From left: Deborah Kloegman, Ria Cowley, Director Paul Kloegman and Frank Remiatte in rehearsal

Actors, accents and a Bunch of Amateurs

With The Algarveans’ next production set to open Lagoa municipality’s Humorfest 2020, we shine the spotlight on the region’s favourite amateur thespians in their forthcoming comedy.

“A Bunch of Amateurs” by Ian Hislop and Nick Newman centres around fading Hollywood star Jefferson Steel who, keen to boost his flagging career, arrives in England to play King Lear in Stratford, only to find it is not Shakespeare’s birthplace but a sleepy Suffolk village and the cast are a bunch of amateurs.

Jefferson’s monstrous ego is tested to the limit by the enthusiastic amateur thespians. As acting worlds collide and Jefferson’s career implodes, he discovers some truths about himself, his relationships with other people and his inner Lear!

Taking the role of Jefferson Steel is San Diego native Frank Remiatte, who hotly denies all rumours of typecasting. Frank first appeared on stage with The Algarveans last spring in the comedy “Ladies’ Day” where he adopted a British accent to play a TV pundit.

“I thought I could relax with this part,” Frank says, “not having to struggle with an accent. But more challenging is reciting Shakespeare which for Americans might as well be a foreign language!”

Fortunately, experienced director Paul Kloegman knows how to make the Bard’s lines both interesting and intelligible, while maximising the comedy of a Hollywood action hero struggling to play a Shakespearian role.

Playing Dorothy Nettle, the ever-accommodating director of the Stratford Players, is Deborah Kloegman, who recently appeared as the Wicked Witch in “The Wizard of Oz”. Canadian-raised Deborah has to assume a British accent but, as she quips, “I get extra help at home from the director. Finally, having a British husband pays off!”

Meanwhile, youngest member of the cast, Ria Cowley, playing Jefferson’s teenage daughter, switches with ease from an English to an American accent.

The rest of the cast are true Brits and “only” have to remember their lines and not bump into the furniture. You can be assured, The Algarveans are setting the bar ever higher regarding the professionalism of their productions for they are no ordinary bunch of amateurs!

“A Bunch of Amateurs” will be performed in English at the 300-seat Carlos do Carmo Auditorium in Lagoa on February 27, 28 and 29 at 7:45 pm. Tickets at €12 are available at all Worten and Fnac stores as well as the Auditorium and Convento de S. José box offices, or online at For all enquiries, visit