Many of us may be heaving a huge sigh of relief as 2020 comes to a close and we look to forward to a better and healthier year. Since the closure of our beloved theatres, we Algarveans have had to endure an enforced resting period. Fortunately, Paul Kloegman managed to stage the spring production A Bunch of Amateurs just before lockdown was imposed. The cast and crew barely had time to enjoy the applause and glowing reviews before they found themselves at home binge watching Netflix series, taking up jigsaw puzzles, knitting or driving their partners mad by trying a new hobby such as playing the ukulele.
Jim Landis had just decided on his cast for the June studio play, Lettice and Lovage, but to the dismay of all the production was postponed until later in the year, or so we had hoped. And Frank Remiatte’s hopes of directing the autumn production of A Christmas Carol also disappeared in a panto-like puff of smoke. Similarly the AGM lunch in March was wisely cancelled, robbing Lynda and Malcolm Marshall of their moment of glory when they received The Algarveans’ Award 2019 for their continual commitment to the costumes and set construction. Committee members, however, headed by new chairperson, Angela Theobold, have since learned to participate in meetings via Zoom, something we all previously thought was a just feature on a camera.
Nevertheless, some Algarvean members found ways to continue working on their craft and entertain us. Chris and Mel Winstanley staged a wonderful online rehearsed play reading of September in the Rain by John Godber, which, incidentally, is still available to watch via The Alagarveans’ website. It would be great to see other members follow this initiative, particularly if theatres are to remain closed for the foreseeable future.
As our theatrical dry spell continued, it provided the opportunity for some late spring cleaning at the warehouse should the opportunity arise to relocate. Volunteers played ‘Guess which Show’ as they unearthed various costumes and props from times gone by, as well as a few desiccated rodent corpses.
Although Frank hasn’t yet been able to stage A Christmas Carol, he directed The Algarveans first ever virtual quiz. Ten teams participated online and after only 35 minutes of chaos making sure everyone was logged on and set up, the quiz went very smoothly. While the competition winner could feel smug, the rest of us all enjoyed the chance to test our theatre trivia as well as the virtual catch up.
After many years of service on the committee, both Gloria and Maxine Costa have decided to step down. The Algarveans are enormously grateful for their invaluable work in assisting the running of the group and will be sad to lose them. However, both ladies will continue to participate with productions whenever they can. The committee welcomes in their stead Tracey Christiansen and Alexander Melo.
Tracey has been with The Algarveans for the past three years, helping sew costumes, voice coaching and prompting, and written many of our press releases, but has also appeared onstage several times with the group, recently as Mary in A Bunch of Amateurs. She will be responsible for ‘news and marketing’.
Alex is a relatively new recruit, having joined our last production during which you may have heard his voice as ‘reporter number two’ offstage, but he is looking forward to being more involved with The Algarveans. He brings musical experience from his time in Canada but is fluent in Portuguese and we hope to exploit both these talents.
All we want for Christmas is a Vaccine and a Theatrical piece!
Wishing you all peace, love & happiness and fingers crossed for a brighter 2021