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Sweeney Todd Workshops
Here are the dates for the Sweeney Todd Workshops

Chorus Drama 2 – 4pm Sunday 7th December 2014
Principal drama/music 1 – 5pm Sunday 14th December 2014
Chorus Music 2 – 4pm Sunday 21st December 2014

Chorus Drama day will be used to give every chorus member an opportunity to improve their acting skills and take part in a short play with dialogue, this will help with delivery. The Chorus music workshop will work on the song Sweeney Todd. The principal drama/music rehearsal will be working through characterisation, talking about the direction, and working on solos/duets.

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January Comedy Playfest Two plays—double the entertainment
December 2014 – ‘Details on our upcoming January Comedy Playfest’

Good Things By Liz LochheadspacerspacerJust the two of us by Ros Moruzzi

January PLAYFEST CAST ANNOUNCEMENT

“The Two of Us” directed by Alex Rankine is cast as follows

Matt – Alistair Thomas
Ruth – Pam Murray
Karen – Elspeth White
Freya – Jess Bowman
Pauline – Margaret
Bev – Janet Heron
Robyn – Carol Collier

“Good Things” directed by Ronnie Barnes

Marjory – Annie Townsend
Susan – Lynne Hurst
Doris – Kate Halliday
Fraser – Caz Paul
David – John Ward
Natalie – Suzanne Smail
Archie – Bob Whytock

Thanks to all who auditioned and congratulations to all who were successful.

Alex & Ronnie

 

SWEENEY TODD CAST ANNOUNCEMENT

Thank you for everyone who auditioned for a principal part in Sweeney Todd on Sunday 9th November 2014. We are happy to announce our excellent cast as:

Sweeney Todd – Caz Paul
Mrs Lovett – Pam Murray
Judge Turpin – Alistair Thomas
Johanna – Regina Vereker
Anthony – Stuart Laws
Pirelli – Alex Rankine
The Beadle – Alex Kemp
Tobias Ragg – Kyle McRoberts
Beggar Woman – Elspeth Whyte

Congratulations to everyone who was successful, there was serious competition for some roles and we are sorry for those who did not get cast on this occasion. We will be announcing dates of Sweeney Todd workshops in December shortly.

Lynne Hurst and Crawford Moyes

 

January PLAYFEST Auditions

THURSDAY 9th Oct at Carmondean @ 7.30 p.m.. – Auditions

It was great to see so many people here tonight at the read through for the two one act plays and we hope you will all come along on Thursday for the Auditions.

Here are the Audition pieces. If you were not at the read through and need a copy of the pieces then get in touch with Pam () Or Alex () for a copy.

Just the two of us

Your might not be asked to do all of these bits but please look at them all before Thursday if you can. There will be some mix and match to check that group sing are right.

Matt
P4 “I’ll get it” – P5 “See you later?”
P37 “have you ever wished” –end

Ruth
P4 “I’ll get it” – P5 “See you later?
P37 “have you ever wished” -end”
P35 “I’m actually”-p36″goodbye Freya”

Karen
P6 ‘yes?’ – P 8 “have we ever”
P12 “I got 30 quid” -p13 “we got ours
P35 “I’m actually”-p36″goodbye Freya”

Freya
P6 ‘yes?’ – p 8 “have we ever”
P12 “I got 30 quid” -p13 “we got ours
P35 “I’m actually”-p36″goodbye Freya”

Pauline
P17 “what’s the time – p 18 ” we didn’t know”
P22 “She always was a bag.” -p23. “That is so sweet”
P32 “are you all right -p32 ” I won’t bother again

Bev and Robin
P28 “I’ve come to pick up -p29 ” That’s right”

Good Things

Susan
p288 – 290
Frazer
p288 – 290
Marjorie
p293 and 296 – 298
Archie
p299 – 300
Doris
p295
Natalie
p304 – 306
David
p318 – 320

 

Livingston Players Comedy Playfest

22nd -24th January 2014 – ‘Comedy Playfest’

For an evening of laughter with some serious undertones, this duo of hilarious plays will brighten the long, dark January nights.

Good things – Liz Lochhead has a lot to say about modern technology and finding love later in life whilst coping with elderly relatives and stroppy teenagers and ex-husbands.

Just the two of us – Ros Moruzzi is a tale of complex relationships and interactions which explores the impact and repercussions of modern science. Are your Mum and Dad really who you think they are and do you really want to know?

Come along to the read-through for these 2 one-act plays on Monday 6th October at 7.30pm, Carmondean Community Centre Church.
Auditions will be Thursday 9th October.

Beyond Reasonable Doubt Cast Announcement

July 2014 – ‘Cast Announcement’

The cast is as follows

Mr Justice Tredwell – Judge – Jeff Robinson
Anthony Blair-Booth QC – Alex Rankine
Inspector Travers – Ronnie Barnes
Sir David Metcalfe QC – Alex Kemp
Mrs Rogers-housekeeper – Chris Mitchell
Dr Weeden – John Doonan
Lional Hamilton – Roger Munday
Robert Pierson Junior Counsel – Craig Potter
Lady Metcalfe – Judith Hutchinson

Well done to all

BRD Rehearsals On Holiday
JULY
Thurs 3 Act 2 Scene 1 Craig
Mon 7 Act 1 Scene 2 Pages 16-24 Chris, Ronnie
Thurs 10 Act 2 Scenes 1 & 2
Mon 14 NO REHEARSAL
Thurs 17 Act 2 Scenes 1 & 2 Alex R Chris,
Mon 21 Act 1 Scene 1 Pages 1-16 Alex R Alex R
Thurs 24 Act 2 Scenes 3 & 4 Chris
Mon 28 Act 1 Scene 2
Thurs 31 Act 2 Scenes 3-5
August
Mon 4 Act 1 Scene 1 Chris
Thurs 7 NO REHEARSAL
Mon 11 Act 1 Scene 2 Alex K, Craig
Thurs 14 Act 2 Scenes 1 & 2 Alex K
Mon 18 Act 1 Scene 1 Alex K
Thurs 21 Act 2 Scenes 1-5 Alex K
Mon 25 Act 1 Scenes 1 & 2 Judith, Roger
Thurs 28 Act 2 Scenes 1-5 Judith
September
Mon 1 Act 1 plus extra cast Judith, Ronnie
Thurs 4 Act 2 Judith
Mon 8 Full Play Ronnie, John
Thurs 11 Full Play John
Mon 15 Full Play Craig, Ronnie, John
Thurs 17 Full Play Craig, John
Mon 22 Full Play
Thurs 25 Full Play
Sun 28 Move In to Theatre John
Mon 29 Tech & Cast
Tues 30 Dress Rehearsal
October
Wed 1 Dress Rehearsal
Thurs 2 Show
Fri 3 Show
Sat 4 Show
Colin’s Mobile
07969 605855
SOCIAL EVENTS

May 2014 – ‘Details on our upcoming social events’

Murder Mystery Evening - Death is a Cabaret

The Steamie goes on Tour!

May 2014 – ‘Steamie On Tour!’

After a successful run at Howden Park Centre Livingston Players are taking this wonderful production to the Regal Theatre in Bathgate.

17th – 21st September 7.30 with 2.00 Matinee on Sunday 21st

Tickets £12 Concession £10 (Wed Only)

Tickets from Bathgate Regal 01506 630085 boxoffice@bathgateregal.org or http://www.bathgateregal.org/buy-tickets

The Steamie goes on tour to Bathgate    The Steamie goes on tour to Bathgate

JCS one – West Lothian Courier May 2014

May 2014 – Konnect Article – “ Look we made the Konnect Magazine “

Look we made the Konnect Magazine    Look we made the Konnect Magazine

JCS one – West Lothian Courier May 2014

Jesus Christ Superstar article - West Lothian Courier May 2014

Jesus Christ Superstar Rehearsal Update

March 2014 – ‘Rehearsal Update’

JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR REHEARSAL INFORMATION

REHEARSAL SCHEDULE – JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR
April
Thurs 3rd Plotting Last Supper, Gethsemane – All apostles and Jesus
Monday 7th Plotting The Arrest, Peters Denial – All cast
Thursday 10th Act 1 run through – All cast
Monday 14th Plot Pilate and Christ, Plot King Herod’s Song – Pilate, Christ & Herod plus dancers
Thursday 17th All Act 2 music only – All cast
Monday 21st EASTER MONDAY – NO REHEARSAL
Thursday 24th Plot Could We Start Again, Judas’ Death – All cast
Monday 28th Plot Trial before Pilate, Superstar – All cast
MAY
Thursday 1st Run Act 1 and part Act 2 – All cast
Monday 5th Plot Crucifixion, John Nineteen Forty One – All cast
Thursday 8th Run Act 1 – All cast
Monday 12th Run Act1 – All cast
Thursday 15th Run whole show – All cast
Monday 19nd Run whole show – All cast
Thursday 22nd Run whole show (Costume collection night)
Sunday 25th Band call and full dress run through (Set building from 9 am) – All cast
Monday 26th Full dress run through – All cast
Tuesday 27th Performance – All cast
Wed 28th Performance – All cast
Thursday 29th Performance – All cast
Friday 30th Performance – All cast
Saturday 31st Final performance – All cast
Sunday 1st June Set strip out 10.00am

May Musical Announcement

March 2014 – ‘May Musical’

MAY MUSICAL ANNOUNCEMENT

“Jesus Christ Superstar” directed by John Hutchinson.

Inspired by the political and personal struggles be¬tween Judas Iscariot and Jesus Christ, this spectacular musical follows the last week of Jesus’ life, beginning with the preparations for his arrival in Jerusalem and ending with his crucifixion.

Originally written as a concept rock-opera album by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, Jesus Christ Superstar exploded onto the Broadway stage in 1971 earning itself five Tony Awards nominations by the following year. Almost forty years later, the show has gone on to become one of the greatest and most enduring musicals of its time.

Livingston Players now bring the show to the Howden Park stage with all the unforgettable songs including Hosanna, Gethsemane, Everything’s Alright, I Don’t Know How To Love Him and the title song itself Superstar.

   



By Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice
27th—31st May 2014 7:30 pm


Brian Duguid Auditorium Howden Park Centre
Tickets £12 (£10 concessions Tuesday only)

box.office@westlothian.qov.uk Or call 01506777666

October Play Announcement

March 2014 – ‘October Play’

OCTOBER PLAY ANNOUNCEMENT

“Beyond Reasonable Doubt” by Jeffrey Archer, it will be directed by Colin Peter.

The read through will be 10th June with the auditions on the 12th.

Confirmation of time and place will be confirmed in due course.

Dates of the show are the 2nd-4th October 2014 at the Howden Park Cenre

Information on the play can be found by clicking on the following link

http://www.jeffreyarcher.co.uk/site/beyond_reasonable_doubt

Any questions or queries, get in touch with Pam or Lynne

Jesus Christ Superstar Rehearsal Update

March 2014 – ‘Rehearsal Update’

JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR REHEARSAL INFORMATION

All….rehearsal schedule for Jesus Christ Superstar until the end of March is as follows. Please can you make sure you attend, in particular when chorus numbers are being plotted and run through as missing people create issues for the others.

Monday 10th March – Chorus Music plus Hosanna run through on the floor. – Damned for all time/Blood Money plotting in the other hall.

All required – except Pilate, Herod

Thursday 13th March – Chorus music, start to plot Temple

All required except Pilate and Herod, and priests

Monday 17th – Run Heaven on their Minds, Plot What’s the Buzz, Plot Strange Thing Mystifying

All Apostles, Mary, Apostles wives.

Chorus music in other hall

Thursday 20th – Plot Everything’s Alright. Plot This Jesus Must Die

Judas, Apostles wives, Mary, Caiaphas and priests

Chorus Music in other hall

Monday 20th March – Run Heaven On Their Minds, What’s The Buzz, Strange Thing Mystifying, Everything’s Alright, This Jesus Must Die and Hosanna

Thursday 27th March – The temple plot and run, Run I don’t know how to love him, Run Damned for all Time.

Monday 31st – Run through Act 1

Jesus Christ Superstar Rehearsal Announcement

January 2014 – ‘Rehearsal Update’

JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR REHEARSAL INFORMATION

Please find below the rehearsal information for the next 2 weeks.

There are still plenty of things for men to do so please don’t feel you’ll be bored or have nothing to do if you come along. We still need un named apostles and also soldiers etc, so men please come along and be part of this amazing show.

Monday 27th No rehearsal

Thursday 30th Jesus & Mary, wee room upstairs in the church to plot I don’t know how to love him

Thursday 30th Any ladies interested in being considered for “Intricate Movement” as John described it should attend Elspeth’s workshop at 7.30 in the East Barn. RSVP to president@livingstonplayers.org.uk so Elspeth has an idea of numbers.

Monday 3rd Company music rehearsal in the Church at 7.30

Thursday 6th Principal Music in the Church at 7.30.

Any queries or questions get in touch.

Pam, John, Elspeth & Peter

Jesus Christ Superstar Rehearsal Announcement

January 2014 – ‘Rehearsal Announcement’

JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR FIRST REHEARSAL INFORMATION

First rehearsal on Thursday 16th January in the East Barn of Carmondean Community Centre at 7.30. Please come along if you would like to be part of this amazing show. If you are intending on taking part but are unable to make the first rehearsal please email me at president@livinsgtonplayers.org.uk

Carol and Christmas Song Singing
Thursday 5th December, 2013 – 7:30 – 9:00 pm

Carol and Christmas Song Singing

Jesus Christ Superstar Cast Announcement

November 2013 – ‘Cast Announcement’

STOP PRESS JCS CAST

Thanks to everyone who auditioned, it was a tough choice for the production team and as always the standard was high.

The cast is as follows

Jesus: Calum Paul

Judas: Keith Kilgore

Mary: Erin Murtagh

Caiaphas: John Doonan

Annas: Alex Rankine

Peter: Chris Allan

Simon: Pete Tomassi

Pilate: Alistair Thomas

Herod: David Mitchinson

Un Named Apostles: Alan Stirling, Brian Robertson, Shane Whittle, Craig Potter

Well done to all

Jesus Christ Superstar Audition information

October 2013 – ‘Audition Information’

JCS auditions will be held on 17th November at 2pm at Livingston United Parish Church, Fells Rigg, Livingston

Attached are the audition pieces and a legal link to the music and midi files

Any question or issues get in touch.

http://www.dosguys.com/JCS/pdf-index.htm

‘Judas’
Heaven on their minds up to bar 77 (I am frightened by the crowd; they are getting much too loud, and they’ll crush us if we goo to far, if we go too far.) and 1st two verses of Blood Money/Damned for All Time (up to second “damned for all time”)

‘Jesus’
Gethsemane and Simon Zealots bar 89 to end(Neither you, Simon, nor the fifty thousand . . .)

‘Mary’
I Don’t know how to love him and First verse of Could We Start Again Please

‘Simon Zealotes’
Simon Zealotes (both sections)

‘Pilate’
Pilate’s Dream

‘Herod’
1st three verses of Herod’s song (stop before Hey, aren’t you scared of me, Christ?)

‘Caiaphas’
Jesus Must Die bars 5-9(Ah gentlemen you know why we are here, We’ve not much time and quite a problem here)and 52-68(I see bad things arising . . .because, because, because of one man, cause of one, cause of one, cause of one man)

‘Annas’
Jesus Must Die bars 36-51 (What then to do about Jesus of Nazareth . . . top of the poll)

Peter
Peter’s Denial and 1st verse of The Last Supper

Apostles
1st verse of The Last Supper

Get your tickets for the Playfest now

September 2013 – ‘Takin over the Asylum and Donahue Sister’

Livingston Players are currently in rehearsal for their forthcoming production. It’s the perfect tonic for a dark October evening with not just 1 but 2 plays on offer.

They are presenting the amateur premier of Donna Franceschild’s Takin Over the Asylum, based on the 70’s TV show which starred David Tennant, and their award winning production of The Donahue Sisters. Taking place at the Howden Park Centre from the 3rd-5th of October at 7.15, it’s the perfect opportunity to see two different genres of plays with just one visit to the theatre. They are also hosting an open day on the 20th October for their May musical Jesus Christ Superstar. Anyone interested in coming along should contact them at membership@Livingstonplayers.org.uk.

The photograph, courtesy of Mid Calder Camera club, shows the cast of Takin Over the Asylum in rehearsal.

The cast of Takin Over the Asylum in rehearsal

L-R Lynne Hurst, Craig Potter, Jeff Robinson, Chris Constance, Bev Boon, Alistair Thomas, Judith Hutchinson, Jess Bowman and Carol Collier

Livingston Players will be Superstars!

September 2013 – ‘Jesus Christ Superstar for the Livingston Players’

Livingston Players will be Superstars!

“Livingston Players are pleased to announce that their May 2014 production will be the amazing Jesus Christ Superstar. They are holding an open day for members and prospective new members who are interested in being part of the show on Sunday 20th October from 2-4 at Livingston United Parish Curch, Fells Rigg Livingston. Email membership@livingstonplayers.org.uk if you require more information. We look forward to seeing you.”

Onwards and Upwards for the Livingston Players

April 2013 – ‘Onwards and Upwards for the Livingston Players’

Livingston Players have continued their run of success in this year’s SCDA One Act play festival. At the Eastern Division finals they scooped 3 awards for
The Donohue Sisters, Directed by Ronnie Barnes. The Outlook Tower Trophy for best Overall play, John Duncan Quaich for production and the Willie Munro
Quaich for the highest Marks in acting. They then took part at Scottish Finals at the magnificent Pitlochry Festival Theatre on the 18-20 April where although they did not win any more silverware, they did themselves proud and were delighted to be in the last 8 of the competition.

The Players now move onwards to their next production “Blackfriars Wynd” at the Howden Park Centre from the 22nd to 26th May. Tickets can be purchased from the centre box office on 01506 777666

The photograph courtesy of Mid Calder Camera club, shows the Donohue Sisters Cast with their tophies

Donahue Sisters performance Wins SCDA One Act

L-R Annie Townsend, Ronnie Barnes, Kate Halliday, Sammy Jo Dodds

Livingston Players triumph at Edinburgh One-Act Festival

FEBRUARY 2013 – ‘OUR PERFORMANCE OF DONAHUE SISTERS WINS THE SCDA ONE ACT’

Donahue Sisters performance Wins SCDA One Act

The Livingston Players’ production of The Donahue Sisters by Geraldine Aron swept the boards on the final night of the Edinburgh round of the SCDA one-act festival.
The play, directed by Ronnie Barnes and featuring Sammy Jo Dodds, Annie Townsend and Kate Halliday, came first over-all winning the Edith Fromes Trophy. A three hander set in Ireland, which relives the tale of the sisters dark and ritualistic past, also won the Bobby Watt Cup for Best Stage Presentation and the Eric Bennett Trophy for Highest marks for Production.
The team will be performing the play once more at the Divisional Final of the One Act Play Festival on Friday 22nd March 2013 at Dobbie Hall, Larbert where they are hoping for further success.
The Players will also be presented with another accolade at the finals on the Saturday evening after their recent production of Calendar Girls; directed by John Hutchinson, won the SCDA Full Length Play festival. Although no trophy awarded, their second production – Barefoot in the Park; directed by Lynne Hurst, came a very respectable fourth. All in all a very successful campaign.
The photograph, courtesy of Mid Calder Camera Club, shows the “Donaghue Sisters” cast and crew with their trophies.

CALENDAR GIRLS WIS SCDA FULL LENGTH

JANUARY 2013 – ‘OUR PERFORMANCE OF CALENDAR GIRLS WINS THE SCDA FULL LENGTH’

We have WON the Scottish Community Drama Association (Eastern Division) Full Length Play Festival 2012/13. This is the fourth time that we have won this. The adjudication covers acting, directing, stage presentation and general achievement, and we got top marks in three of the four categories.

Great result for everyone involved!! CONGRATULATIONS

SCDA ONE ACT PLAY

OCTOBER 2012 – ‘SCDA ONE ACT PLAY – DONAHUE SISTERS’

The Livingston Players have decided to enter the One Act Play Festival in February 2013, and we are pleased to confirm that Ronnie Barnes has agreed to direct for us.

The play Ronnie has chosen to direct is The Donahue Sisters by Geraldine Aron which the Livingston Players performed as part of a playfest 9 years ago. It is an excellent One Act Play which involves 3 sisters coming back together to remember an event that happened when they were children.

The ladies are of various ages, so if you would like to participate in rehearsals once a week until February 2013 (probably Monday’s), and take part in a competition at St Serf’s Hall in Edinburgh (if successful, we would go through to subsequent rounds over a period of a couple of months).

We would also arrange for a “dress rehearsal” with a LP audience so that you would get audience reaction before the event at St Serfs.

The Readthrough will take place at Carmondean Community Centre on Monday 5th November 2013 at 7.30pm (church). With the auditions taking place on Thursday 8th November 2013 at 7.30pm.

Please come along and support Ronnie and the Livingston Players and enjoy an excellent play being read. And if you ever had a want to take part in a play – please come and audition for a part!

SING-A-LONG IN WINTER

OCTOBER 2012 – ‘Sing-a-long to Mamma Mia’ with The Livingston Players

Sing A long in the Winter

Bored in the long winter nights ? Then come along to hopefully the first of many Sing a Long a Nights. We will be showing a musical movie with the subtitles to sing along to your heart’s content.
Bring your own snacks and refreshments at 7.30 on Thursday 13th December in the upstairs room at Carmondean Church and sing along to Mama Mia. RSVP to Pam or for more info to vice@livingstonplayers.org.uk

Livingston Players – News Page

OPEN DAY

OCTOBER 2012 – ‘LIVINGSTON PLAYERS OPEN DAY’

If you are interested in acting, singing, movement, stage management or working on props or costumes then come along to our OPEN DAY!! Everyone welcome! SUNDAY 11th NOVEMBER – HOWDEN PARK CENTRE – 14:00

LOCAL THEATRE TO STAGE GLOBAL PHENOMENA

JULY 2012 – PRESS RELEASE – ‘Calendar Girls’ awarded to The Livingston Players

The Livingston Players are thrilled to announce that it has been one of the first to secure the performing rights to stage the UK’s amateur performance of the Smash Hit show ‘CALENDAR GIRLS’ written by Tim Firth, which will open at Howden Park Centre in October.

A group of extraordinary women, members of a very ordinary Yorkshire WI, spark a global phenomenon by persuading one another to pose for a charity calendar with a difference! As interest snowballs, the CALENDAR GIRLS find themselves revealing more than they’d ever planned…

A very British story, with a very British heart, CALENDAR GIRLS is based on an uplifting and very inspiring true story that is quirky, poignant and hilarious. As part of their 40th anniversary season CALENDAR GIRLS will be just one of many high profile shows the Livingston Players will be staging to celebrate forty years of quality theatre in the town.

Calendar Girls director John Hutchinson adds, “Naturally we are extremely pleased to have been granted the rights to the show, we first requested this some two years ago – and we will be the very first to produce this superb piece of theatre in the Lothian area. It is sure to delight our audiences and with our intimate theatre setting it is sure to be another high profile success for The Livingston Players

Performance dates will run from Wednesday 3rd October 2012 until Saturday 6th October, with ticket prices at just £12.00 – with £10 concessions available Wednesday night only.
To reserve your seats in advance please contact the Box Office on Tel: 01506 777666
Or by Email to Howden Park Centre at: box.office@westlothian.gov.uk
Or online at http://purchase.tickets.com/buy/TicketPurchase

The Livingston Players are anticipating high demand for this production and so have extended the run. They therefore recommend advance booking as to date, over 700 of the 1,200 available seats have been sold some 3 months ahead of performance!

All proceeds from this production will be given to Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research and a Calendar is being produced in the theme of the original, once again all proceeds going to the same charity.

For more information contact John Hutchinson, Livingston Players Publicity on 07866 722128.


AWARD WINNING PLAYERS!
In this article by Thom Dibdin in Annals of the Edinburgh Stage.
We scooped 2 Awards with Womberang which was one of the plays we presented as part of the Comedy Double Bill in the Brian Duguid Auditorium at Howden Park Centre at the end of January.

Derek Blackwood, set builder for Leitheatre (Stage Right); Rosalind Becroft, director Leitheatre (Stage Right); adjudicator Alasdair Hawthorn; Ron Cattell, director St Serf’s Players; Lynne Hurst, director Livingston Players.

Saint Serf’s Players, Livingston Players and Leitheatre ran out the winners at the Edinburgh and Lothians District heats of the Scottish Community Drama Association’s One Act Festival, held at St Serfs Halls last week.
The Saint Serf’s Players’ production of One Day I Met Myself Coming Home by Rebecca Russell won the Edith Forbes Trophy for first place as well as the Eric Bennett Trophy for Highest Marks for Production.

The Mrs Charles Rowland Cup for second place went to the Livingston Players with their production of Womberang by Sue Townsend, which was also awarded the John McIntyre Trophy for Best Moment of Theatre.

Trifles by Susan Glaspell, presented by the Stage Right team from Leitheatre, received the Ian Wishart Quaich for third place as well as the Bobby Watt Cup for best Stage Presentation.

The three productions will now represent Edinburgh and Lothians in the SCDA Eastern Final at Bowhouse Community Centre, Grangemouth in March. The two top placed productions from Grangemouth will be in the Scottish Final, to be held at Pitlochry Festival Theatre on 22, 23 and 24 April. The winning play at Pitlochry will represent Scotland in the British Final which being held in East Kilbride this year, on 25 and 26 June.


The Livingston Players performance at Howden Park Centre
Review: The Livingston Players performance at Howden Park Centre
Feb 4 2010 by Alistair Watson, West Lothian Courier

If ever there was a tonic for these dark winter evenings, this duo of one-act plays was it.

Between Thursday, January 28 and Saturday, January 30, The Livingston Players performed ‘Womberang’ by Sue Townsend and ‘Bouncers’ by John Godber, at Howden Park Centre, Livingston, two plays which contrasted strongly, yet complemented each other perfectly.

It could only be someone with Sue Townsend’s inimitable sense of humour who could set a play in a hospital’s gynaecology department. ‘Womberang’ opens in the waiting room where a small group of patients are assembled.

Suddenly, dressed like a seventies hippie reject, in sweeps Rita (brilliantly played by Judith Hutchinson) ringing an old school bell in a bid to get the receptionist’s attention.

Rita’s best friend, Dolly (a great performance by Kate Halliday) is much quieter being a perfect foil for the flamboyant, eccentric Rita and her exceptional powers of persuasion. Rita even manages to persuade Evelyn (a fantastically funny portrayal by Sue Rankin) to take off her corset after they have all passed round the gin bottle a few times.

James has accompanied wife Audrey (very well played by David Mackie and Karen McPherson), and seems to think he can dominate her until Rita decides otherwise and incites Audrey to rebel. James almost blows a gasket but it all works out in the end. The sixth core patient, Mrs Lovett (Heather Haig was cast perfectly) has some very funny and subtle lines. Over and above the entertaining central sextet, four other characters come and go including Lynda who promptly goes into labour and is whisked off to the delivery room by Rita. Lynda consequently gives birth to a little girl whom she names Mary, Rita’s middle name. Another indication of how the slightly crazy and outspoken Rita touches peoples lives.

Ashley Townsend and Annie Townsend both do great jobs as the hospital receptionist and hospital administrator, Mrs Cornwallis, respectively.

Mrs Cornwallis, very strict and pole faced pre-gin, changes considerably after she is persuaded to join the others in a swig or two. Alex Rankine made a brief but convincing appearance as the consultant, Mr Riley, who has been keeping them waiting for so long.

The production excellently directed by Lynne Hurst, backed up by a superb production team, was a feel-good hour of laughter and joy.

In sharp contrast, yet equally entertaining, the Players brought us ‘Bouncers’.

The four Bouncers enter from the side, by the audience, and make their way to a very basic stage set, representing a nightclub.

The four Bouncers, Eric (Jeff Robinson), Les (Alistair Thomas), Ralph (Ross Bain) and Judd (John Ward) gave an incredibly slick and polished performance.

The roles are challenging and constantly changing as the four slip in and out of a variety of personas including, as well as the central Bouncer characters, four girls on a fun night out (hence the handbags) and four men on a stag night.

The dialogue is sometimes in verse and sometimes not and the hour long play, centring around urban nightlife, is a mixture of absolute hilarity and underlying less happy, personal issues in the lives of the Bouncers. In particular Eric, who in the course of the play is left by his wife who takes their children with her.

John Hutchinson had his work cut out directing this one but, as ever, pulled it off superbly.

The Livingston Players can next be seen performing ‘A Chorus of Disapproval’ by Alan Ayckbourn, at Howden Park Centre from Wednesday, May 26 to Saturday, May 29.


Double act of comedies is a good night out
REVIEW: Double act of comedies is a good night out
Published Date: 04 February 2010
By Beryl Beattie, Herald & Post

It takes a courageous amateur company to stage a Sue Townsend and a John Godber duo of plays in one evening, but The Livingston Players rose to the challenge last week.
The theatre group commenced their 2010 season at the Brian Duguid Auditorium with a run of shows fro
m last Thursday to Saturday, staging Townsend’s Womberang, directed by Lynne Hurst, for the first part of the evening and then Bouncers, by Godber as a double bill each night.

A realistic hospital waiting room with an assortment of outpatients set the scene for Womberang which was promptly invaded by bossy boots Rita and her pal. When the bored receptionist ignores them, Rita produces a large bell which she rings.

From then on it was one laugh after another as the bold Rita decides to change the waiting room into a group therapy session, succeeds in convincing a mild wife she should stand up to her husband, and generally causes mayhem as she takes over and brightens lives.

This includes that of a mature lady with a limited time to live who joins in swigging from a gin bottle and ends up stripping off her restricting corset.

When angry passions flare, the childless couple disappear behind the screen and consummate a marriage which originally had not presented children due to the fact that the husband, a member of a religious sect, thought the tummy button produced the desired pregnancy.

His meek wife had been too timid to ensure accurate placement. Rita soon changes that.

Even when stressed-out assistant Almoner arrives, Rita is in charge and ensures that gin brought in by her pal, is shared amongst the waiting ladies.

Each of the actors, Kate Halliday, Annie Townsend, Heather Haig, Sue Rankine, Rachel Hope, Karen McPherson, Ashley Townsend, David Mackie and Alex Rankine played their part with style, and impeccable Liverpudian accents when required.

In the case of Miss Hutchinson, a Northern Irish accent made the role even more convincing and proved once again she has earned the right to star in leading roles.

Then again, this was a five-star production.

In showbiz there is a saying: “Follow that!”

By choosing John Godber’s Bouncers, directed by John Hutchinson, they managed to actually add even more to the enjoyment of the evening.

Four actors in evening suits are required to create different personas simply by a change of voice and attitude.

To begin with we have four bouncers at a disco who in turn become four guys on the pull, out for a night at the pub and the disco and magically morph into four teenage dolly birds.

Utilising only a glitzy silver backdrop, some beer barrels, four gold handbags and disco lighting where necessary, Jeff Robinson, Alastair Thomas, Ross Bain and John Ward succeeded in convincing the audience the stage was filled with various characters.

First-class use was made of the Brian Duguid stage and if the Players ever opt to enter Bouncers for an award, they will win the accolade of no longer calling this an ‘amateur’ production because this was a smash hit professional success.


A powerful stage play wins praise

Oct 8 2009 by Alistair Watson, West Lothian Courier

THE story of Anne Frank is one of the most poignant, sad and inspirational legacies of all time.

And from September 24 to 26 Anne and her attic companions were brought to life again by the superbly talented Livingston Players.

The powerful production, at Howden Park Centre, Livingston, gave an intimate incite into the life experienced by Anne, her sister and parents, and four other Jews in the tiny Amsterdam attic to which they escaped from the cruel persecution of the Nazis, and in which they were incarcerated for two years, from 1942 to 1944.

Anne’s precious and famous diary, in which she made daily entries, described the characters and their claustrophobic life.

The opening scene draws us into the most amazing set (created by Scene Engineering Glasgow) which although small, is twice the size of the original attic space.

Haunting music and low lighting surround the sobbing figure of Otto Frank, who has returned to the attic after the war as the only survivor. Six of the other figures enter the stage and we go back in time as the story begins.

The attic is divided into four tiny rooms and a toilet. Anne and her sister, Margot, share one, Mr and Mrs van Daan share another, their son, Peter, has a room the size of a cupboard which he shares with his beloved cat, and for Anne’s parents the living room doubles up as a bedroom.

Two loyal and incredibly brave friends, Mr Kraler and Meip Geis, make daily visits, bringing food and whatever other little extras they can manage to provide.

Just as the attic residents are starting to adjust to their cramped life, Meip and Mr Kraler implore them to take in one more.

A dentist, Mr Dussel, like them is in danger and in need of sanctuary. Otto on behalf of the more reluctant others, welcomes him.

Conditions are often unbearable and tempers run high at times. Mrs van Daan is silly and materialistic, Mr van Daan is caught stealing food, after blaming the rats, driven by hunger. Mr Dussel never stops moaning. Margot is obedient, kind and obliging, never complaining. Otto Frank is respected and wise and holds the others together. He is adored by Anne, who does not get on with her mother whom she claims doesn’t understand her.

Peter keeps himself to himself until Anne gradually wins him over and they spend many an enjoyable hour talking. Most of the time the group do not all get on, but unanimously decide to pull together for the important Jewish festival of Hanukah, where thoughtful Anne has made everyone presents. Anne herself is feisty and full of life and chatter.

For two years they endure their sardine-like existence until the fateful day when the Nazis discover them and remove them to concentration camps. All but Otto die.

The casting of this production was absolutely spot on, in particular Samantha Orr who played Anne. What a find for the Players was this young actress.

Jamie Melrose as Anne’s gentle, older sister was excellent, portraying brilliantly the contrast between the two girls.

Alistair Thomas and Lynne Hurst filled the roles of Anne’s parents with polish and great credibility, whilst Roger Munday was very convincing and watchable as the grumpy Mr van Daan.

Of course Judith Hutchinson had her usual infectious stage presence as she tackled the role of the rather silly Mrs van Daan with absolute finesse.

Fraser Jamieson really brought the role of Peter to life and his intimate moments with Anne were beautifully executed. I do wonder whether Ross Bain is actually intolerant and bad-tempered as he was so convincing as the inflexible dentist, Mr Dussel. I’m sure he’s not, but it’s a testament to his portrayal of the character.

Credit has also to go to the smaller roles of Meip (Georgina Milligan) and Mr Kraler (Bob Whytock).

Unlike the others they were not on stage for the entire play, but were excellent whenever they did make a brief appearance and their characters were an important and integral part of the story.

Director John Hutchinson has one of his greatest successes with this play which was completely spell-binding from beginning to end.

The ‘Anne Frank Trust – Scotland’ provided an excellent exhibition of photos and historical writing in the foyer which added another dimension to the evening and was well worth a browse.

The Livingston Players will be performing their ‘January Playfest’ at Howden Park Centre from Thursday, January 28 to Saturday, January 30, 2010.

For tickets call the box office on 01506 777666.


AWARD WINNING PLAYERS!
Oct 8 2009 by Alistair Watson, West Lothian Courier

THE story of Anne Frank is one of the most poignant, sad and inspirational legacies of all time.

And from September 24 to 26 Anne and her attic companions were brought to life again by the superbly talented Livingston Players.

The powerful production, at Howden Park Centre, Livingston, gave an intimate incite into the life experienced by Anne, her sister and parents, and four other Jews in the tiny Amsterdam attic to which they escaped from the cruel persecution of the Nazis, and in which they were incarcerated for two years, from 1942 to 1944.

Anne’s precious and famous diary, in which she made daily entries, described the characters and their claustrophobic life.

The opening scene draws us into the most amazing set (created by Scene Engineering Glasgow) which although small, is twice the size of the original attic space.

Haunting music and low lighting surround the sobbing figure of Otto Frank, who has returned to the attic after the war as the only survivor. Six of the other figures enter the stage and we go back in time as the story begins.

The attic is divided into four tiny rooms and a toilet. Anne and her sister, Margot, share one, Mr and Mrs van Daan share another, their son, Peter, has a room the size of a cupboard which he shares with his beloved cat, and for Anne’s parents the living room doubles up as a bedroom.

Two loyal and incredibly brave friends, Mr Kraler and Meip Geis, make daily visits, bringing food and whatever other little extras they can manage to provide.

Just as the attic residents are starting to adjust to their cramped life, Meip and Mr Kraler implore them to take in one more.

A dentist, Mr Dussel, like them is in danger and in need of sanctuary. Otto on behalf of the more reluctant others, welcomes him.

Conditions are often unbearable and tempers run high at times. Mrs van Daan is silly and materialistic, Mr van Daan is caught stealing food, after blaming the rats, driven by hunger. Mr Dussel never stops moaning. Margot is obedient, kind and obliging, never complaining. Otto Frank is respected and wise and holds the others together. He is adored by Anne, who does not get on with her mother whom she claims doesn’t understand her.

Peter keeps himself to himself until Anne gradually wins him over and they spend many an enjoyable hour talking. Most of the time the group do not all get on, but unanimously decide to pull together for the important Jewish festival of Hanukah, where thoughtful Anne has made everyone presents. Anne herself is feisty and full of life and chatter.

For two years they endure their sardine-like existence until the fateful day when the Nazis discover them and remove them to concentration camps. All but Otto die.

The casting of this production was absolutely spot on, in particular Samantha Orr who played Anne. What a find for the Players was this young actress.

Jamie Melrose as Anne’s gentle, older sister was excellent, portraying brilliantly the contrast between the two girls.

Alistair Thomas and Lynne Hurst filled the roles of Anne’s parents with polish and great credibility, whilst Roger Munday was very convincing and watchable as the grumpy Mr van Daan.

Of course Judith Hutchinson had her usual infectious stage presence as she tackled the role of the rather silly Mrs van Daan with absolute finesse.

Fraser Jamieson really brought the role of Peter to life and his intimate moments with Anne were beautifully executed. I do wonder whether Ross Bain is actually intolerant and bad-tempered as he was so convincing as the inflexible dentist, Mr Dussel. I’m sure he’s not, but it’s a testament to his portrayal of the character.

Credit has also to go to the smaller roles of Meip (Georgina Milligan) and Mr Kraler (Bob Whytock).

Unlike the others they were not on stage for the entire play, but were excellent whenever they did make a brief appearance and their characters were an important and integral part of the story.

Director John Hutchinson has one of his greatest successes with this play which was completely spell-binding from beginning to end.

The ‘Anne Frank Trust – Scotland’ provided an excellent exhibition of photos and historical writing in the foyer which added another dimension to the evening and was well worth a browse.

The Livingston Players will be performing their ‘January Playfest’ at Howden Park Centre from Thursday, January 28 to Saturday, January 30, 2010.

For tickets call the box office on 01506 777666.


Superb cast do Diary justice

Date: 01 October 2009

By Arts reveiwer Beryl Beattie, West Lothian Hearald and Post.

Who would have thought the words of a little 13-year-old Jewish girl would still be as emotive today as when she wrote them in her diary in Nazi-occupied Holland in 1944?
Also, that her journal would have provided the meat for a highly dramatised version of her short lif e cooped up with her sister, parents and their friends in an attic above a factory.

Many professional and amateur groups have staged this play, which requires a strong leading lady for the roll role of Anne Frank herself.

The plot is well known. A Jewish family are forced to go into hiding to avoid capture and being sent to the concentration camps, so the action takes place in a three-room setting which has to be translated on stage into reality.

Full marks to The Livingston Players, whose highly professional set utilised split-level staging to great effect, and to director John Hutchinson for creating an atmosphere sometimes joyful but always with dark undertones of fear.

Samantha Orr as Anne Frank superbly created the roll of the gauche and talkative teen who blossoms into a young woman and finds love with the son of the van Daans – the archetypal Jewish momma and her husband who are forced to share the small space along with another male friend.

Each character in this play has an important part so all credit to Judith Hutchinson (Mrs van Daan), Roger Munday (Mr van Daan) for managing to cope with the stairs leading to their above attic room, and to Fraser Jamieson (Peter, their son).

One of the many highlights is when Mr van Daan takes his wife’s highly prized fur coat from her in order that it can be sold for food, and she has a screaming fit as a result. Another high point was when both families sat round the table to celebrate the Jewish festival Hanukkah, which is like our Christmas.

Except these families had nothing. It takes the resourceful Anne to produce little gifts for everyone which she has managed to make from scraps of whatever she could find, much to their delight.

But always, there lurked the fear of discovery when even the slightest noise downstairs could have meant the hiding place was discovered. A very real worry.

Supporting this highly talented cast were Lynne Hurst (Mrs Frank), Jamie Melrose (Margot Frank), Ross Bain (Mr Dussel), Bob Whytock (Mr Kraler) and Georgina Milligan (Miep Gies).

The clever use of a projected image of the real Anne Frank on the theatre wall and the recorded voice of Orr to link the narrative to the scene changes, worked beautifully as indeed did every member of this cast.

Another triumph for the Livingston Players? Most definitely.

In featuring photographic displays in the foyer of what it was actually like in Anne Frank’s time and inviting the audiences to contribute a donation on departure to the Anne Frank Trust, they honoured the memory of a little Jewish girl who believed that people are truly good at heart. As indeed did Samantha Orr who brought her to life so vividly.


Musical gives glowing tribute in memory of Rush composer
Published Date: 28 May 2009
By Beryl Beattie, West Lothian Herald and Post
Arts reviewer
To stage a full scale musical, utilising a new concept of an old idea, a backdrop illustrating scenes, and blend this with live action, takes courage.
Thanks to director Colin Peter and graphic artists Neil Rowland and Stewart Brown, this worked for the Livingston Players’ Scottish premiere of Rush.

The play tells the story of Scottish and Irish immigrants to New Zealand, desperate to make their fortunes prospec

The Livingston Players performance at Howden Park Centre

Review: ting for gold to improve life for their families.

From the moment The Prospector or storyteller begins to sing, the rich baritone voice of John Doonan and some excellent choral harmonies from the well-drilled chorus introduce us to the plot which features theft, rape, greed and murder and an unexpected twist – the hero wrongly accused of murder and hanged, returning as a slightly healthy looking ghost to bring retribution to the villains.

At times light-hearted and then dark, Rush features outstanding performances with hero John Ward, a jeweller forced to dig for gold, and Lesley Ward as his poverty struck wife Sarah, tackling the emotive score beautifully.

Alex Kemp’s portrayal of (Peter, their son).

One of the many highlights is when Mr van Daan takes his wife’s highly prized fur coat from her in order that it can be sold for food, and she has a screaming fit as a result. Another high point was when both families sat round the table to celebrate the Jewish festival Hanukkah, which is like our Christmas.

Except these families had nothing. It takes the resourceful Anne to produce little gifts for everyone which she has managed to make from scraps of whatever she could find, much to their delight.

But always, there lurked the fear of discovery when even the slightest noise downstairs could have meant the hiding place was discovered. A very real worry.

strongSupporting this highly talented cas/strongt were O’Fea, the roguish yet lethal archetypal Irishman is brilliant, and in the scene with Claire Doonan as Millie Hall, the young mother who becomes a widow, the plot takes a sinister unexpected twist when he forces his unwelcome attention on her. Scary stuff!

As the brothers Lomax, David Hastie and David Bridges provide some brief lighter moments in a musical based on true life, it was never going to be a barrel of laughs. Yet this production does strike gold.

The main characters are ably supported by Calum Haig as Nathan Hall, Scott McGillivray and Dan Nolan as prospectors with Andy Smith and Jeff Robinson as the judge, together with Nicola Payne as the sassy hotel owner, who might well have been an ideal contender for “Nancy” in the recent TV contest.

Out of sight, but playing an integral part in this show, versatile Musical director Margaret McAdie on keyboard, Alastair Gammie on flute/clarinet, Billy Young on guitar and Colin MacRae on drums provide the atmospheric music and the impressive finale.

Innovative lighting design is produced by the lighting team. John Hutchinson, Danielle Steen and Bob Wells showed how the stage of the Brian Duguid auditorium could be transformed into gold prospecting New Zealand country.

With the assistance of minimal set design by Michael Dunn, delightful children and a mine of talent featuring some pretty impressive solos by John Doonan, John and Lesley Ward, Claire Doonan, Jeff Robinson and a trio of ladies from the chorus.

In staging the Scottish premiere of Rush, so professionally, the Livingston Players have not only honoured the new Brian Duguid auditorium, but the memory of Rush composer Kevin Lynch, who died in 2008. and his artistic partner and friend David John who wrote the words and lives in Australia.

Last Updated: 27 May 2009 12:56 PM
Source: West Lothian Herald and Post
Location: West Lothian


Livingston Players latest show is a Rush!
Apr 30 2009 by Debbie Spalding, West Lothian Courier

THE Livingston Players are delighted to be back in the newly re-opened Howden Park Centre for their next production, Rush!

The powerful new musical, receiving its Scottish premier in Howden, tells the moving story of immigrant gold miners and their quest for instant fortune in the savage and unforgiving environment of the New Zealand gold fields in the 1860s.

Rush! has been described as a breathless adventure story with undercurrents of love, lust and greed.

The gold rush in New Zealand may not be quite as well known as the Californian gold rush, but exactly the same dreams, desperation and desires happened there as in California.

With a cast of 40, including two teams of five children performing on alternate nights, the show runs from Tuesday, May 19 to Saturday, May 23 at 7.30pm in the Brian Duguid Auditorium.

Tickets costing £10 are now available from the Box Office on 01506 777666.

Liam Rudden:

There’s gold in them thar theatres

Published Date: 23 January 2009 News Scotsman
By Liam Rudden
ALL across the Capital, unpaid actors are locked away in their rehearsal rooms as the first shows of the amateur theatre season approach. And not just in the city.

Out west, The Livingston Players are gearing up for their next production, the Scottish premiere of a new musical called Rush! And you could be in it.

Powerful and moving, the musical tells the story of immigrant gold miners and their quest for inADVERTISEMENTstant fortune in the gold fields of New Zealand in the mid-19th century.

Just as Duncan and Sarah McKenzie arrive in the ‘new country’, Jackie O’Fea brings news of the first gold strikes.

So, leaving his family for the diggings with a promise to return, Duncan seizes his chance for freedom from the near-slavery of 19th century working class life.

On his quest he is joined by his friends Nathan and Millie Hall who, along with O’Fea and his nephews, the Lomax brothers, seek their fortune.

However, at the diggings, tragedy strikes. Nathan is drowned in a flood on the Arrow River leaving Millie a widow. She is cared for by the other miners in the camp and particularly by Joe Lawson who cuts her wood for the coming winter.

But Millie’s winter comes early when she is assaulted by O’Fea, with only the Lomax brothers as witnesses. Then, when Duncan strikes gold, his euphoria is short lived as a young miner, Dan Nolan, is murdered by the Lomax brothers. Duncan is accused of the crime and after an absurd trial, he is sentenced to hang. Can Sarah save him? And can anyone bring O’Fea and the Lomaxes to justice?

With such a strong storyline and a modern score, Rush! demands the resources of a large company to succeed.

In particular it requires a number of young men in the 18-30 age group to portray the hard-living miners of the age. And this is where you come in.

Rush! is set to be one of the first major performances in the new Brian Duguid Auditorium of the Howden Park Centre in Livingston and Alex Kemp, president of The Livingston Players is appealing for new members to come forward to join the company to perform in this exciting new show which will run from Tuesday, May 19 to May 23.

Previous stage experience is not necessary but a commitment to attend all rehearsals every Monday and Thursday, from 7.30-9.30pm, in Camondean Church Hall, Fells Rigg, Deans, is essential.

If you’re interested e-mail Alex at alex.kemp@blueyonder.co.uk

There are still principal parts to be cast. Time to get panning.


Lynne Hurst

- Bringing quality theatre to the local community.