Last time we looked at opportunities for singing here, specifically with the Riviera International Singers and Ensemble Vocal Syrinx. Some, though, prefer acting rather than warbling. For them there’s a well-established drama group the Riviera Amateur Dramatic Association (RADA, pictured). To give an idea of the sort of things they do these were their last three productions: The Odd Couple (Neil Simon), Forget Me-Knot (David Tristram), The Scottish Play (Graham Holliday).
To find out more I spoke to RADA’s President Lena Walsh. “One problem for drama groups these days – and I’m told this is true in the UK, not just here – is that so many younger people prefer computer-based activities to something more creative like live theatre. That being said, we’ve two decisions to make: what plays to choose, and who’s going to act in them. We basically go for accessible drama, entertaining with nothing too raunchy, nothing obscure. When it comes to casting, we’ve got a chronic shortage of men who seem to be more taken up by work commitments. When people come and tell us they’d like to go on stage we try them out first in a very small part to see if they can do what it takes – I’ve known some people with good presence, good voice who just couldn’t learn lines. Anyway, whatever they’re doing, everyone seems to find RADA great fun.” The group’s next presentation will be Alan Ayckbourn’s How the Other Half Loves (November 1st-3rd; see events calendar page 40).
And what about the South of France English Theatre (SET) whose close ties with the removals business we mentioned in an earlier issue? According to another English-language paper its second production offered “an incredibly professional performance”. One of our readers – an experienced actor – gave us a rather different take: “They brought down a chap they said was big on UK television – well, it showed. They hadn’t told him that, unlike in a TV studio, in a theatre, even if it’s small, you’ve got to project your voice out to the audience. He didn’t do that and people had to move closer to the stage so they could follow what he was saying.”
The play's the thing with RADA, the Riviera Amateur Dramatic Association
- Riviera Reporter