bringing comedy drama to Burnham and Berrow

History

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Stage 2 Drama

About us…

Stage 2 Drama was founded in 2001 as a result of an expressed wish by local residents for amateur drama in the community (this was part of a response to a Questionnaire distributed throughout the village of Berrow).

The Group meets, rehearses and performs at Berrow Village Hall and has now been running for thirteen years during which many successful performances have been staged:

Victorian Melodramas – February 2002

In order to achieve a quick start, the group decided that the first production would be a Victorian Melodrama,  comprising three short play-lets and a monologue.  This allowed the participation of the maximum number of actors with the minimum of line-learning overhead.  The play-lets were: “Save My Child”, “Fanny’s Prayer” and “Mayhem at the Mill”.   The evening culminated in a sing-song that seemed to go down well with the audience.

Easy Stages – May 2002

by Nick Warburton

The second production, in May of the same year, was a play about an Amateur Dramatic group’s techies having terrible trouble putting on their latest production of Hamlet.  Somehow, it seemed appropriate…

‘Allo, ‘Allo – The Tribute Show – October 2002

This was a tribute to the TV series, specially written for the Group. Technical problems were behind some of the more memorable moments…

Confusions – May 2003

A linked series of five poignantly amusing one-act plays by Alan Ayckbourn which address human dilemmas:

  • Mother Figure – where a mother is unable to escape from baby talk;
  • Gosforth Fete – a disastrous village fete;
  • Drinking Companion – an unsuccessful seduction attempt;
  • Between Mouthfulls – a fraught dinner encounter
  • A Talk In The Park – five self-immolated characters on park benches

Outside Edge – February 2004

Richard Harris’ play about a cricket team that is trying to win a game of cricket whilst simultaneously attempting to sort out their various marital problems.

The Magical History Tour – July 2004

A hysterical monument to Berrow’s past, where the action takes place in the depths of deepest, darkest Somerset in various ages past (with sincere apologies to the various original authors whose works we plagiarised unmercifully…)

  • 10,000BC – The Dead Dactyl

    Deep in the mists of time, stone age man (& woman) moved into Berrow. In common with their distant descendants, these early settlers were animal lovers, and thus it was that one of the first commercial enterprises to spring up in the village was that of the much loved Pet Emporium. Despite the fact that dinosaurs had become extinct everywhere else many thousands of years previously, in the Bridgwater Bay area a unique micro climate had preserved a small population of Pterosaurs whose favoured nesting sites were in the Berrow dunes. Despite poor survival rates in captivity, the creatures’ mimicking ability (similar to that of modern parrots), together with the attractive velvety sheen of their plumage made them popular as pets…

  • AD CXXVII – THE PEOPLE’S FRONT OF BERROW

    The status quo of Berrow daily life continued for many centuries until the rural idyll was rudely shattered by the invasion of the Romans. A Roman dignitary was duly invested to govern the local area. His name was Pompous Pilate (scion of the (in)famous family), and, together with his efficient soldiery, he ensured that the existing barbarian culture of cider louts and utter squalor was replaced forever with one of order, discipline and regular bathing. Much to the annoyance of some local inhabitants…

  • 1572 – BELLS

    Elizabeth I (known locally as ‘the Virgin Train’), came to the throne in 1558 and briefly set up court in the buffet car at (the now defunct) Berrow Up Junction. During this brief, and largely undocumented period of royal patronage, one of Elizabeth’s court favourites was Edmund (bastard great, great grandson of the repulsive original Lord Blackbladder of Berrow). Edmund and his servant Baldrick (an unemployable dung taster from Taunton), were reasonably normal until they met Bob…

  • 1900 – THE STORY OF GUNNER HAINES

    Brean Down Fort was famously the scene of an explosion caused by Gunner Haines on the 4th July 1900. As a result of this disaster Gunner Haines lost his life. History has it that the explosion was caused by Haines firing a carbine loaded with ball cartridge down a ventilator and into expense magazine No. 3 whilst in a state of temporary insanity, however, we happen to know that the day before the incident, Haines attended a certain weapons demonstration…

  • 1942 – WORLD WAR II

    At a time when German & British propaganda battled for hearts & minds on the airwaves, our boys battled for supremacy in the skies. It was a time indeed when men were men (?) and local women were quite happy to take advantage…

  • 1955 – FOUR CANDLES

    Following the end of the war, the brightest and best had all disappeared from the village (having all gone off to the USA where everyone had enormous swimming pools, flashy cars and pots of money). This left village commerce in the hands of persons of somewhat dubious character… Here then we have a local hard goods emporium of the type no longer seen in these parts (thank goodness), attempting to serve a difficult customer…

The Real Inspector Hound – December 2004

This is a short, one-act play by Tom Stoppard in which two theatre critics named Moon and Birdboot, who are watching a country house murder mystery play, become involved in the action causing a series of events that parallel the whodunnit they are watching.

Mixed Doubles – June 2005

A series of dramatic sketches and anti-authoritarian monologues, which present an acerbic but humorous image of marriage from the moment of blessing up until the inevitable end. The characters appear to be plagued by everyday trivialities, their pasts, their jobs, and their marital problems.

  • “The Vicar” (monologue) by George Melly
  • “Father of the Bride”
  • “A Man’s Best Friend”, by James Saunders
  • “The Nannie”, by George Melly
  • “Norma”, by Alun Owen
  • “The Cockney Sermon”
  • “The Headmaster”
  • “Night”, by Harold Pinter
  • “Husband Swapping”
  • “Countdown”, by Alan Ayckbourn
  • “The Photograph”
  • “In Memorium”
  • “Resting Place”, by David Campton.

Cider with Rosie – November 2005

Cider With Rosie is a charming memoir of Laurie Lee’s childhood, against the dark backdrop of the Great War, in a remote Cotswold village: part of an England that vanished as the cart gave way to the internal combustion engine and, “buses ran, and the town was nearer. We began to shrug off the valley and look more to the world”. The roles of the Lee children are played by adults who gradually “grow up” as the scenes unfold and Laurie eventually crosses the Rubicon of puberty.

Hidden Horror and Missing Meanings – June 2006

Three comedies featuring mystery, murder & monsters…

  • I want my Mummy – a horrible pantomime
  • One of our Actors is Missing – Or is he??
  • Hidden Meanings – Deduction, Seduction & Murder..?

Way Upstream – December 2006

Way Upstream is a play by Alan Ayckbourn that presents a political allegory depicted by the effect a pair of radical interlopers (Vince and Fleur) have on the meticulously-planned river-cruising holiday of two couples, Keith, June, Alistair and Emma.

Who Killed the Director? – May 2007

A murder-mystery by Chris Martin – The action takes place in a run down theatre called “The Footlights Theatre”. The “Powder Keg Players” are rehearsing for their forthcoming production, a mystery play called ‘A Stab in the Dark’ (a melodrama set in the 1930’s). The play is two weeks from opening night and rehearsals are NOT going well! … (Now why does that sound so familiar?)

Dazzle – November 2007

A SPOOF SPACE MUSICAL by JOHN GARDINER (Music by ANDREW PARR)

The action takes place on the Planet Homeworld; on board the starship “Sunburster One”; on the surface of the Red Star in the constellation Karl Marx; in Sam Pan’s Chinese space takeaway; on a black hole seashore; back in time to Sue Zuki’s street corner and finally on the Planet Procyon….

Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime – May 2008

by Constance Cox

Lord Arthur Savile is a well-bred gentleman who is ‘not overburdened with brains’. His engagement to the lovely Sybil Merton looks like eternal happiness – but all this changes when his prospective mother in law, Lady Julia Merton, insists he has his palm read by Mr Podgers, a well-respected cheiromantist who predicts that Lord Arthur will commit a murder at some time. To prevent his future wife from having to bow her head in shame for him, Arthur feels duty-bound to get the dirty deed over and done with before the marriage and sets about choosing his victim, and their method of disposal. He enlists the help of his faithful butler, Baines, and decides to poison his great aunt. While planning this murder, a strange character appears offering his help. His name is Winkelkopf and he professes to be ‘President of the Royal Society of Anarchists’. Suffice to say, things go drastically awry with the first murder attempt, so another victim is selected, and another! Things then go from bad to worse, until an important revelation about the identity of Mr Podgers puts an end to the whole fiasco…or does it?

Habeus Corpus – November 2008

By ALAN BENNETT.

A SAUCY ROMP THROUGH THE PERMISSIVE SOCIETY

In Brighton’s Hove in the late sixties, lives Hove GP Arthur Wicksteed and his wife Muriel. At 53 life seems to have slowed to a disappointing crawl for Arthur but he’s not ready to give in yet. His Sister Connie, engaged to the naïve but slightly disturbing Canon Throbbing, dreams of large breasts and duly orders some in a box, never anticipating that a man will be dispatched to “fit” them… Meanwhile, Arthur’s son, the pale and sickly Dennis, is convinced that he has only three months to live. Into this dysfunctional setting the delectable Felicity enters and “having the body” (as habeas corpus loosely translates to), takes on an all too physical presence….

Berrow High School Reunion – May 2009

By Really Horrid Productions

The event is a dinner for Berrow High School reunion which has been organised via the internet site “mates meet again”. As the reunion progresses, with the toasts, speeches and surprises, old tensions come to the surface resulting in violent arguments which eventually lead to two murders…

Cash on Delivery – November 2009

by Michael Cooney.

The play centres around Eric Swan who has been defrauding the DSS for two years by claiming benefit for an army of fictitious lodgers, all of whom suffer from a variety of ailments for which they can claim, and who have extended families with similar ailments! His wife Linda is oblivious to all this and as the play begins, Eric finds that it is all getting too complicated, but as he tries to extricate himself by killing off his makebelieve tenants, he just ends up being given more and more benefits. He first tells the Council that one of his creations, “Norman Bassett” has died, but he is interrupted by the real life Norman Bassett who really is Eric’s lodger, but doesn’t know that that Eric is claiming benefits in his name. Then the DSS Inspector Mr Jenkins turns up to see another one of the fictitious claimants and Norman gets sucked into Eric’s web of deceit and chaos ensues!

Fringe Benefits – March 2011

Two couples, Isobel and Colin Hudson and Brenda and Jim Nash have spent their last 7 years summer holidays together in a villa in Torremolinos.  This year, however, there’s a change in the air…

Jim and Brenda are the more risqué of the four, and they both have plans for extra-marital adventures. They drag Colin and Isobel into their separate clandestine schemes to take their holidays apart.

Jim, an ageing Lothario, is plotting to have a couple of weeks of adulterous fun with two rather keen dolly birds from the office, Doreen and Fiona.  Colin, much more staid and unadventurous, is dragged willy-nilly into Jim’s scheming, his objections overridden by some explicit polaroids of the girls taken by Jim.

Brenda’s plans exclude her husband but include Richard the Plumber.  All Isobel really wants is a couple of quiet weeks with her feet up…

If I were you – May 2012

by Alan Aykebourn.
This play is set in the Rodales’ home and the kitchen, bedroom and lounge showrooms in the Furniture Warehouse where Mal Rodale and his son in law Dean work.

Mal and Jill Rodale’s marriage is on the rocks. Mal, Jill’s bully of a husband, adores his married daughter and is hated by his schoolboy son He works as the manager of a Furniture warehouse, where he Mal has little empathy for his staff or customers and is having an affair largely conducted during his lunch-breaks.

His neglected wife Jill is bored and frumpy, has not worked for 15 years and patently regrets it, is aware of Mal’s infidelity.

When their daughter Chrissie comes to visit, Jill realises Chrissie is being physically abused by her husband Dean, who works with Mal. Meanwhile, the Rodale’s son Sam is keen on acting and wants to appear in a Shakespearean production. Jill supports Sam despite clear opposition from Mal, who believes acting is not for men and doubts his son’s sexuality.

Settling down to sleep at the end of a dreadful day, Jill mutters: “God help us”. This God presumably does when, next morning, she wakes up in Mal’s body and he in hers. While Mal’s world falls apart, Jill keeps control and insists they must maintain a façade. This is not as easy as it sounds and Sam is soon confused by his parents’ very odd behaviour. Jill goes to work and proves a far more effective manager than Mal, solving many of the problems encountered by Mal the previous day. At home, Mal, struggling with every aspect of being a woman, meets Chrissie, who reveals Dean’s abusive tendencies. He is also moved to tears when Sam performs a speech from A Midsummer Night’s Dream for him. So much so that when Dean returns and as usual boorishly interrupts, Mal punches Dean. Sam bonds with his ‘father’ (actually Jill) although he is convinced his family have been replaced by aliens.

As Mal and Jill doze off that night, they find their personalities have been swapped back again. The play ends as they fall asleep, realising that what they have experienced in the preceding 24 hours has changed their lives and things will never be the same.

Drama, Drinks and Drumsticks – December 2012

A compilation of 6 scenes from Derek Webb and Alan Aykebourn.

The first half comprises 5 scenes from ‘Calling Time’ (by Derek Webb). These are linked by theme and situation but each one is separate in itself and the characters who appear in each do not appear in the others.

After the interval we present ‘Drinking Companions’ which comes from the ‘Confusions’ compilation by Alan Ayckbourn.

The scenes all take place in the bar of the Holly Tree Inn at Christmas and consist of conversations between individuals ranging from the merely eccentric to the decidedly deadly. Take our advice and treat strangers you meet in the pub at Christmas with caution!

Last Tango in Berrow/Territorial Actors/Time Flies – May 2013

Comedy triple bill…..

Our dramatic opening skit introduces both the rest of the show and indeed some new and much younger faces. “Territorial Actors” is a short sketch in which in which a drill sergeant puts a group of rookie part-time actors through their paces.

In “Time Flies”, two mayflies are feeling the amorous joys of spring, only to receive shocking news from none other than Sir David Attenborough!

In “Last Tango in Berrow”, the drama group’s membership has dwindled to four, the audiences aren’t much bigger, and if they don’t come up with some rent money soon they are going to be thrown out. “There’s only one thing that sells tickets these days,” argues Gordon the Chairman, “Sex!” Thus begins the chaotic and hilarious build-up to an evening of extraordinary home-made drama – but how will the locals react?

What’s for pudding/Potty Panto – November 2013

A comedy double-bill:

“What’s For Pudding?”, from the pen of David Tristram, is set in a suburban living room, and centres around the apparently jaded relationship between Mary and Jack. Barbed comments and hilarious dialogue are delivered at an ever increasing pace as they are joined by friends Maureen, Ted and Dennis and alcohol reduces inhibitions…

“Potty Pantomime”, by David Crocker, is set in a certain leafy forest and rather arbitrarily links some favourite characters from various disparate classic pantomimes….

Strictly Sex Factor (on ice)/Streuth – June 2014

A comedy double-bill:

“Strictly Sex Factor (on Ice)”, from the pen of David Tristram. In a certain village hall, a struggling amateur group take desperate measures to harness popular tv reality talent show trends in order to get anyone at all to turn up to their performances. With a broken boiler, freezing rehearsal rooms and a non existent maintenance budget, Gordon will do anything to get paying customers (whatever the risks to the unsuspecting Thespians)…. “Nice to See You, To See You NICE!”

“Streuth”, by Michael Green – Set in a (badly finished) drawing room, this fringe style comedy piece presents a murder mystery in which the awfulness of the murder is exceeded only by the gruesomeness of the acting….!

Sense and Insensibility/Sherlock Holmes’ Last Case – November 2014

A comedy double-bill:

“Sense & Insensibility”: a parody sketch which takes its characters from various famous period novels (see if you can spot them all!). Supposedly a “lost manuscript” by none other than Jane Austen has been found: Dr. Jane Bennet is on the hunt for research funding to allow her to investigate the “curse” of ‘Trifling with the Affections’, which “may lead to the ‘Vapours’ and, possibly, even a ‘Terminal Decline’… The question is: will Jane ever manage to secure her five thousand a year from the handsome Rochester?

“Sherlock Holmes’ Last Case”, by Charlie Cook: an affectionate spoof based on the famous Conan Doyle detective. Holmes discovers that Dr. Watson, his constant friend, assistant and chronicler has been independently investigating the mysterious theft of the Kalimari Diamond – renowned for bringing good luck to its owner. As Watson reveals the information he has discovered, Holmes makes some remarkable – and unexpected – deductions…

Old-time music hall – December 2014

The group assisted the Friends of St. Mary’s Church with an Old Time Music Hall production.

Speed dating/The case of the Count formerly known as Dracula – May 2015

A comedy double-bill:

“Speed dating” opens with Dracula desperately trying to fill in an online dating application as he is running out of virgins in the locality of his castle in the Carpathian Mountains. His mother “helps” but technology interferes…

Meanwhile, in Berrow village hall, the local over fifties have formed a speed dating club (BOFSPED) with many eccentric members. Dracula has advertised a free holiday but this lot simply don’t qualify. We also meet Justin, a stereotypical “Sam Spade” lookalike detective, who just can’t resist telling his “date” about previous conquests…

“The case of the Count formerly known as Dracula”: an affectionate spoof of the Dracula legend as investigated by Justin Thyme. Justin returns to his office and the delicious Effie where he has received a plea for assistance from a Doctor Van Helsing. This takes Thyme on a journey to distant Transylvania where he finds an old adversary has set up a bar catering for low lifes and zombies. Thyme meets the voluptuous Molly and falls instantly in love. Whilst out with Molly the two lovers are caught in a storm and find that the only refuge appears to be a dark foreboding castle. Guess who lives there? Thyme and Molly are caught up in the dark dangerous and daft world of the dreaded Dracula and we follow their weird wanderings. Along the way we encounter creepy characters, corny lines and stolen lyrics galore… Will Justin save the day? Which girl or ghoul will end up with which guy? Will they go Drac or will they go back? Watch and see…

Scoundrels and Stratagems/Last Panto in Berrow – December 2015

A comedy double-bill:

“Scoundrels and Stratagems” involves the schemes, plots, counterplots and bungling attempts of the imperious Lady Pinchbeck, dastardly Squire Buzzard and sinister Lamprey to discredit, disinherit and kidnap various young innocents. Played in traditional melodramatic style with impassioned over-acting throughout, this is a hugely enjoyable romp.

“Last Panto in Berrow” the third in the series of David Tristram’s superb comedies finds the familiar four members of a struggling drama group coming up with yet another desperate scheme to draw an unsuspecting audience to one of their (infamously bad) shows.
Gags come thick and fast in this excessively witty theatrical parody: Joyce wants to be in a musical but is tone deaf, meanwhile the over-bearing Gordon labours under the misapprehension of being able to write a script. Margaret is quite a diva and is continually battling with Bernard who likes to take everyone down a peg or three. Throw in a panto horse and it’s a recipe for mayhem!

Tomb with a view – June 2016

A Comedy Chiller

The avaricious and murderous Tomb family are attempting by hook or by crook to get hold of the millions left by their rather scary father Septimus in his will.

Set in “Monument House”, the eccentric characters are all involved in much devious plotting and scheming all aimed at getting their hands on as much cash as inhumanly possible. More macabre than “Midsomer Murders”! More notorious than New Tricks! (and some of the Actors probably as old!)

Can you work out who is behind it all? Will anyone survive and if so who will it be? Did we learn our lines in time?(!)

“Funny You Should Ask, Doctor”: The Lighter Side of Medicine – November 2016

This miscellany featured medical mayhem, complete quackery and code blue hair…

A smörgasbord of comedy sketches based loosely on medical themes with tongue in cheek relationship issues a-plenty. There’s classic doctors and nurses, disgruntled patients and not to mention a tricky case of multiple inflammatory women on the warpath.

We hoped that, despite raising blood pressure and tickling funny bones, no-one would die laughing… and if they DID, then we had enough untrained fake medics to fill the cast of a blue light emergency medical soap opera!


REMEMBER: We are small, friendly amdram theatre group based in Berrow: we are happy to accept new members – join us on- or back-stage or even just to help on the night or with publicity.

New members are ALWAYS welcome! ­ And you don’t have to be from Berrow to join! While the core membership is from Berrow or Burnham, we have people from Bristol and beyond who have acted with us and enjoyed being part of our friendly group.

We generally aim to perform 2 plays each year: one in spring, the other in autumn. These are usually comedy or farce and we work hard to find good quality scripts to use.  Novices and experienced actors can be assured of a warm welcome and help and support whenever needed.  Both stage 2 drama group and our audiences like to see new faces!  If you prefer to remain in the background there are plenty of ways that you can get involved backstage.

If you have any queries or want to join our mailing list to receive details of future events, please contact us by completing the form on the “Contact” page.  Also if you have any questions or comments at all, go ahead and send via the contact form – we would be delighted to hear from you. – click here to go to the contact page.

We are always looking for new ideas and ways to enhance our productions so please don’t be shy – we’re a very friendly group and we would love you to join us.

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