Regular Club Nights are part of the glue that holds Torbay Theatre together.
About four times a year we hold a light-hearted, lightly-rehearsed evening when any member can put on a short piece of any kind. On any given programme we tend to have the full gamut: teenagers re-enacting YouTube comedy (always clean!!), small groups performing extracts from plays serious or comic (and occasionally in French, with surtitles!), Monty Python or John Finnemore skits (also occasionally in French!), then a full operatic aria performed by one of our many professional and semi-professional singers. Poems and comic monologues or readings are always popular. Jill has brought the humour of Joyce Grenfell and Victoria Wood to another generation, while Lynette has done the same for the Canadian Dave. Jim’s quizzes are sadly missed.
No piece is allowed to exceed ten minutes: so all tastes are catered for, and no-one has to sit through too much of what they don’t fancy.
Items have included a monologue from a World War I nurse, monologues and scenes from Shakespeare, beautiful solo Cold Play songs, piano solos, small group music ensembles both classical and modern, ballet, Pete & Dud duologues, tap dance, and short teasers from up-coming shows.
Rehearsal is essential but scant, scripts are sometimes held, and the main ingredient is fun. We sit at round tables, cabaret-style, entertain each other on stage, and at interval catch up with friends.
Much as after evening rehearsals, “Time” often has to be called, no-one wanting to go home just yet, as many busy hands do the dishes and sweep the hall around chattering groups.
Last year, tired of waiting for lockdowns to be over, we held a Club Night on zoom, and it worked fine, but it was a relief to be back in person last month.