Life partners making a drama!

“I cannot believe it has taken nearly 30 years,” Melanie says when reflecting on the fact that she and her husband are acting on stage together for the first time.

Melanie and Chris Winstanley have been very active in amateur theatre for over 30 years and for the last 11 years as leading lights in The Algarveans Theatre Group. But, in all this time, they have never been on-stage acting in the same production.

“I have directed, and Mel has been on stage and vice versa,” said Chris. “We have both been involved with each other’s shows over the years but never acted together. Maybe that is the secret of a happy marriage!”

They take to the stage together in The Algarveans production of “A Bench in The Sun” by Ron Clark, which will be staged at the Convento do São José in Lagoa in the intimate 90-seater theatre from Thursday, June 27 to Saturday, June 29 at 7.45pm.

“We both have big parts in this beautifully written comedy and have been helping each other learn our lines,” added Melanie.

Set on and around a park bench in the garden of a retirement home, the play tells the story of two old boys whose humdrum life is disrupted by the arrival of a retired film actress, as they both try to win her affections. Chris is playing “Harold”, Melanie the part of “Adrienne Bliss” and Ray Dillon that of “Bert”. A beautifully poignant story with some fabulous comic moments will have the audience chortling from start to finish.

Instrumental in driving forward The Algarveans group over the last 10 years, Melanie chaired the group for four years before being succeeded by Chris for the last two. They have seen the group grow in numbers of members and increase to three productions per year.

“We are very proud to be part of The Algarveans and it has been very special to have been involved with so many special shows with some pretty special people,” said Chris.

Tickets priced at €10 are available online at You can also buy tickets in person at Auditório Carlos do Carmo and Convento de São José in Lagoa, Tuesday to Saturday, 9am to 12-30pm and 2pm to 5.30pm, or when the venues are open for performances. Alternatively, at Município de Lagoa, Balcão Único, Monday to Friday, 9am to 4.30pm.

Tickets are also available at Worten and FNAC shops or online from their websites.