Talking Heads come to Cumbernauld Theatre

16/05/11.  John Devlin. Cumbernauld Theatre. No Mean Company rehearsal.
16/05/11. John Devlin. Cumbernauld Theatre. No Mean Company rehearsal.

CUMBERNAULD Theatre’s resident amateur dramatics group this week presents a series of monologues by Alan Bennett.

They will perform four of the acclaimed contemporary playwright’s Talking Heads monologues, which were originally broadcast as BBC TV programmes mainly between 1988 and 1998, subsequently being adapted for radio and even been adopted into the GCSE English syllabus and performed in the West End.

No Mean Company chairwoman Angela Milton told the News about their take on it. “We will be performing four of the original series, but we’ve cut them down a bit to adapt them for the format we wanted, which was a production of four monologues, two per act.

“Jo Grant is doing A Woman of No Importance, Dorothy Roberts will perform A Cream Cracker Under the Settee, Angelique Watt is doing A Lady of Letters and Ann McEwan will perform A Bed Among the Lentils.”

A Woman of No Importance is about a self-styled “office lynchpin” whose world collapses around her; A Cream Cracker Under the Settee involves houseproud pensioner Doris who has injured herself in a fall; A Lady of Letters is about a prolific letter-writer whose correspondence lands her in trouble, and A Bed Among the Lentils focuses on the alcoholic wife of a vicar.

“No Mean Company normally does larger ensemble pieces but we wanted to give a few of our performers the chance to really take on a character and develop the role themselves for something more in-depth.”

The performers from NMC have all prepared differently for their roles as well.

Angela said: “Some of them have watched the old TV programmes in preparation for the show, but others have avoided doing so as they want to offer their own interpretations without being influenced by what’s been done in the past.”

NMC have also updated the scripts a little to give them a more contemporary feel, though nothing too radical. “The scripts have aged a bit. For example one of them refers to a ‘transistor’ so we changed it to an iPod.”

Performances are on Friday and Saturday May 20 and 21, beginning 7.45pm. Tickets are £6/£4 and can be booked on 01236 732887.