Dramatic Society

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Comfort and Joy

A comedy by Mike Harding
It was our pleasure to present something different for our Christmas production this year, a seasonal comedy by the folk singer from Lancashire, Mike Harding. The play tells the story of a family who set out to have a pleasant and peaceful Christmas at home but, as is often the case, circumstances dictate otherwise.

Clearly drawing from all those excruciating family Christmases we must have all experienced at some time, Harding manages to rend every last ounce of pathos and irony from even the most embarrassing moments. Expecting an amateur cast to embrace such a complex plot and translate it into acting, which could be both enjoyed and understood, was a momentous challenge. I need not have worried for such was the depth and richness of the writing that the cast presented their characters in a most convincing way.

The language in the original script was very much Lancashire vernacular, colourful to say the least, and I trust we managed to tone it down to be more acceptable to southern ears without loosing the essential flavour.

Selecting a production, which is both suitable and ‘do-able’ for a small amateur group such as ours, will always be a challenge. I believe we have broken new ground with ‘Comfort and Joy’ and shown the sceptics that given the right material, we can put on a first class performance. I also hope that we will now attract new members who wish to be involved in quality amateur productions of popular, modern plays that draw in and entertain the audiences.

Alan Bywaters

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