"Nothing deep and meaningful, just fast and fun" promise New Theatre Productions

Gill Montgomery is promising the “perfect antidote” this September as New Theatre Productions return to West Dean Gardens

Friday, 3rd September 2021, 6:05 am
Gill Montgomery

In a departure from their usual summer slot, the company will be staging See How They Run by Philip King, directed by Gill on Sunday, September 5, Wednesday, September 8, Friday, September 10 and Sunday, September 12.

And Gill is very clear what we can expect: “It is going to be nothing deep or meaningful. It is just going to be very fast and fun!”

Completing the theatrical return will be three of the plays within the Confusions set of five by Alan Ayckbourn, directed by Tiffin Jones, with performances on Monday, September 6, Tuesday, September 7, Thursday, September 9 and Saturday, September 11.

Gill, who has enjoyed a long involvement with New Theatre Productions, is thrilled to be back: “I was feeling quite glum, and then I was offered the chance to direct this and I thought it was exactly what we all needed. It was lovely for us all to get back together again. Everyone is very keen, and it is just so happy to be starting up again.”

As Gill says: “It is just such a special venue. That is a huge point in its favour. It is just the flavour of an English summer. The surroundings, the pergola, the gardens and just such a beautiful setting, and everyone is in just such a lovely mood because of the location. It really is a tangible thing. People love coming to that venue.

“It does come with its challenges like sometimes if it gets a little windy, then you have to up your voices or you might get a motorbike passing by (on the road outside) just at a really emotional moment.

“And one year we had a hot-air balloon threatening to land near us, and then another year a bird of prey landed on the trim of the pergola which rather stole the scene!

“But it really is a wonderful place to be.”

And New Theatre Productions chairman Peter Breskal has come up with exactly the right plays following the time we have all endured, Gill says – two fine comedies.

“See How They Run is a Philip King farce. He wrote quite a lot of plays, some with other people.

“He wrote Sailor Beware which was enormously popular in its day. But this is one of his vicars plays. He wrote three or four that involved vicars, and this one has more than its fair share of trousers not necessarily on.

“It’s suitable for a wide age range of people and for people that just want to come out for the evening and have a really good laugh and not worry about anything at all. It is fast and it is fun.

“He likes writing plays where the wife is an ex-actress and she is married to this vicar, so there is a contradiction in characters there, and people get embroiled in all sorts of things going on.

“It is set during the Second World War and it involves an escaped prisoner-of-war and all sorts of unexpected things happening for all sorts of characters.”

New Theatre Productions chairman Peter Breskal and the team are promising a Covid secure venue.

The audience will wear masks at its own discretion; you will be shown to your seat by someone in a mask.

Unlike in previous years, seats will be allocated, and, again unlike previous years, no tickets will be sold in advance.

New Theatre Productions are asking you to buy your tickets on the night.

You are welcome to picnic before the show, but you are asked to buy your tickets as soon as you arrive on site and before you picnic.

Tickets will be £10 (£8 under 16s), and because of the later date (performances are usually June/July), all performances start at 6.30pm. Tickets will be available from 5pm on performance nights.