Hee-haw! We’ve chosen our next production, and it promises to be something special – a “radio on stage play” adaptation of the classic movie It’s a Wonderful Life.
Starring James Stewart and Donna Reed and directed by Frank Capra, It’s a Wonderful Life first appeared in cinemas in 1946. Today it is considered a timeless classic, one of the most popular and critically acclaimed films of all time. Although not originally intended as a Christmas movie it has become synonymous with the festive season. It tells the story of George Bailey, a selfless man who dedicates his life to helping others in his home town of Bedford Falls. Events conspire against him until he concludes he’d be worth more dead than alive, and contemplates suicide. At this point his guardian angel Clarence intervenes to show him just how much he means to his family and friends and that his is truly a wonderful life.
Bit of a plot-spoiler there, but the chances are you knew the story already.
What you may not know is that the film set of Bedford Falls covered four acres, included a 300-yard main street, 75 buildings, a residential neighbourhood and twenty fully-grown oak trees. The trusty BaCStage Handrail Team under Nick’s expert guidance felt confident that they could re-create this on the BaCStage stage (and they say actors are mad), but we’re not convinced that the Parish Council would allow us to cut the Village Hall floor in half and install a swimming pool beneath it. Fortunately our director Peter, a veteran of past Handrail Team missions (he has the scars to prove it) has something different in mind – a radio play adaptation of the film by Tony Palermo. We won’t be attempting to re-create the sights of Bedford Falls; instead we will focus on the sounds, through the actors’ voice characterisations and also with the use of “live” sound-effects created as part of the performance.
We are holding two open auditions in June, on Thursday 8th and Saturday 10th – full details below. These are for both existing group members and newcomers alike. In addition to the usual acting and helping out behind the scenes opportunities this production offers something different; firstly there are the live sound effects and secondly the emphasis on voices means that a young actor could play an old character, and vice versa. So if you’re a budding Foley artist or an aspiring actor of any age do please come along, meet the director and some of the group. You don’t need to prepare anything for one of our auditions as the director will select parts of the script for people to read. All you need to bring is yourself (and a parent or guardian if you’re under 18).
It’s a Wonderful Life on the internet: wikipedia, IMDb, 25 wonderful facts and 13 things you didn’t know.
Editor’s note: We chose our audition dates a while ago. Since then, as you may have heard, a general election has been called for the same date. You may be wondering, is this a sinister government plot aimed at undermining our next production? Or a sinister BaCStage plot aimed at undermining the government? Or maybe we’ve been hacked by the Russians? I would like to assure you, dear reader, that it is none of these things; it is merely a coincidence. We are not embroiled in any politics (other than the internal variety one might expect of an Am Dram group), and we definitely haven’t been hacked by the Russians. Не кормить актеров. Thank you.