What's new with Bath Drama...
Bath Drama – together with the rest of the amateur drama scene in Bath – has over the last few months lost two remarkable veteran members whose absence will be greatly regretted by their friends and colleagues.
Valerie Lorenz always seemed to have come to Bath and Bath Drama from somewhere more exotic. This was partly thanks to her name, and her experience of foreign places - especially from South Africa, where she lived for a number of years and went to university. In fact, she hailed from Bristol, was born in Easton in Gordano and returned to Bristol after her time in South Africa. She moved to Bath in later years after the death of her husband.
Valerie became involved with the amateur drama scene in this part of the world in the 1980s. She was active in the Octagon Club and the RTC as well as Bath Drama. Bath Drama can perhaps claim priority of place here inasmuch as, besides her performances in many shows – the writer can recall her appearing in Arsenic and Old Lace, Daisy Pulls it Off, Uncle Vanya, at least one panto (Robin Hood) and at least one open-air, the joint RTC-BD-Playing Up version of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales – she took over the sometimes thankless role of Club Chair for a brief period during the 1990s.
Valerie was a teacher/lecturer by profession and, after raising her four children, ran courses locally for the Open University and the University of the Third Age. The Club benefitted from her scholarship. With her, trying something new often meant trying something old. She taught a course on ‘The Glory that was Greece’ and led us through a rehearsed reading of The Girl from Samos by Menander. She also organized a reading of various medieval mystery plays one Christmas … quite possibly a spin-off from an early drama or history of drama course.
Bath Drama as a whole appreciated the breadth of her interest and the depth of her commitment – she always seemed ready to turn out and help. Thank you, Valerie, for all you gave to Bath Drama – we shall miss you.
Colin Barnes played the part of Mak the sheep-stealer in the Second Shepherds’ Play in the Wakefield Cycle of mystery plays directed by Valerie Lorenz for a reading at BD. But doing a good line in dodgy characters was only part of Colin’s very substantial contribution to the life of Bath Drama in the 2000s and 2010s.
He studied at the Bath Academy of Art in the late 1960s and is listed on the Artists’ Biographies site as a printmaker and photographer. He was a considerable figure on the Bath Art scene before, as far as this writer is aware, he turned his attention to drama.
Colin served on the BD committee for a number of years as the member responsible for organizing and providing the texts for Tuesday readings. In contrast to Valerie, when Colin wanted you to try something new it was usually very new and often avant-garde and edgy. He directed productions of two Howard Brenton plays at the Rondo (Ann Boleyn for the RTC in 2013 and The Arrest of Ai Wei Wei for Bath Drama in 2015). He was also a playwright. He wrote a one-man play The Place of Truth for BD’s compendium of new writing Three Card Trick staged at the Rondo in 2013, Gothic, an adaption of three chilling tales in 2017 and a play about the Halfpenny Bridge disaster produced in
collaboration with the Museum of Bath at Work. Colin was for many years a volunteer at the Museum and thanks to him it became an alternative rehearsal, performance and even social space for Bath Drama.
RIP both of them. Bath Drama sends its condolences to their family and friends and will not forget them in a hurry.
Steve Curtis, Treasurer Bath Drama 2004–19
PS: we are keenly aware that these obituaries may be deficient in terms of both accuracy and
amplitude. The Club would be glad to receive any additions or corrections. SJC
IT'S SHOW TIME!
Bath Drama presents 'Time Flies - an evening of comedy one acts' taking place from June 23 - 26 at the Rondo Theatre.
Due to restrictions each performance is now selling at limited capacity, Tickets are NOT available for purchase on the day!
Your health is paramount and there will be measures in place to ensure social distancing is adhered, so don't miss out on this brilliant show!
Tickets on sale now:
The first of our 6 one act plays is 'Time Flies' - a timeless romcom following our two protagonists as they explore life, and life's challenges, all whilst fighting some rather... irresistible urges!
Our 4th play is 'Enigma Variations'. Mrs Doppelgängler believes that there is a 2nd version of everything in existence. Dr. Bill is on hand however, to assure her that it's ok, she is not alone!
Our second short play is 'English Made Simple'. A theatrical Ted Talk exploring social interactions, using the backdrop of a house party to set the scene.
What could possibly go wrong??!
Our penultimate play is 'Sure Thing'. Bill is just your average guy, visiting your average coffee shop on an average day... that is until his world is turned upside down when he sees Betty!
The 3rd of our 6 plays is 'Captive Audience'. Rob & Laura are flat mates and close friends, but Rob also loves watching TV.
Is there more to this than meets the eye?!! Stay tuned.....
Our final play is 'Soap Opera'. Manny, a washing machine repairman, is having some serious relationship issues. What unfolds is a deep-dive into Manny's life and just how he found himself here...
Our Charity Partner:
This year, Bath Drama is partnering with the homeless charity, Julian House.
Following on from the success of our Christmas appeal, we are going to proud to continue our partnership with this fantastic charity throughout 2021! Julian House work tirelessly to support vulnerable and at-risk individuals, and with the events of 2020, their work is more important and valuable than ever.
To find out more about all of the great work that Julian House does, visit www.julianhouse.org.uk/
It is with great pride that Bath Drama is continuing to support this fantastic charity, and all of your continued support is crucial! We have an open JustGiving page that will continue throughout the year, and we will remind and invite you to make donations as and when you take part in Bath Drama events.
Thank you on behalf of Bath Drama & Julian House for all of your support in these challenging times!