Treading the Boards Again

The welcome return of Whiting Bay Music and Drama group by Alice Maxwell. Featured image shows the actors in A Night of Nonsense.

Tuesday evenings in August were a joyful experience in Whiting Bay, as the Music and Drama group reunited to perform six playlets, written by Chris and Jan Attkins. Billed as A Night of Nonsense these plays were funny, fantastical and bizarre.

The audience enjoyed chatting with old friends before the show, and some were a little unnerved by the presence of a drunk making funny noises at the back of the hall, and an ageing rockstar type character in dark glasses wandering around suspiciously. The curtain opened and silence ensued. The lack of activity led to a humorous altercation between the drunk, the spiv, and a chatty lady – all of whom of course turned out to be members of the cast.

Fond Memories, presents a husband and wife reminiscing about their life together. It soon becomes clear that the wife is speaking to her husband from beyond the grave.

What Are The Chances? begins with two stupid burglars searching for anything that they can flog down the pub. They are vaguely aware that the house they have chosen to burgle belongs to a scientist, Dr Sam Pearson, who has invented a cure for the common cold which is worth millions, but it has not occurred to them to steal the formula. Their mission is complicated when two other thieves appear to do exactly this. The apparently dead body on the sofa awakens at the end of the play to reveal himself as Dr Pearson.

In The Readthrough an am-dram group are missing an actor for their chosen play. A brave volunteer must be found from the audience, who is named “Fiona” and a great deal of fun is had at her (or his) expense. The various “Fionas” found themselves becoming local celebrities around Arran.

Family Secrets has echoes of What Are The Chances? beginning with two figures in black searching a room, and a recumbent body lying on the sofa. The story involves a long- lost father, a family of blackmailers, double crossing policemen, and pink fluffy handcuffs.

The Masterpiece is set in an art gallery. A huge painting of two voluptuous nudes hangs in the imagination in front of the stage and is much admired by visitors. A janitor pays close attention to the visitors’ words and is obviously impressed by the painting too. An elderly couple reveal that they met and fell in love while modelling for the picture, and the janitor confesses that he is the impoverished artist who painted it. News arrives that the picture has just been sold to an American philanthropist for 25 million.

The actors were all familiar faces from the Arran Drama scene; Allan Nicol, David Simpkin, Patrick and Beverley Scott, Stacey Gordon and Shannon Galbraith. Chris and Jan Atkins wrote, produced and directed and a grand night was had by all.