Live theater returns to Eastbourne


It will be interpreted by Steve Scott, who directs the venue, and by Heather Alexander, directed by Dominique Gerrard (July 9 and 10, 7:30 p.m.).

They promise a bittersweet comic drama set in a northern pub in the ’80s.

The two actors swap multiple characters to share stories and trade punches as pints are drawn and relationships dissected.

“Each vignette cleverly combines pathos and humor,” says Steve.

“The hard-hitting comedy gives way to dark urban poetry, followed by dark tragedy.

“Two honestly looks at the joys and stresses of everyday working life.

“It’s basically a snapshot of the lives of the people who frequent this pub, the different characters we meet, all of their life stories, and it’s all held together by the owner and the owner.

“You see all these people with their struggles and their little quirks.

“You get a glimpse into their lives, all over a night out at this northern pub.

“We play around seven different characters each, all of different ages, but it’s all tied together by the owner and the owner who we see several times throughout the evening.

“When we first meet them, they bicker. It’s a bickering couple. But they’re both very good at what they do. You can imagine them appearing on Coronation Street or in a sketch by Victoria Wood. They are quite sour to each other, but they are very friendly to the people who walk into the pub. But over the course of the evening you realize that they have a story behind them. There is a tragedy. There are little clues here and there.

Differentiating between different characters requires different voices and different costumes.

There are a few quick changes off the stage, often just a sweater, hat, or cardigan.

“I play an old man and he has a flat cap and a cardigan.

“But these are not caricatures, these people. They are real people.

“You have to do them in 3D. You only have a short time to play them, and there is a temptation to play them like caricatures, but they aren’t.

“Many of them talk about their struggles. The old man remembers his deceased wife. He can bring her back to his mind and it gets him through the day.

For the actors: “It is a question of knowing what will follow. You don’t want to put on the wrong hat!

As for the venue in general, Steve is happy with how things have turned out since the resumption: “I hope I’m not massively tempting fate, but things have gone well.

With social distancing, they can accommodate 50 people – up from a usual capacity of around 130.

“It’s tough financially, I’m not going to lie to you. But we can make it work.

“You just have to play well. We have the bar recipes. We have found with cabaret seats that people feel comfortable and tend to order more drinks, so there is that to make up for it.

“And we’re lucky that the operating costs of the theater aren’t huge. “

More details at www.groveeastbourne.com


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