About the actors…

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Brian Hibberd plays the hero of the play…well, perhaps more of a bumbling buffoon, the hapless Inspector Pratt.

This is what he says about his acting career…

I’ve acted in about 50 plays for ALP and directed 4, plus c. 10 for other companies.
Most challenging role – Billy (both as the abused boy and the abusing husband and father) in Five Kinds of Silence.
Most moving experience with ALP – directing Diane Samuels Kindertransport – including meeting a survivor.
What appeals about present character – contrast with previous role (Goche in The Herbal Bed) – I wanted people to leave Goche feeling disturbed and rather afraid; I want people to leave Pratt with indelible laughter lines!
The greatest challenge in the Pratt role – keeping my face straight and getting into the mind of a walking disaster who believes himself to be the greatest detective since Sherlock Holmes.
My ultimate acting ambition – a believable and powerful love story for an octogenarian!

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About the actors…

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Roger Gotts plays Squadron Leader ‘Stiffy’ Allwright.  These are his answers to the questions for the programmes.

Previous ALP productions/Other theatrical experience etc: quite a few over more than 35 years; some early favourites were Waters of the Moon and Diary of Anne Frank, in both of which I acted with Annette; in the last couple of years I’ve been in Letter from the General and The Herbal Bed, and had the great privilege of directing a brilliant cast in Abigail’s Party (you may recall some of these). I also stood down this year after 7 years as Chair of ALP.

Apart from ALP I’ve done the odd panto over the years, and started in amdram at the Pump House many, many years ago. I enjoy going to the theatre of course (and increasingly, opera).
I think the thing I have most in common with my character is the name! But he’s a decent sort, and a bit over the top which will be interesting to keep up.
Not sure about my ultimate acting ambition – to remember all my lines and to be in right place place at the right time, perhaps. Or to play Malvolio – but that’s never going to happen! Forget ambition – it’s just great to be acting with such a talented cast (carpe diem).

About the actors…

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Siobhan O’Hara plays the part of Nancy Allwright.

I joined ALP in 2002 and have since been in the following production: Abigail’s Party, Tea in a China Cup, Out of Order, Lucky Sods, Humble Boy, Hay Fever, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Post Horn Gallop, Snake in the Grass, Sitting Pretty, Katherine Howard, An experiment with an Air Pump, Guards! Guards, It Runs in the Family and You’re Only Young Twice.
I have also performed with Flatpack Theatre The Boar,Something I can’t Remember the Name of (I’ll get back to you on that one) and Macbeth, which was performed locally as well as at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
I have also been in several of the Village Moonlighters pantomime productions.

Having played Lady Macbeth and Beverly (in Abigail’s Party) I feel I would be greedy to say that I harbour further acting ambitions – yet I do! I would love any shakespeare role, I would love to play a serious lead with ALP and to continue acting for many years to come.

About the actors…

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Here is what Welsh mystic, Blodwyn Morgan, aka Valerie Gale says about herself.

 

What other ALP productions have you been in? 

I think these are my previous plays, but I can’t find the relevant photograph albums, so there may be others I have forgotten: The Heiress, Dead Guilty, The Donohoe Sisters, Gaslight, Night Must Fall, Losers, The Regina Monologues

 

What other drama experience or interests do you have?

Also a member of KLP and have been in many of their productions: serious plays, comedies, pantomimes, music halls. I sing and I have a rudimentary knowledge of tap dance!

 

What appeals to you about your character?

I just enjoy her utter Welshness! And she too has her secret….

 

What have been the challenges of your role in DbFM?

Stopping my Welsh accent slipping into Liverpudlian.

 

What is your ultimate acting ambition?

The parts I really wanted have sometimes come my way, but not always. I don’t think I have any ambition to play any other part now (except perhaps a role in Dancing at Lughnasa), but who knows what may happen.

About the actors…

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Wendy Ash plays the part of Miss Maple.  Here she tells us about herself.

I’ve been in approximately 40 ALP productions but my favourites were Dancing at Lughnasa and Snake in the Grass because the parts I had were real characters and very different from myself which made them that bit more challenging. I enjoyed taking theatre to a primarily non theatre going audience in local pub gardens where we were received with great enthusiasm. Maybe we made a few converts.

My other theatre interests include being part of Flatpacktheatre which enjoys doing plays of a slightly off beat nature such as Macbeth in a tent in Abbbots Langley park or gathering a dozen young people together to appear at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival or creating a tea room for 50 people in which to perform a docudrama about the Suffrage movement. The other string to my bow is working as a TV/film background artiste, where you can be working on a lavish BBC costume drama one day, and pushing a shopping trolley making a toothpaste ad the next. So if you see someone in Albert Square or in a bed at Holby, or loitering in a crowd behind Lewis who looks like me….then it probably is me!

(When written) the whole unlikeliness of the seemingly unobtrusive, all seeing, elderly lady, applying her everyday observations to crime solving, made for a wonderfully understated yet fascinating character, so when given the opportunity to play a Miss Marple type character, albeit in a spoof of the real thing, there could only be one answer. Yes please.

The challenges of this role are more physical than anything else. As soon as I open my mouth or react in anyway, I find myself adopting a mouse like, slightly stooping, enquiring stance which is playing havoc with my back. Apart from that she is a gem. I’ll straighten up eventually I’m sure. Got to suffer for your art, so they say.

My ultimate acting ambition is to do the best I can with whatever part I am currently playing.

About the actors….

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Anna Saffery plays the part of Ginny Farquar.

What other ALP productions have you been in? 
The Regina Monologues this summer – my first with ALP. This is the second appearance with the Players and first on the Henderson hall stage!

What other drama experience or interests do you have?
A few years study at University, with collaborative devised performances and workshops in the years after and a splash of Scare Acting too.

What appeals to you about your character?
I always wished I could have been part of the Women’s Land Army – the Land Girls was one of my favourite films as a child. At least I can pretend in this role.

What have been the challenges of your role in DbFM?
Not bursting into laughter/corpsing on stage – credit to all the cast for being so funny but that meant keeping a straight face could be near on impossible at times…

What is your ultimate acting ambition?
That’s too difficult to answer, I’d do many things if given the opportunity in the world of Performance – singing, dancing, acting I’m not fussy!

About the actors….

Here is what Mike Orriss (who plays Thompkins) had to say in response to his questions…IMG_2861

What other ALP productions have you been in? 
Abigail’s Party – I played Tony, a quiet and grumpy ex footballer.

What other drama experience or interests do you have?
I was a precocious child actor! I appeared in West End musicals and TV Adverts. As a teenager I had a spell in Repertory Theatre before I ran out of money and had to get a proper job!

What appeals to you about your character?
I usually play comedy characters or those that are larger than life. Thompkins is much more restrained.

What have been the challenges of your role in DbFM?
Allowing the text to be funny and not turning Thompkins into a buffoon.

What is your ultimate acting ambition?
To play Archie Rice. (The Entertainer by John Osborne)