The Algarveans in a beautiful place

The Algarveans Experimental Theatre Group is pushing the boundaries with their new production “A Bench in the Sun” by Ron Clark. A comedy about friendship and ageing, it tells the story of Burt and Harold who spend their days chatting and bickering on a bench in their retirement home. Their world is turned upside down when Adrienne Bliss, a fading film star, moves into the home and they become competitors for her affection.

The play is being performed in the Convento de São José in Lagoa – a first for the group. This venue has a small 92-seat theatre which was recently refurbished with “comfortable seating, excellent leg-room and air conditioning”. The rest of the building is full of historical interest and should provide a pleasant ambiance on performance nights.

“The play is a very intimate show with the audience seated very close to the actors, which will doubtless enhance this engaging evening of comic theatre,” says director Jim Landis. “We are trying to make the audience feel they are eavesdropping on very personal and humorous conversations that happen on the bench.”

“The venue is very different from the large 300-seater Carlos do Carmo auditorium in Lagoa where we normally perform,” said Melanie Winstanley, who plays Adrienne Bliss. “We are having to concentrate on every movement and gesture to bring our characters to life, and make sure we do not overact!”

The Algarveans chairperson Chris Winstanley added: “With only 90 seats available per night we expect tickets to go very quickly as we normally play our shows to much larger audiences. My advice is to book early not to miss out on what we hope will be a very entertaining evening.”

The show is at 7.45pm on June 27, 28 and 29, and The Algarveans are inviting the audience to come early and enjoy the surroundings of the Convento. There will be a bar open from an hour before curtain-up.

Tickets at €10 are available online at or you can buy them at the Carlos do Carmo auditorium and Convento de São José in Lagoa. Tickets are also available at Worten and Fnac stores or online from their websites.