Ringmer Dramatic Society has performed in the Village for 65 years to date.
Autumn 2017 Production
The Waltz of the Toreadors
by Jean Anouilh and adapted by Luciene Hill
Directed by Graham Stapley
Production Week 20th to 25th November 2017
Play Read Through 7.30pm on Wednesday 12th April in the Symons Hall (stage)
Auditions at 7.30pm on Wednesday 19th April in the same place.
set in France in 1910, General Saint-Pe is dictating his memoirs to his Secretary, while being interrupted by his insanely jealous wife about her imaginings; and his excitable Daughters wanting new dresses. The arrival of Ghislaine, the object of his true desire for the last seventeen years, reignites their love which began on the dance floor to the 'Waltz of the Toreadors'. She believes their love can now be consummated because she has a love letter from the General’s wife to her Doctor.
Passions race, identities are exposed and unlikely liaisons blossom, all of which threaten to rob the General of his hopes for romance.
Ringmer Dramatic Society
The Society was officially formed at the first Annual General Meeting on 12th February 1952. Since its inception there have been 2 productions each year, now in March and November. Minutes show a growing society in 1953 with two productions in April and an Elizabethan procession to celebrate the Coronation in June. Show quality was excellent, indeed as early as 1956, when plays were being produced in what was then called ‘The Parish Room’, the drama critic of the ‘Express Herald’ described ‘Down Came A Blackbird’ as being ‘well up to repertory standard’.
1956 production of 'Down Came a Blackbird'
The prime mover behind redevelopment of the Village Hall in 1974 (with its much needed new auditorium and extended stage) was Jack Hart, who was not only chairman of the management committee but also President of the Society for many years. Once on stage in ‘See How They Run’ (1967) Jack adlibbed ‘not only am I a bishop, I am also an electrician’ after he remedied an onstage blackout by fleeing the stage and reconnecting the lighting. The new space was available by the autumn production ‘Rape of the Belt’. Until then ‘Treading the Boards’ was precisely what members were doing. Not merely treading on them but wriggling along underneath them in order to secure the 896 nuts and bolts which held the stage rigid. Further extensions to the Halls are again planned and fundraising continues; this time managed by Alan West, chairman of the management committee and formerly of our Society!
The 1980s employed 3Ss: Shakespeare, Stoppard and Shaffer – ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’, ‘On the Razzle’ and ‘White Liars/Black Comedy’ respectively, much to audience’s pleasure.
By 1998 the Society had produced 18 dramas, 15 comedies, eight thrillers, seven farces, three classics, a pantomime, melodrama and revue. The society archive holds photos of all!
Since the millenium we have produced such classics as 'Cold Comfort Farm', 'The Importance of Being Earnest', 'The Heiress', a Feydeau farce, the Ayckbourn thriller 'Communicating Doors', and not forgetting new directors - a trilogy of one act plays to test their mettle, Flor Grindley directed 'Humble Boy' in 2011 which produced a magnificent garden set. The 'Darling Buds of May' in 2012 brought a clutch of young people into the society from Ringmer Community College and links continue to be forged with the college. Recent plays - 'Wyrd Sisters', 'Witness for the Prosecution' Autumn 2014 production of 'Blood Brothers', 'Haywire' in Spring 2015 and 'An Hour of Comedy' Spring 2016 have continued to showcase the skills of our band of actors and backstage cast, particularly our costume designer Jean Drinan who won the award for Best Costumes on our behalf for 'Wyrd Sisters' at the Brighton And Hove Arts Council Drama Awards on 10 December 2013, with Michael O’Callaghan receiving a nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Now we look beyond 2016 ending with the swansong production directed by Flor Grindley - her 16th for the Society - 'Suddenly at Home' by Francis Durbridge.
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