Busy time ahead for Forfar Dramatic Society

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This is a very busy time for the members of Forfar Dramatic Society with a number of projects and productions in the pipeline.

Not only are they gearing up for their forthcoming production of ‘The Factory Girls’ by Frank McGuinness, they are performing in the district round of the annual Scottish Community Drama Association One-Act Play Festival in the Webster Theatre, Arbroath.

The two-night event has the Forfar team opening the festival by presenting ‘The Window Cleaner’ by Gillian Plowman and taking to the stage at 7 p.m. on Friday, February 28.

The play will be performed by Kay Brown and Bill Atkinson, direction by Winnie Brown and stage manager David Allen. Also taking part is Carnoustie Theatre Club, both adult and youth teams, along with Carnoustie youth team, Stage Stars. The adjudicator is Colin Peter.

The winning team will go forward to the Northern Divisional Finals, to be held this year in the Orkney Arts Theatre, March 27 to 29.

Following the festival, ‘The Factory Girls’ will be presented in Strathmore Cricket Club, Forfar on Wednesday, March 5 to Friday, March 7.

‘The Factory Girls’ tells the story of five female characters who decide to stage a sit-in when their boss calls for redundancies, increased productivity and less pay.

Written in 1982, ‘The Factory Girls’ centres on female solidarity and industrial unrest, after their bullish boss threatens them with redundancy. While this may seem a rather dull topic the play is anything but.

The story is straightforward; however, it is the interaction between the women which is the real highlight of the production. Anyone who has worked in a factory will recognise the characters and sympathise with their plight. It is very much a worker versus management scenario although, to some, self-interest and hard cash are more the issue.

The five women in the cast, played by Kim Brown, Winnie Brown, Leah Gow, Linda McLaren and Sarah Phillips, all display the verve and energy required to keep the play moving along with both comic and dramatic timing to ensure pathos and laughter are both conveyed in equal measure.

You really feel you know these ladies by the end of the show. Ellen is the dominant personality and self-appointed spokeswoman. We’ve all met her before in any office - and saw that her domineering arrogance is borne of a personal tragedy or deep-seated insecurity which eventually must be confronted.

Sensible Rebecca is the proverbial worm that turns to expose her hidden depths, while troubled Vera has a violent husband and wears her heart on her sleeve.

Teenage Rosemary gets a fast-track education in the harsh realities of the workplace and the adult female mind as old timer Una, a barbed-tongued pacifist, is the type of person needed in tense times, always able to defuse animosity with a tall tale or tomfoolery.

The women are ably supported by Graham Hewitson as the sleazy union rep and Ewan Phillip as the young upstart of a manager who is clearly out of his depth in dealing with the situation.

‘The Factory Girls’ is hugely enjoyable, funny and touching, and provides an excellent evening’s entertainment with the language of the factory floor evidenced throughout. These “girls” are down-to-earth folk with just as many problems as you or I. There are no prima donnas, just real women, with an equal measure of highly-visible flaws and endearing qualities.

Tickets are priced at £10 with a concession costing £8, which includes refreshments. They are easily purchased online by visiting www.forfardramatic.com or by visiting the Box Office in the Toy Castle, 86 Castle Street (closed Thursdays).