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Cirencester Theatre Company set to take on original production

All Areas > Entertainment > Theatre

Author: Thomas Hadfield, Posted: Thursday, 27th February 2020, 09:00

Cirencester Theatre Company was founded in 2018 Cirencester Theatre Company was founded in 2018

Cirencester Theatre Company may be one of the newer theatre groups to spring up in the county, but it’s fair to say it is certainly one of the most ambitious.

Formed in 2018, the company is based at The Sundial Theatre at Cirencester College, and has around 20 members.

“We have an open mind when it comes to what we perform,” said Chair Katy Sorensen, “and we enjoy performing in as many forms as we can, whether it’s a stage production through our residency at the Sundial Theatre or other community projects including pop up theatre and festival entertainment.

“As the Sundial Theatre’s only resident theatre group, we share their passion for connecting with and supporting our local community. We want to continue growing and trying new things, including producing home-grown theatre for the aspiring writers within our group.”

Katy, a dietitian by trade, has been part of the Company since 2018, after she moved to the town with her boyfriend.

She became Chair of the company last year and says joining the group was one of the best decisions she’s made.

“It took me some time to pluck up the courage to reach out to a local theatre group,” she admitted.

“But I am so glad I did. I couldn’t have met a nicer, more encouraging and talented group of people.”

Katy was born and raised in Buckinghamshire and had a passion for drama from an early age.

She moved to the Lake District with her family in her early twenties, and studied at the University of Leeds, whilst also working in a rural pub during the holidays.

Katy continued: “Many shifts were quiet weekday afternoons spent chatting to the older gentlemen who would come in every day like clockwork for good beer and a bit of company.

“On a Monday, one of the patrons would do a quiz for the others, and we held a meat raffle every Sunday. It was true village life, often comically so. This was the inspiration for my play.”

The name of the play in question is ‘Special Measures’ and will be the basis of the company’s next production.

The play is set in a rural northern village pub and tells the story of Rita and Rose.

“When the landlord Tony, breaks both his legs falling down the cellar stairs, Rita assumes her natural place in charge, with the loyal yet fragile Rose by her side,” explained Katy.

“The future of the pub is thrown into question when dwindling profits prompt the brewery to instruct ‘special measures’, and Rita marches into a power struggle with the executive manager sent from ‘down south’ to whip them into shape.

“It’s a story of friendship, love, resilience, human spirit and cultural differences, which celebrates and pokes fun at the dynamics of village life in equal measure and invites the audience to consider the validity of our assumptions and expectations of people.”

‘Special Measures’ is the first play Katy has ever written, and whilst the company have previously performed original works by their members, these have only stretched to sketches or short plays, making this play something of a first for the group.

“It is no exaggeration to say that we are taking a huge risk by producing a play by an unpublished playwright,” said Katy, “as we could be performing it to an empty theatre!

“It is so overwhelming to think that it’s a risk the theatre group are willing to take, because of their belief in the play.

“I can’t quite put into words how I felt when we sat as a group and laughed together from start to finish. To make people laugh with my writing is a dream, and to have the support and encouragement of my theatre family from the very first read-through is more than I could have asked for.”

The production is currently in the development stage, with the group aiming to take the show to the stage in early December.

The casting process is underway, and Katy would urge anyone interested in getting involved in theatre to get in touch.

She said: “It is a large cast of four female and six male roles, including two younger men in their late twenties or thirties, so we would love to welcome potential new members to get in touch and have a go – no experience required!

“If you prefer being involved behind the scenes, we are also looking for backstage support for the production.

“With lots of other community theatre planned for this year, whatever your interests, there are plenty of opportunities to get involved.”

For more information on how you can get involved email Katy on info@cirencestertheatrecompany.co.uk, or visit www.cirencestertheatrecompany.co.uk

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