Sunday, 9 December 2012

An evening at the theatre - local style

Last night saw us at Westruther Village Hall for the last night of Borders Banter put on by Odd Productions, a community theatre group in the Scottish Borders.

There were two plays on offer by two local writers, The Gap by Oliver Eade and See Them Rats by Dorothy Bruce.

A glass of wine and a surprising catch up with a few people made for a very good start to the evening.

Both MM and I enjoyed The Gap a lot. It was about what happens to a dysfunctional family when the world splits in two. I know it sounds a bit far fetched, but it was great. The set mover who sang as he worked had the most amazing voice. We talked to Oliver in the interval and he told us he got the idea from when he was caught in an earthquake in China. Fascinating.

I'm always amazed at how my mind works when watching a film or a play. At the very start of The Gap, we see the man of the house waking up complaining about his prostate and urgently needing the loo. Of course all this is forgotten when he finds half his house is on one side of the gap, which contains him and his wife, and the other half contains his daughter, but more importantly the loo. We never do find out when he manages to go, and I was concerned for the poor guy's prostate. Oliver (the author) just smiled indulgently at me at that one... oh well!

See Them Rats was a complete change of pace. The singing set mover sang in this one too. I can't tell you how wonderful it was to hear such a clear, beautiful voice ringing out in the hall. No mike, no music, just pure vocals. This play was about 3 homeless guys, living in a derelict bus in a Scottish Borders scrapyard and what happens when their home is visited by a middle aged female sculptor on the lookout for some scrap metal. She joins them to go joyriding in a tank at the local army barracks... and I'm going to say no more in case you ever get to see the play. I don't want to give the ending away.

What was truly impressive with both these pieces of writing is that it was the first time either had written for the theatre. They were apparently spurred on by a workshop by Jane Houston Green of Treading The Borders fame, which sadly I hadn't been able to go to earlier on in the year. But Jane just happened to be sitting behind us last night and I've been invited to join her jolly band of writing folk. They did have a get-together today, but sadly I have a client to see, so couldn't go. But next time....

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