Our Series of Informal Play Readings - GADS Gosforth

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Our Series of Informal Play Readings

Coming Next

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.

"Connecting Doors"
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) - your destruction of Macbeth will just have to wait. You can see photos from "A Nativity" here.

"A Nativity"
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 - the Autumn Play in October.

"Farndale Ave ..... Macbeth" by
David McGillivray,
Walter Zerlin Jr and
William Shakespeare.

Thu 20 Apr

We had a good attendance, great fun reading this and cake - we even managed to get to the end (of the play, not the cake). One of the funniest farces ever written, its 3 acts follow the production of a short play from three perspectives.
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-libbing towards some sort of end.

"Noises Off"
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.

"Habeas Corpus"
by Alan Bennett

Thu 23 Feb

The play is set in fog-bound London in 1880 at the upper middle class home of Jack Manningham and his wife Bella. It is late afternoon, Bella is clearly on edge, and the stern reproaches from her overbearing husband (who flirts with the servants) makes matters worse. What most perturbs Bella is Jack's unexplained disappearances from the house: he will not tell her where he is going, and this increases her anxiety. As the drama unfolds, it becomes clear that Jack is intent on convincing Bella that she is going insane, even to the point of assuring her she is "imagining" the gas light in the house is dimming.

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.

"Dangerous Corner"
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 - a gentle, humane comedy with characters that are a bit more believable than the usual theatrical stereotypes.

"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-filleting foursome are celebrating in style with a trip to Australia. As they travel from Hull to the Gold Coast, Uluru and the bright lights of Sydney, they embark on a journey of self-discovery. While Shelley sees there's more to Oz than sun-kissed beaches, Pearl finds herself with a mountain to climb.

"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".

"Seasons Greetings"
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.

"Talking Heads"
by Alan Bennett


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