My Tuesday evenings are taken up with The Streatham Amateur Dramatic, Dance & Opera Society, and believe me, those people never fail to drain me. My friend Ivan is always telling me they do not deserve to benefit from my artistic input and that I should resign and let them get on with it.
The majority of the performers are not a day under 40 and the ones that are, should really get out more. It has been observed, rather unkindly, that certain productions resemble a communal sitting room in an old peoples' home. On a brighter note, we have had a mini renaissance of late and have recruited a number of younger folk, much to the chagrin of Sylvia Dorking-Pastures (more about her later).
In general we tend to put on the lighter plays, musicales and light operettas. However, for reasons unknown to me, Barry, our theatrical director, has decided that we will be performing Shakespeare's Hamlet. Inevitably, his much, much younger Brazilian flat-mate Ramon has been given the lead role sans audition. Ramon is the leading light and star of the Company, or so he tells us anyway.
I really do not believe that this group of actors (and I use that term loosely) possess sufficient gravitas to pull off Hamlet. They tell me I am wrong, we shall see.
We spent the majority of yesterday evening arguing over the best way to recreate the Ghost of Hamlet's Father. That dreadful woman, Hilary Mottleglot (more about her later), had the temerity to suggest we use a shop dummy (supplied by Hilary Mottleglot) and wig (also supplied by Hilary Mottleglot) and suspend it on wires (no doubt, also supplied by La Mottleglot). I, being in the scenery and props department, objected on the grounds that it would look ridiculous. I was overruled, much to my disbelief, and wonder if they have gone quite mad. Needless to say, we run with the dummy.
The wise old words "too many cooks spoil the broth" comes to mind here, and if I am to stretch this analogy, then the broth has become stone cold and lumpen. I once more voiced my disapproval for the dummy plan and the Mottleglot creature had the nerve to quote from Hamlet in a simpering voice, "Oh Griselda dear, The lady doth protest to much methinks."
I am pleased to say I managed to rise above this remark and I pointedly ignored the suppressed titters that overcame the assembled group. I am not a person prone to physical violence, but if the wires to suspend the wretched dummy had been available, it would not be an understatement to say, she would have been strung up on them.
This production will descend into farce, you mark my words!.