to sell-out crowds and receive excellent feedback from the public.

"There will be no rest for our talented junior group in 2020 as rehearsals for the SCDA one-act play festival are well under way with their production of Streuth, under the direction of Jayden Alexander, who took part in our panto.”

Jayden added: “The buzz from panto still continues, certainly in myself and our junior players who are working so hard in rehearsals for the SCDA festival in February. We are all looking forward to taking part.”

Jayden said the Wick Players were grateful to Alan McGee for his panto photography.

In 54% Acrylic, 19-year-old Marion covets a dress in a department store and Gerry, the security guard, monitors her progress from an innocent everyday shopper to shoplifter. Marion escapes with the dress and Gerry gives chase. The text moves from monologue testimony to the audience to direct speech between Marion and Gerry.

Throughout, a nameless security supervisor’s orders to Gerry (via his radio) add an extra texture, complete with walkie-talkie crackle. The main thrust of the play has to be the strange dance that plays out between shoplifter and security guard.

Triton with Corky and Crusty in a scene from Thurso Players' Little Mermaid panto. Picture: John Firth
Triton with Corky and Crusty in a scene from Thurso Players' Little Mermaid panto. Picture: John Firth

Audrey said: "We’re excited to get started. I’ve been thinking about putting this play on for a while and am looking forward to tackling the challenges presented by staging what was originally a radio play."

Forget is two-hander, adult play, described as "a psychological thriller inspired by Lady Macbeth's manipulative character".

Can Martin truly let go of his past mistakes? Can the love for his wife override the regret that has a hold on him? Is it possible to not think about the one thing that demands your full attention? Is simply forgetting the only way to live with murder?

Faye said: ‘I’ve always loved writing, and acting is also a passion of mine. I have written short stories in the past, mainly background stories of characters that I have been cast as in Thurso Players. I used these stories as a tool to better understand the mind of the individual that I would be portraying.

"This play is a new project of mine, exploring a different area of writing where I can create characters of my own. I'm excited to see my vision on stage at the SCDA."

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