Arundel's theatre trail gets under way

Bill Brennan
Bill Brennan

Arundel’s Drip Action theatre company are once again staging a theatre trail for this year’s Arundel Festival, offering eight plays for eight days in eight different venues.

You can see all eight in one day if you wish; or you can dip in and complete the set over successive days, running from Saturday to Saturday, August 18-25.

“This is our 18th year,” says Bill Brennan, artistic director. “It was based on the art trail really, the idea that you can go around different venues at different times, and I think eight is a good number. It just fits neatly into the day. In the early days, we put it around local writers and writers’ groups, and then we realised that the best way to advertise was the BBC Writers’ Room, something that anybody worth their salt would know about. There is a space for new opportunities there, and that has been a good source ever since.”

This year Bill received just over a couple of hundred entries: “Really what we are looking for is surprise. We want a new slant on things, we want to be thinking ‘Where did that come from!’ We are looking for things that are going to be different.”

Inevitably, Bill is also looking for plays that meet the requirements – not too many performers, not too long and nothing too elaborate by way of staging: “These are plays that need to be easily staged with minimal lighting effects. In total we were looking for about 20 actors this year, and several will be doing more than one play.

“We have got a good pot of actors, but each year we usually have one or two new people.”

In choosing the plays, Bill kicks off with a serious read-through to see which plays are actually possible. He reduces the entries to around 30 which are read by the selection committee which includes Bill himself and author Simon Brett.

The programme is:

11am Arundel Town Hall: The Apprentice’s Sorcerer by Simon Brett. Is it possible to teach old dogs new tricks?

12 noon Arundel Football Club: Captive Audience by Keith Lipscombe. Laugh? I thought you’d never ask.

1pm Victoria Institute: Final Report From Cell X32 by Gabriel Chanan. Walls have ears.

2pm Arundel Youth Club, School Lane: About Abi by Cathy Eva Bennet. Hit and Run. Still running.

3pm India Gate Restaurant, Mill Lane: Death Does Larry by Cary Pepper. Death arrives and informs Larry he was supposed to kill him yesterday, but forgot.

4pm St Mary’s Gate Inn: What Would You Do If I Sang Out Of Tune? by John McDwyer.

5pm The Cathedral Centre: Sheep For A Lamb by David Weir. Guilty by a majority verdict…

6pm The Norfolk Arms: Respite by Fraser May Karen, and her Mother, caring and sharing.

Tickets on 01903 885727.