Coldstream’s original approach to their latest theatre production

Coldstream Community Theatre Group have been entertaining audiences for over three decades so their forthcoming show is sure to be a hot ticket with people in the town.

This year’s cast and crew are in the final flurry of rehearsals as they edge ever closer to curtain up on Sunday, February 16.

In the past the group have wandered into the realms of pantomime but this year the dame’s costume is being left on the rails.

‘Mumpy the Miserable Clown’ is based on a play of the same name by Alison Chaplin but rather than doing a carbon copy of the original, theatre group secretary and director Joy Thomson has used it as her inspiration to pen her own script.

“It was written as part of an Arts on the Move’ scheme for school children,” Joy explained.

“It’s a great piece but as it was it wouldn’t have been ideal for us as it’s solely for children, whereas we have a mix of youngsters and adults in our group so I’ve written my own script so everyone is included.”

Joy’s re-jigging of the play has landed one of the theatre group’s more mature members, Alec Young with the leading role of Mumpy.

And Alec should be well-equipped for his time in the spotlight, having taken part in countless past productions.

“I’ve been with the group now for 12 years, having joined up in 2002 and I remember Alec from my first production,” Joy continued.

“He was in a three piece band who provided the music for the show along with Len Shepherd and Alistair Marjoribanks, who is sadly no longer with us.

“With more use of backing tracks rather than live music we’ve managed to win Alec over and get him on stage.”

Alec is one of a 30 strong cast who will entertain at the one-off matinee performance in a few weeks time and its an ensemble that spans the generations.

“We’ve got 16 people in the cast who are under 16 which is great as we’ve got a lot of young talent in the town,” Joy enthused.

“And then our eldest participant is still going strong at 80+.

“There are quite a few people from the same family involved - we’ve got mums and sons; dads and daughters, you name it. We are like one big family.”

Joy’s had a number of starring roles in Coldstream over the years, one of her first being a fairy in ‘Puss in Boots’, but with a script to write, music to arrange and of course a show to direct, her role in ‘Mumpy the Miserable Clown’ is strictly backstage.

And with rehearsals going well there shouldn’t be too much chaos in the wings.

“It’s all going to plan at the moment. We’ve been having one rehearsal a week but now we’ve stepped it up to two as the show gets closer.

“I don’t think there’s any nerves in the cast at the moment although I’m sure I’ll have a few butterflies in my stomach come the day of the performance!

“The theatre group is a great way of bringing the community together and giving people the opportunity to be creative.

“There is no divide between adults and children- everyone’s equal on stage.

“We don’t hold auditions either; we welcome everyone who wants to get involved in the group.

“And we get great support from the town which means a lot to us.”

l ‘Mumpy the Miserable Clown’ will be performed at Coldstream Community Centre at 2pm on Sunday, February 16. Tickets priced £6 adults, £5 concessions are on sale from Clarks Newsagents.