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Robin Hood Theatre launches its new season with A Bunch Of Amateurs


By Sharon Hodkin


The new season of Robin Hood Theatre Company launches next week with the Ian Hislop and Nick Newman comedy A Bunch Of Amateurs.

It is staged at the Robin Hood Theatre, Averham, from Tuesday.

The cast of A Bunch Of Amateurs (4165771)
The cast of A Bunch Of Amateurs (4165771)

Keen to boost his flagging career, fading Hollywood action hero Jefferson Steele arrives in England to play King Lear at Stratford ­— only to find that this is not the birthplace of the Bard, but a sleepy Suffolk village.

Instead of Sir Kenneth Branagh and Dame Judi Dench, the cast are a bunch of amateurs trying to save their theatre from developers.

Jefferson’s monstrous ego, vanity and insecurity are tested to the limit by the enthusiastic am-dram thespians.

As acting worlds collide and Jefferson’s career implodes, he discovers some truths about himself, along with his inner Lear.

Directed by Chris Lebeter, who is well-known for extracting every ounce of comedy from a script, this play is in danger of revealing too much of the behind-the-scenes working of a typical amateur group.

Ian Hislop and Nick Newman, who have worked together on Private Eye for many years, also wrote The Wipers Times, which was recently at the Theatre Royal, Nottingham, as part of a nationwide tour.

A Bunch Of Amateurs is at the Robin Hood Theatre from Tuesday to Saturday, at 7.30pm.

Playing the role of Jefferson Steele is Jonty Redgate. The rest of the cast is Jo Dewberry (Dorothy Nettle) Mark Lebeter (Nigel Dewbury) Georgina Tagg (Mary Plunkett) Tony Smith (Denis Dobbins) Caroline Hall (Lauren Bell) and Fiona Hibery (Jessica Steele).

Tickets costing £12 (£10 for members) are available by calling 07733 179986 or email rhtc.co.uk

The season continues with Oh What A Lovely War! commemorating the centenary of the end of the first world war.

The collection of songs and sketches, which chronicle the conflict, will be staged at Averham from November 6-11.

Alan Ayckbourn’s A Bedroom Farce ­— looking at the marriages of three couples ­— is performed from January 22-26.

l RIGHT: The cast of A Bunch Of Amateurs.



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