Plays for Pleasure is a way of keeping (or getting) in touch between shows.
As well as being fun for all the actor types, these informal sessions are great for those who enjoy reading plays out loud but wouldn’t be seen dead on the stage. And for those who just like listening to other people reading plays. Some even use them as an opportunity to try out their dodgy accents and see whether they leave others speechless at their brilliance or rolling about the floor laughing.
Maybe thanks to the wonderful weather we have been enjoying recently, there was minimal turnout for our reading on Wed 30 May. Hopefully the weather will be with us for the rest of the summer, so we have cancelled our sessions for June and July.
That will take us into Autum Play and Panto seasons, so Plays for Pleasure is unlikely to resume before Feb 2019.
Sessions are in the Supper Room, Gosforth Public Hall and begin at 7:30 pm.
They are free to attend.
Previously on Plays for Pleasure .....
Wed 28 Feb
The new series of Plays for Pleasure got off to a flying start with Alan Ayckbourn's "Connecting Doors". This play fully lived up to its description as a comedy thriller. It was very different from the comedy of suburban manners we have come to expect and enjoy from Ayckbourn. He uses all his skill with complex sets and tricks with time in a plot that gripped the audience to the very end. And it made us laugh too. A play that had everything.
by Alan Ayckbourn
Wed 26 Jul
After reading this, we just had to stage it as our Autumn Play. Giving GADS Member David the opportunity to direct (and begrudgingly also star in) his own play for a world premier was an opportunity that we just could not pass by. Sorry ladies (of Farndale Avenue) -
by David Rounce
Wed 24 May
It was great to see a new face for the reading of this hilariously outrageous comedy. The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen's Guild Dramatic Society ladies mount yet another assault on the classics with a startlingly original production of Macbeth – written by David McGillivray and Walter Zerlin Jr, with a little help from William Shakespeare. This is being seriously considered for our next production -
"Farndale Ave ..... Macbeth" by
Walter Zerlin Jr and
Thu 20 Apr
We had a good attendance, great fun reading this and cake -
Act One is set at the technical rehearsal and the cast are hopelessly unready. Baffled by entrances and exits, missed cues, missed lines, and bothersome props, they drive their director into a seething rage.
Act Two is a performance as seen from backstage. It shows the deteriorating relationships between the cast. Romantic rivalries, lovers' tiffs and personal quarrels lead to on and off stage chaos.
In Act Three we see a performance near the end of the play's run. Relationships between the cast have soured, the set is breaking down and the props are all over the place. The actors remain determined to cover up the mounting chaos, but it is not long before the plot has to be abandoned and the more coherent characters start ad-
by Michael Frayn
Thu 6 Apr
Described by the Guardian when first performed as “a gorgeously vulgar but densely plotted farce that is a downright celebration of sex and the human body... a combination of hurtling action with verbal brilliance”, the play has 11 characters, so there was plenty for everyone to read. The 6 participants taking on the 11 roles was a farce in itself and great fun.
by Alan Bennett
Thu 23 Feb
The play is set in fog-
by Patrick Hamilton
Thu 26 May
Robert and Freda Caplan are entertaining guests at their country retreat. A chance remark by one of the guests ignites a series of devastating revelations, revealing a hitherto undiscovered tangle of clandestine relationships and dark secrets, the disclosures of which have tragic consequences. The play ends with time slipping back to the beginning of the evening and the chance remark not being made, the secrets remaining hidden and the "dangerous corner" avoided.
by J B Priestly
Thu 28 Apr
It's Christmas, and Beth Timms is mourning the recent death of her health and safety officer husband. The family have come to ensure that she has a stress free Christmas but their good intentions prove to be short lived. The local vicar unwittingly summons Gordon's ghost to return to the family home. It soon becomes apparent, however that his return is not altogether welcome.
Alan Ayckbourns "Life and Beth" was this month's Play for Pleasure -
"Life and Beth"
by Alan Ayckbourn
Thu 31 Mar
This clever comedy at last provides an opportunity to see Tom Stoppard's amazing ability to confuse and delight at first hand.
"The Real Inspector Hound"
by Tom Stoppard
Thu 24 Sep
Our final reading before pantomime rehearsals, and what fun it was.
A strong candidate for our Autumn Play next year.
After hitting the jackpot at Ladies Day (GADS, Oct 2013), the fish-
"Ladies Down Under"
by Amanda Whittington
Thu 27 Aug
Lord Arthur Savile got away with it as far as our members were concerned.
Attendance was a little disappointing, probably due to it being peak holiday season, so we might skip August next year.
"Lord Arthur Savile's Crime"
by Constance Cox
Thu 23 Jul
The large cast of Alan Ayckbourn's "Seasons Greetings" resulted in a lot of doubling, revealing the considerable talent of our readers and adding to the general hilarity of our second "Play for Pleasure".
by Alan Ayckbourn
Thu 25 Jun
Our new series of informal play readings got off to a flying start in June with series 1 of "Talking Heads" by Alan Bennett. There were light rereshments and lots of entertaining discussion.
by Alan Bennett