Though I referred to the April/May lull in my post yesterday, that is not to say that members of the company haven’t been busy with Matchbox matters outside the theatre. As reported previously in these pages, we are regularly in attendance at one of the stations during the biennial St Christopher’s Hospice Walk which takes place through the countryside of Keston and surrounding areas. This year was no different with the group being steadfastly represented by a number of members throughout the day- Mike, Annie, Gillian, John, Kate and Dot and most notably Tim with his almost legendary freeform sonnet recitals, a spiritual uplift for many a walker over the years. I was reliably informed by one such group passing through that this year’s recitation was cheerily accompanied by a flute of champagne: I suspect they must have had a touch of the sun to imagine such decadence from our resident Shakespearan scholar.
This year also saw a marvellous contribution to the event in the shape of the Reeve clan who come together in memory of their Dad, whose company name was AREGO, and thus took to donning Thunderbirds costumes, having a bit of fun dressing up and raising much needed funds for the Hospice.
So, another worthwhile venture showing that it isn’t just about what happens on stage. But, more of that anon.
(Please note permission has not been sought from the owners to use the above pictures and should they wish them removed please drop me a line and I will be more than happy to do so.)
It’s quiet – that lull after the March show. Time to rest up, reflect and regroup for the summer show to come. Often an ambitious production it is one that invariably sees the company marshalling its resources in terms of performers and producers, leading to a magnificent and spectacular show in the first week of July, every stop pulled out.
But, of late, there have been quite a few ambitious productions- you need only to look at the titles which have graced the church hall over the past four years and it is clear that each one has drawn on the talents of a large number of Matchbox folk both behind and in front of the scenes.
Time then for a slight change of pace.
This summer sees a return to the highly successful formula of ‘Talking Heads’ established in 2013, with another triumvirate of splendid monologues, two from Alan Bennett and a third from Stephen Dinsdale.
Under Tim Pearce’s gentle steer, ‘A Bed Among the Lentils’ sees Helen Roffey taking on the role of Susan, a dissatisfied vicar’s wife who strikes up an unexpected friendship which throws a new light upon her life. In ‘A Cream Cracker Under the Setee’, Dot Pullan, who also appeared in the first Heads, plays Doris, a widow who is put into a difficult position which provides opportunity for reflection on things past and things present and of the future to come. And rounding off the trilogy, Zack Stiling takes on the role of geek culture folk hero, Gus Gascoigne, trainspotter extraordinaire, in ‘Anorak of Fire’.
Here then is a wonderfully contrasting clutch of pieces which will certainly provide a poignant, engaging, thoughtful and humorous night of theatre in early July. Rehearsals are under way now and more details will come as they emerge over the next few weeks but here again is another ambitious project, smaller in scale but definitely not to be missed.
Until next time.