Greg Dorey makes his Chichester Players’ debut as Malvolio in their Festival of Chichester production of Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare.
“I was actually living in Ethiopia before we moved to Chichester about a year ago,” says Greg. “We had a home in Somerset, but when we came back from abroad we just thought where would we like to live. I had worked in Portsmouth many years ago and so knew the area quite well, and so that’s how we ended up here. I only joined the Chichester Players at the time of the auditions for Twelfth Night. I am very much the newcomer.
“But I have been very impressed by the Chichester Players. Often with these amateur dramatics groups, they can be quite incestuous and insular and quite difficult to break into, but when I went along to the auditions, they were very, very welcoming.
“I haven’t done much theatre for a long time. The last time I was in a proper play was in Hungary in 1991. I was with the Foreign Office which made it difficult to do any amateur theatre. We were moving around, which always made it difficult to commit. So this is the first time I have been in a proper role for a quarter of a century.
“But the Chichester Players are a very good group of people, very welcoming, very competent. I am not the only newcomer, but everybody is very friendly, and as a group, I know the Chichester Players have got a distinguished history. Having moved to a new place, we got caught up in sorting out the house. It’s a new house, and then I got caught up in a couple of other activities, and it was only in the last few months that I started to think whether I had the time and interest to do something on the amateur stage. When I started looking, the Chichester Players were doing Habeas Corpus, their last production, but I just missed the auditions for that. I had been in it and directed it many years ago, and it attracted me, so I was looking out and then I saw that they were doing Twelfth Night.”
Midsummer madness and gender confusion rule in Illyria in this classic romantic comedy where everyone thinks they are in love with Olivia while she has eyes only for entirely the wrong person…
“It really interested me,” Greg said. “Everybody thinks it is a light comedy, but it is very far from that. There are quite a lot of themes and undercurrents running through. It is a play that defies easy definition. And even the role of Malvolio, even though it is not an enormous role, is an interesting one. He goes through several different phases of behaviour in the same play. It is the kind of play that people find lots of interest in and take a different view every time they see it.
“I have retired from the Foreign Office now and I am starting a bit of a portfolio of different activities, civic and community and church and now acting. I would like to think I will continue.”
Performances are on June 21, June 22, June 23 and June 24, 7.30pm; plus Saturday 2.30pm in the New Park Centre, New Park Road, Chichester, PO19 7XY. Tickets £10; students £6. Disabled access.
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