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In this time of Covid, there has not been much theatre on offer, particularly not on Arran.
However, the Whiting Bay Drama Club has kept the stage lights burning with their play Nunquam Non Paratus, which was accepted as the United Kingdom’s entry in an international online festival of amateur theatre called Theatre is my Love.
Hosted by Moscow, Russia, it attracted 18 entries, of which 10 were selected to be shown during the festival, which ran from Sunday November 22 to Saturday November 28. The other nine entries accepted were from Russia, Malaysia, Estonia, Romania, Mexico, Spain, Germany, Slovenia and Lithuania. The festival was non-competitive and in giving critical feedback at the end of the festival, Thorgeir Tryggvason (Toggi), an Icelandic theatre critic, described the Whiting Bay entry as a well-produced short play that ‘cracked him up’. He noted that the play started seriously but about halfway through, the penny dropped – ‘oh, it’s not Braveheart, it’s Blackadder, and it ended like Monty Python!’
Nunquam Non Paratus was the winning play at the 2019 Arran Drama Festival, with Alan Nichol and Andy McNamara winning best actor and supporting actor awards. The play, written by Andy McNamara and directed by David Simkin, went on to compete in the East Kilbride Drama Festival later in the year, and took third place.
The version of the play, which was shown at the international festival, was filmed in the forest at the Dyemill, by Chris and Jan Atkins. The award-winning cast featured Alan and Andy, together with Zoe McGovern, Val Waite and Patrick and Beverley Scott.