Bittersweet comedy at Arundel

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Gentle, bittersweet comedy is the latest offering from the Arundel Players at their Priory Playhouse theatre when they stage Two Of A Kind by Hugh Janes from June 11-16.

Margaret Mason, who steps down this September after four years as Arundel Players chairman, directs the play, which is set in a retirement home.

When Potts, room-mate to ‘Wally Wallis’, dies, he is replaced by staid, dull, upright and polite George Fairbrother, and war is instantly declared. However, before his escape with Potts’ ashes, a level of understanding is reached with George, and tender moments are shared with May, another resident, who has a soft spot for both men.

Two Of A Kind is a celebration of older people who are determined not to give in without a fight, Margaret says.

Mike Wells, Roger Booth, Rosey Purchase and Blanche Robinson make up the cast in the four-hander, a number Margaret likes to work with.

“I like four. Faith Healer which I did last year was just four. With four, it is easy to get very good actors, and it is coming together very nicely.”

The slot came up to direct again: “I have always got something that I am looking to direct. I read a little bit about this one on the internet and thought that it sounded good. I just loved it – a very gentle, delightful comedy with moments of pathos.”

As ever, with the Arundel Players, the delight is to be able to rehearse on the stage they will use for the production, the great advantage of having their own theatre: “It means that you don’t have to transfer something from a village hall floor to a stage, and you can also build the set around you.”

Hence the fact that the Players are never dormant, staging five productions a year, with usually just eight or nine weeks in between.

“The downside to having your own premises is that you have to maintain the property. It has to be kept up, cleaned, maintained. It’s lovely having it, and we are so blessed, but it is actually a lot of extra hard work above and beyond staging the dramas. It’s a lot of extra responsibility.”

Tickets on 07523 417926.