Rescheduling of ‘Labour of Love’

‘LABOUR OF LOVE’ The Reason for the Postponement:

I remember being at an early meeting between the RSC and several Amateur Drama Groups, where their spokesperson was explaining why they had reached out to Am Dram. It was, he said, that they simply could not understand how Am Dram groups managed to stage plays by only rehearsing in the evenings and weekends against a backdrop of work and family life. He went on, in not complete seriousness, to consider the financial impact it would have on the RSC to only finance that amount of rehearsal. What he was really getting at was wanting to tap into the Am Drama commitment to staging plays not only with limited resources and time but also against the intrusion of all those outside realities.

Of course changes in circumstances affect the professional world as well but in their case that rarely results in postponement, but the promotion of an understudy. In the world of Am Dram that is a luxury we do not have.

In a lifetime of involvement with amateur drama I have never had to postpone a production that was weeks away from performance, except of course for our Minack production of ‘Sisterly Feelings’ but that was due to a worldwide pandemic so can hardly be considered normal.

The concept of pulling through, the show must go on and pure determination usually does the trick but I have never met a series of obstacles which dogged this production from it’s launch /audition.

Days after casting the show the actor given the role of David had to quit as our performance dates clashed when he had to be in Geneva involved in humanitarian assistance to the war in Ukraine.

I finally found a replacement, but rehearsal time was lost. Our replacement was also committed to work and another show, which although he worked hard did not help us catch up missed time.

The play requires that for one scene you must cast a Chinese businessman eventually we found our Mr Shen. A sigh of relief all round.

Then a month from performance in quite a short sequence we were faced with three very different events. My having to go to hospital for a bypass operation. Not in itself a calamity we arranged a new rehearsal schedule and for the assistant director to take over rehearsals.

At the same time our leading man, announced that his application to go on ‘Pointless’ had been successful, and he had to go to London for a week for filming.

If that was hilarious it was followed by the seriousness of a sudden illness to the child of our leading lady and assistant director, who was diagnosed with possible epilepsy and was having to spend time in and out of hospital with no certainty of any immediate solution.

Faced with a choice of going ahead knowing that apart from having two crucial members of the team having to cope with the worry of looking after their child, but that in all reality they would not be available for the performance. There was little option but to cancel or postpone.

As a cast and a production team we had loved this play from the beginning, finding it both challenging and extremely funny, none of us wanted to abandon the production. The decision was taken to postpone ‘Labour of Love’ until 24th – 27th July 2024, which was endorsed by the Drama Group.

The story of this production has been a labour of love mixed with unique events some funny and some very serious. Let’s hope for just the normal complications when we resume for the performance in July, please join us then.