When lockdown was first announced back in March, we were quick to adapt our programming and move to a virtual format. The new Zoom led online programme included workshops and courses for residents of all ages which culminated in filmed performances that were featured on the Dramatis Online Stage (our You Tube account).
The unexpected highlight of the programme was the introduction of our adults play-reading group; ‘Wine and Wilde’. This online activity had such an overwhelming response, that we decided to keep it running post-lockdown and are considering introducing an ‘IRL’ version in a local wine bar once government guidelines allow.
Wine and Wilde is ideal for adults who are completely new to acting or nervous about committing to a course. There are no lines to learn, and no stages to perform on! Participants are pre-assigned characters in scenes from an Oscar Wilde play which they then read through as a small group. In keeping with the informal nature of the group, participants are encouraged to bring along a glass of wine or alternative beverage of choice.
As Janet, one of the attendees, explains: “I was hesitant at first as I’m quite self-conscious, but I had so much fun!”. Marty, another attendee, adds “It’s been great to meet new drama lovers and have something to look forward to” while Mandy says, “Everybody’s really friendly and supportive”.
In a climate in which the impact of loneliness has been acutely felt, groups like this have become a lifeline.
As Dramatis Principal, Suzy Duxbury, explains: “our online playreading group aims to keep residents connected during these uncertain times and provide a much-needed space for escapism and laughter”.
The performing arts industry has been hit particularly hard by recent events and so we were delighted to see our Wine and Wilde group featured by UK News Group and Drama & Theatre alongside fellow industry friends, The Playground Theatre, Nick Hern Books, Belgrade Theatre and Up Ere Productions.
Wine and Wilde Play-reading Group
Format: Online sessions run via Zoom (in blocks of four)
Date/Time: Fridays from 7.30pm to 8.15pm
Price: £10 (per block of four sessions)
25 Sept/2 Oct/9 Oct/16 Oct: Lady Windemere’s Fan
6 Nov/13 Nov/20 Nov/27 Nov: An Ideal Husband
For more information about Wine and Wilde, CLICK HERE.