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Words and pictures by Hugh Boag
They promised a night of nonsense … and boy did they deliver.
The Whiting Bay Club of Drama & Music reckoned after the 18 months we have had, that we all needed a laugh.
So they drafted in Chris and Jan Attkins to come up with a series of playlets which were performed every Tuesday in August by club members Shannon Galbraith, Stacey Gordon, Allan Nicol, David Simpkin and Beverley and Patrick Scott in Whiting Bay hall.
In the programme Chris and Jan even accept the ‘blame’ for the show called A Night of Nonsense.
But the only blame lies with the people who failed to fork out a measly £5 to go and see the show – and they are the real losers.
But plenty of people did turn up with extra tables having to be quickly put out the night the Banner visited the show. Other nights were also said to be well attended.
But what about the show, I hear you ask.
All the actors are well known on the Arran stage and they really brought the characters to life in five short plays which were interwoven yet diverse.
The night started with nonsense, of course, and that was how it would go on.
A thespian in the audience, David Simpkin, got impatient for the show to start bringing the ire of ace drunk – in an acting capacity – Allan Nicol to try and sort him out, with hilarious consequences.
Then it really was on with the show. The first play was a gentle two hander played by husband and wife duo Patrick and Beverley Scott, playing Jack and Sylvia with just one problem, Jack is dead, but we enjoy as Silvia reminisces.
Two of the plays What Are The Chances? and Family Secrets feature burglaries – so I hope they are not set in Scotland where there is no such crime.
And in a clever twist both plays started with the same dialogue – despite the scenarios being completely different.
It takes talent to play dead – or sleeping soundly – and Shannon Galbraith had to do it twice.
It is the longest she has ever stayed still on stage as she is more used to the high-energy performances of her school plays of yesteryear.
Simpkin and Nicol played the bumbling housebreakers to perfection and the Scotts were their usual polished selves.
My favourite of the night had to be The Readthrough where an amateur company are shown on stage trying to rehearse with just one script.
This is resolved, thanks to new technology, but the play really comes to life when a male stooge is brought on stage and told he has to play the part of Fiona – who is then found to be pregnant, blind and crippled before the joke is turned on him. Tony Lee was the stooge and he pulled the part off well.
The evening ended with The Masterpiece set in an art gallery and shows a series of people marvelling at a painting which the audience cannot see – which is just as well as it features two nudes.
It turns out they are the mature couple in the gallery – Patrick and Beverley are excellent again – with janitor Allan turning out to be the long forgotten painter until the the end when a mystery American buyer snaps it up for $25 million.
At that it is all over. The cast take a bow and the audience show their appreciation in the usual manner.
The small cast and everyone behind the scenes and front of house did a great job of turning the village hall into a theatre cafe.
It has been a fun night and the audience go home with their heads full of nonsense – probably just the way they came in.