Castlewellan based drama group looking forward to their coming Gigglebox production
An exciting comedy is soon to be performed at THE LODGE in Castlewellan. Actor Mark Asante, one of the driving forces in the new drama group, the Castlewellan Studio Players, said: “I am winding down as a professional actor now after 30 years treading the boards. In our group I’m writing and producing. It’s a great team with lots of energy. They have a super work ethic.
“Usually we start off with an exercise or two to loosen up, either vocally by voice warm ups or physically. And we go into rehearsals. Usually we do voice testings to see who is suited for the different roles. When we established over two years ago we read exerts from “The Patrick Pearse Motel“, but it wasn’t completed as a production due to Covid… we are going to perform another show in April 2022 in a few days, called ‘Gigglebox.’
“This is a comedy and it is our aim to put on at least one written play a year to keep our spirits up. There are about 13+ actors of mixed ability in our group and others in production.
Michelle Dorans. the chairperson and founder of the group, said: “We initially kickstarted as an adult drama group in 2019. Because of Covid we could only put 2 people on stage at one time. It certainly limited what we could do. It was strange. They had to sit separately. Now we can have 4 on the stage.
“Our group members are from the local Castlewellan area community from all walks of life and get on great together. Usually we meet on a Wednesday evening in the small drama studio opposite Mount Panther run by Michelle Dorans who teaches speech and therapy and runs children’s drama classes.
“One of our members is into videography so we hope to have recordings of our productions which will be great. Our show is based on ‘Gogglebox’ on TV and it will create lots of reactions from the audience. It is very creative and funny.”
“The Gigglebox show runs from the Friday and Saturday (22nd, 23rd) and 30th April (Saturday). We still have to have to do our technical and dress rehearsals. It will be performed at The Lodge in Castlewellan. It is a lot of laughs. The show starts at 7.30pm.”
Michelle Dorans took a break from her daily walk along the shores above Dundrum and chatted about her involvement with the group.
Michelle explained that the aim of the drama group she founded was to encourage people to “get out of themselves”.
She said: “At times we don’t have everyone together but that is fine as we can rehearse the performance is sections. It is great to see people grow through voice exercises and expression and confidence building. What I say to people is, ‘if you enjoyed watching it, why not get involved?’
“So it’s time now after Covid to get out there are feel comfortable and have a laugh. We do need to get people excited again and confident to be out and about.
“Covid has affected many of us and we need to re-learn how to be in larger groups.
“I work with children of all ages a lot and produce 2 shows a year with them in June and at Christmas. When Covid started I had to move onto Zoom and it was interesting to teach people online when I was so used to doing it face-to-face.
“So I’m looking forward to the group’s performance at The Lodge coming soon.”
Check out the Castlewellan Studio Players Facebook page for any tickets left. They are selling fast!