Sunday, 10 October 2010

The Caretaker

Often, when we arrive back at the village after a trip somewhere, one us will say with a contented sigh, "back in the nice place now".
Shoreham has always been the 'nice place'. It was the village we visited every Friday night for more than a year before we were lucky enough to move here. It's the countryside that we walked through as tourists, glorying in the very best of England's Kentish garden. It's the valley that will break our hearts if we ever have to leave.
Everyone who lives here knows how lucky they are, and that gives us a bond; it makes people talk to each other, it makes us want to join in village events, take part in the things that bring us together.
Before we'd even moved here, we'd seen the posters for the Shoreham Village Players. I've always loved the theatre, the whole idea of people inventing new worlds and new lives, playing their stories out in front of us.  How brilliant to live in a place that actually has its own drama group, and not just any old drama group.
The Players not only have the ambition to stage great productions, they have the talent to deliver.
And that was never clearer than last night when I sat in awe as Harold Pinter's The Caretaker came to life in the village hall.
It's a three act play with only three characters. A tragicomic depiction of working class men, trapped but wanting control; manipulating others while failing to build relationships. For it to work each of the three characters needs to elicit a response of both empathy and dislike from the audience.
Pinter's play is undoubtedly a challenge for its actors. Last night Jim Morse, Mark Hodges and James Wallace more than met that challenge. The small stage of the village hall became a dismal cluttered bedsit, filled with the cast-off objects of others lives - and by the end of the play, that's just what each of the characters seemed to be.
I'm always proud to say I live in Shoreham, today I'm even prouder to say I live in a village where people understand the importance of theatre, where they find and nurture the talent to create an uncommon piece of magic.


bobby.stevenson said...

Hi Sharon,
I attended The Caretaker on Friday night and have to agree with your comments. For me, it was the best production of a play I have seen on Shoreham's stage. The cast and staging were brilliant. I feel that was the role of a lifetime for James Wallace, he lived every second of the Caretaker. I also agree that when it comes to talent Shoreham has more than its fair share. Still loving the blogs.

Sharon Longworth said...

Cheers Bobby. And speaking of Shoreham's very fine talent - I haven't heard you singing for far too long - you still singing or too busy writing?

Madame DeFarge said...

Glad you enjoyed it. Am dram can be a fine thing when done well and they sound excellent.

bobby.stevenson said...

Back at you Sharon,
every second Sunday in the KA they are planning to have an open mike night - so I might wander along to that with me banjo under my arm.Still writing away like a good 'un, just as you are and very eloquent it is too.

Miss Whistle said...

How lucky you are to live in such a wonderful, civilized place. You continue to make me very homesick (in a good way!)

Miss W x

Pat said...

Some of my happiest days were with Am Dram in another part of Kent - so I know where you are coming from.

DPR said...

And you are very much one of the talents in this village. Bring on The Gut Girls!

Anonymous said...

Sharon,on behalf of myself Jim and James, can I thank you and everyone else for your very kind words. the response from freinds and strangers even two weeks after the event has been overwhealming, Who would have thought Pinter would have had such an impact at a humble amature group. I have never ventured into am dram for the praise, but the reward for providing entertainment has been more than heartfelt. As for talent, I believe that there are a great deal of people out there who have the talent, but either don't know it or are not brave enough to have a go, I hope that responses such as yours spur those people to have a go. Thanks to all the audience, you are as important as the cast.

Anonymous said...