The Algarveans Experimental Theatre Group are putting the finishing touches to their second show of the year, “A Bench In The Sun” by Ron Clark. Directed by Jim Landis, it will be staged in the intimate 90-seat theatre at the beautiful Convento de São José in Lagoa, on June 27-28-29 at 7.45pm.
Ray Dillon and Chris Winstanley are polar opposites, playing Harold and Burt, joined at their arthritic hips by the bonds of time past, present, and the inevitable future. They went to school together and worked together and, some 40 years later, at Harold’s invitation, share life in a retirement home.
Harold’s legacy is three failed marriages, five ruined businesses, and children who won’t talk to him, but one thing that has not failed him is his preoccupation with women.
Burt – Harold’s accountant – treasures the memory of his wife Sylvie as he devours the upsetting news of the day, pausing only to calculate the number of hours one sleeps in a year. On the serious side, he has a score to settle, a promise to Sylvie that by play’s end he is obliged to fulfill.
These grumpy old men spend their time volleying and deflecting their smart-ass jibes as they await the announcements for mealtime. It’s Groundhog Day until the appearance of Adrienne Bliss (Melanie Winstanley), a still starry-eyed veteran of the screen, whose flirtatious ways catch the eyes and hearts of the boys on the bench and she plays them. As the courting commences, a cloud hovers over them – Valley View Gardens has been sold.
Clark’s script is rich with one liners, musings about the seasons and sacrifices of one’s life, tender moments and reflections on changes in the world that make retired folk seem irrelevant. Beyond the humour are the gentle but ironic reminders of one’s mortality and the fate that awaits those in a care home.
Tickets priced at €10 are available online at www.ticketline.sapo.pt – you can also buy tickets in person at Auditório Carlos do Carmo and Convento de S. José in Lagoa, or at Worten and FNAC shops.
The Algarveans helpline – 913 745 261