Gallery: Join the chorus!

A Chorus Of Disapproval is on tonight at Ipswich's New Wolsey theatre. By Alan Ayckbourn, it is a much acclaimed comedy and contains some of his most memorable characters.

James Marston

A Chorus Of Disapproval is on tonight at Ipswich's New Wolsey theatre. By Alan Ayckbourn, it is a much acclaimed comedy and contains some of his most memorable characters. As rehearsals came to an end JAMES MARSTON met the cast to find out more.

A CHORUS Of Disapproval is one of the highlights of the spring programme at Ipswich's New Wolsey theatre.

Set to run until the end of the month, it is directed by the theatre's Peter Rowe and is a collaboration with the Mercury theatre in Colchester - the first of its kind.

And it is in Colchester where the cast have been busy rehearsing for the last three and a half weeks. The story centres on Guy Jones, a quiet, unassuming and polite widower whose life is passing him by.

But when he enters the rehearsal room of The Pendon Amateur Light Operatic Society (PALOS) for their latest production, The Beggar's Opera, Guy is catapulted into the limelight.

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Soon everyone wants a piece of him and Guy just can't say “no” to anyone, no matter how bizarre their demands might be.

Julian Harries, said: “I'm playing Guy Jones and it is his story that we follow, from him joining the am dram group to the first night of the production.

“He is an outsider and this is his first tentative steps back into the outside world. He is very eager to please and he doesn't say no.

“He is an innocent in a pool of sharks. Because he's not out for himself, everyone else mistrusts him and they don't understand his actions.”

Katy Secombe grew up in the theatre - her dad was the much-loved Sir Harry and her uncle was a member of a Gilbert and Sullivan society. She plays Hannah, who is married to Dafydd. She said: “She's a bit of a monster and she's having an affair. Her story is tragi-comic. She's stuck in a loveless marriage and then she blossoms but it all goes wrong.”

Roger Delves-Broughton is playing Ted Washbrook. He said: “Ted is a long-standing member of the amateur dramatic society. He is very eager, very reliable and almost complete useless. He has no idea what's going on.”

Sion Tudor Owen plays the part of Dafydd, the director of the show.

He said: “Dafydd is obsessed with PALOS, the amateur dramatic society. He's Welsh and he lives in a different world. He lives his life through the operatic society, he's

a bit of a wheeler dealer, he's affected and arty and sensitive and power crazed.”

Sion said Ayckbourn's plays often closely reflect real; life. He said: “The amateur dramatic society is the vehicle for the story.”

Julian said the play has a number of parallels with the show within the show, The Beggar's Opera with lives reflected in the scenes the characters are performing.

Sion added: “Ayckbourn's observations are very accurate. In this play you realise the skill of Acykbourn and why he is at the top of his tree.”

None of the actors has performed with an amateur theatre group. Katy added: “Professional actors are just as bad.”

- What do you enjoy at the theatre? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send an e-mail to eveningstar

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