The American playwright behind Carnoustie Theatre Club’s latest production has praised the young actors who have brought his work to life.
Joel Mason Houck, the Fife-based writer of ‘From Failing Hands’, was in Carnoustie on Friday night to see their version of his dramatic retelling of the impact of World War Two on families, and in particular children.
A group of young actors, ranging in age from early primary school to late teens, explored what it meant to surrounded by war and fear through a pastiche of letters, stories and monologues.
Joel said: “I was very impressed, most versions of this show I have directed or otherwise had a big hand in.
“It’s the first time some of these children had been on stage and I think Betty has done an amazing job.
“I thought it was brilliant.”
The second half of Carnoustie Theatre Club’s ‘40’s Night’ was a moving musical tribute to the period with solos, duets, sing-a-longs, ensembles works and also featured photographs and stories supplied by Carnoustie folk of their own family’s involvement in the war.
Joel added: “The thing for me that makes theatre great is the relationship between the actors and the audience. If you are doing a show you have to know your audience, I take great umbrage with people who say that the audience didn’t understand them.
“It was very powerful. it was community theatre in the best sense of the word. Too often community theatre tries to be too much like professional theatre. Community theatre is not professional theatre, but it can do something that professional theatre cannot do which is to have a primal connection with their audience.”
The cast of ‘From Failing Hands’: Amy Burns, Neave Cant, Josh Craigie, Cerys Fitzgerald, Mia Lomax, Hannah Mackland, Niall Mitchell, Georgia McKinley, Caitlyn Morton, Mark Murison, Ross Murison, Kathryn Murray, Megan Rae, Lesley Ritchie, Hannah Ross, Kit Storm, Eve Swinley, Jerry Swinley, Emily Waggott, Sophie Waggott, Sam Murison, stage manager; Sarah Oliphant, prompt; Betty Gibson, producer; Lesley Ritchie, Eve Swinley and Jerry Swinley, assistant directors.
The second act: John McSkimming, compere. Chorus: Connor Berg, Nikki Doig, Joanna Fitzgerald, Muriel Gordon, Annedrea Morton, Joan Mitchell, Claire Ralston, Lesley Ritchie, Jamie Robertson, Dave Ross, Dianne Smith, Dave Soutar, Carole Storm, Kit Storm, ukelele; Eve Swinley and Jerry Swinley. Front of house: Jacqui Strachan, Paul Strachan and Avril Muir.