Thanks for the memory! SADS return to '30s

PUBLISHED: 17:34 25 May 2010 | UPDATED: 14:01 18 June 2010

HOW do you spend Saturday night? Watching Dr Who and the X Factor on TV? In Sidmouth Amateur Dramatic Society s summer production Dancing at Lughnasa by celebrated playwright Brian Friel, we return to a time when the only entertainment for many was the radio

HOW do you spend Saturday night? Watching Dr Who and the X Factor on TV?

In Sidmouth Amateur Dramatic Society's summer production Dancing at Lughnasa by celebrated playwright Brian Friel, we return to a time when the only entertainment for many was the radio (wireless).

The five unmarried sisters in this heart-warming and poignant play discuss going to the annual harvest dance in the nearest town.

Like most people in rural Ireland in 1936 they cannot afford the 4/6d (23p) entrance fee as only Kate has a steady job as teacher in the local school.

Her income is supplemented by her sisters Agnes and Rose who hand knit dozens of pairs of woollen gloves to help ends meet.

The family has no choice but to spend Saturday night listening to the dance music beamed across the airwaves from Dublin and although Kate does not approve, her sisters Agnes, Maggie, Rose and Christina enjoy dancing to the wireless.

Dancing at Lughnasa is a 'memory' play in which Michael Mundy (Marc Colson) the narrator, affectionately recalls growing up in Donegal with his four aunts Kate (Christine Hardy) Maggie (Karen MacGarvie) Agnes (Helenka Shoesmith) Rose (Gillian Coley) and mother Christina (Christine Horth).

The arrival of his uncle Jack (John Griswold) and father Gerry Evans (Steve Knight) add pathos and romance.

Maggie and Christina do their bit by helping around the smallholding they live on and there is the added burden of Christina's son Michael whose father only visits from time to time.

Add to this the arrival from Africa of older brother Jack, a Catholic priest and missionary, and you have all the ingredients for a gently comic and moving drama.

On from Tuesday, June 15 to Saturday, June 19, 7.45 pm, with Saturday matinee at 2.30pm, tickets £8.00 (£4.00 under 16), with buy two, get a third free for first night, from Sidmouth Manor Pavilion Theatre box office (01395) 514413.

So why not programme the TV to record X Factor and watch Sidmouth's own talent on stage? They can promise no annoying judges or buzzers, just a great evening's entertainment in the company of a celebrated playwright, award-winning director and talented cast of locals actors. You'd be mad to miss it!

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