On Friday 1 July, Doug Morris from Middlleleaze won’t be sat at home watching the telly. Instead, he’ll be at the Wyvern Theatre, as part of the crew for a Swindon theatre company as they compete to be British Drama Champions of 2011.
Doug is a member of the Old Town Theatre Company, who will be performing their play, ‘The Recidivists’. Their appearance at the Wyvern is a story of firsts.
To get to the British Final, OTTC had to win the English Final – for the first time. It’s also the first time a team has represented England in their home town. Their director? His first play too. And as for Doug, well, this is the first time he’s run the lights for a festival production!
The play centres on two prisoners sharing a cell. Frank is a violent homophobic and enjoys only his own company. Into his solitary world is thrust Honey, an effeminate, very camp, homosexual. The pair go through various confrontations and emotional revelations as they are forced to confront and understand each other’s perspective. Through its unexpected use of some song and dance, along with straight humour, it’s also very funny.
Doug said he’s nervous but confident. “We’ve got a great play, great actors and a great team. I’m hopeful!” And being behind the scenes doesn’t bother Doug. “It might have been Bobby Moore who lifted the ’66 World Cup but everyone knew it was a team effort. We’re the same; in fact, we call ourselves ‘Team Recidivists’!”
The winning team from left, Ryan Gilks, Louise Hume (Sound), Doug Morris (Lighting), Peter Edge-Partington (Director), Bob Charman
Doug, and his OTTC team-mates will be taking on the best that Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have to offer. Each will have won through, on a knock out basis, each of its preliminary, regional, and national finals to appear at Swindon. OTTC have beaten off fourteen plays so far. Now, it’s just the British Final, at the Wyvern.
Ashley Heath is a spokesman for the British Final organisers. He’s also the Festival Director of the Harold Jolliffe One-Act Play Festival in Swindon, where OTTC won their first round. He said, “Even back in February, everyone who saw The Recividists knew they were watching something unique. The adjudicator for our round confided to me backstage that he felt OTTC could go all the way. Everyone at the Harold Jolliffe One-Act, and the British Final, is hoping that people in Swindon and Wiltshire will turn out support OTTC’s fairy tale cup run!”
The British Final Festival of One-Act Plays is being held at the Wyvern Theatre in Swindon on Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd July 2011. Curtain up is at 7pm. Tickets are £12, with £20 for both nights. To book, the box office number is 524481.
Above, Councillor Les Ellington, Mayor of Harrogate presents the John Maude Trophy to Peter Edge-Partington of OTTC