Press Release:  A BUNCH OF AMATEURS

A fish-out-of-water comedy with a Shakespearean twist

Metro Theatre is excited to present the Vancouver premiere of  A BUNCH OF AMATEURS written by Ian Hislop & Nick Newman and directed by Catherine Morrison, on stage November 8 -23.

Jefferson Steel is an insufferable, out-of-work, ageing Hollywood action hero, desperate to revive his flagging career as well as improve his relationship with his aspiring actress daughter Amanda. When Jefferson threatens to fire his incompetent LA agent Charlie unless he finds him a lead role, Jefferson is sent to England to play King Lear at Stratford. Little does Jefferson know that he is not playing the role of a lifetime in a Royal Shakespeare Company production at Shakespeare’s birthplace, but in a barn with an amateur dramatic society in the Suffolk’s Stratford St John.

The enthusiastic am-dram thespians are over the moon to have such a “star” playing with them. But soon discover Steel is a selfish American with no time for manners, who displays an appalling lack of class, considering himself too big for such a lowly setting. Will the arrogant Steel knuckle down to his latest role, or will he forever play the Hollywood star? We invite you to come and find out.

king lear exasperated with his script with am-dram looking onDirector Catherine Morrison“Life Imitates Art“. The challenges and concerns that face the imaginary theatre company, are felt by theatre companies everywhere. I personally like the message about why we (amateur theatre people) do what we do. For love – not money nor fame or glory – we do it for the sheer pleasure in creating theatre.

 

 

B&B hostess taking orders from Hollywood starTickets are $28 Adult or $25 Senior/Student with a special 2 Tix for $40 every Thursday.  GST is additional on all tickets

Tickets can be reserved by leaving a message at the Box Office 604 266 7191 or

Purchased on line at  TICKETS – A BUNCH OF AMATEURS

Metro Theatre is a non-profit theatre company, dedicated to promoting and developing theatre arts.  This is our 57th continuous season of bringing laughter, intrigue and surprise to live audiences. A BUNCH OF AMATEURS is our 519th show.

 

 Armchair in an old barn used as a theatre banner for A Bunch of Amateurs

THE CAST 

Character…………………………….…….Performer

Jefferson Steel………………………………Samuel Barnes

Lauren Bell…………………………………Laura Burke

Dorothy Nettle………………………………Lisa Gach

Denis Dobbins……………………………..Roger Monk

Nigel Dewbury……………………………..Peter Robbins

Mary Plunkett………………………………Alison Schamberger

Jessica Steel……………………….………Jamé Wonacott

 

THE PRODUCTION  TEAM 

Director…………………………………………………..Catherine Morrison

Production Manager……………………………..Alison Schamberger

Stage Manager………………………………..Shay Cameron

Asst Stage Mgr…………………………………Dominic Duff

Asst Stage Mgr ………………………………..Melissa Chalkley

ASM/Props……………………………………..Frances Herzer

Set Designer……………………………………Les Erskine

Costume Designer…………………………….Rene Schindel

Lighting Designer………………………………Les Erskine

Sound Designer………………………………Catherine Morrison

General Manager……………………………..Les Erskine

Head Carpenter……………………….………Robin Richardson

Scenic Painting……………………………….Tracy-Lynn Chernaske

Set Decoration…………………….………….Tracy-Lynn Chernaske

Publicity………………………………….……Debra Danny

Graphic Design……………………….….…..Barbara LaBounta

Photography.. …………………………………Tracy-Lynn Chernaske

Wardrobe Manager…………………………..Sean Ullmann

 

Director’s Talk

director and cast outside the barn

Join Director Catherine Morrison and the cast of A BUNCH OF AMATEURS

immediately following the show on Friday, NOV 15, 2019

for an informal chat.

  • The Talk-Back will focus on the intrique of the script’s abliity to parallel the actual story of King Lear.
  • Figuring out timing and needs for jumping from sections of King Lear to Hollywood personality with many scene changes.
  • The collision of two cultures- American and British and two opposing attitudes towards theatre

Director Catherine patting a horse

 

 

Questions and comments from the audience are encouraged.

There is no additional charge for the Director’s Talk, just stay in your seats or move up a bit closer to the stage.

The session will last approximately 20 minutes.

Fast Facts: 

Amateaur Director feeding a Horse
SHOW TIMES:

Performances Thursday to Saturday at 8:00 pm, with Sunday Matinees at 2:00 pm.

SHOW RUN:

NOV 8 – 23, 2019

Thursday through Saturday nights

with Matinees on NOV 10 & 17, 2019.

The Director’s Talk is Friday, NOV 15, 2019

The Preview is on Thursday, NOV 7, 2019 – it is the final dress rehearsal.

  • Running Time: 2 hours (includes the 15 minute intermission)
LOCATION:

1370 SW Marine Drive, Vancouver, BC.  Next to the on-ramp to the Arthur Lang Bridge by Marine Drive and Granville .

love stuck maiden in the barnTICKET PRICING:

Tickets are $28 for adults or $25 for seniors and students, with a special every Thursday 2 for $40. Preview performance $15.  *GST is additional on all ticket prices

Tickets can be reserved by calling the Box Office 604 266 7191 or purchased on line TICKETS

BOX OFFICE WINDOWS HOURS:

Thurs – Sat 1:30 pm – 4:30 pm  show weeks & 1 Hour before each show.
Box Office Phone: 604 266 7191

LICENSED LOUNGE HOURS:

Performance Evenings – 7:00 pm – 11:00 pm

Performance Matinees – 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm

PARKING:

There is plenty of easy parking – in the parking lot, on the street, even ‘All Evening Parking’ for $4 at the Liquor Store Lot just up the street from Metro.

BUS ROUTES:

We’re close to the Marpole bus loop and on the #10 route. Check out www.translink.ca for transit directions.

CONTACT:

Metro via the contact form at the bottom of this page for more information, publicity photos, and arrangements for interviews.

The Story

Amateuar actor explains script to Hollywood Actor playing King Lear with barn setting in the background

A local theatre company in the small village of Stratford St. John is having money problems. Their “theatre “ ( which is a barn, by the way ) is in imminent danger of being torn down to make way for “executive townhomes”. What are the “Stratford Players” to do?

One of the company comes up with the bright idea of putting out a call to everyone famous. They are planning to present” King Lear” by the immortal Bard. Any actor would jump at the chance to play such an iconic role.  A movie star doesn’t jump exactly, but is more pushed (by his agent)

Hollywood action hero, Jefferson Steel’s movie career is on a bit of a hiatus (film word for slump) He needs something to keep himself in the public eye that will be a “classy” project and boost his career. What he doesn’t know is that the theatre company he is joining is NOT the Royal Shakespeare Company but “a bunch of amateurs”.

The collision of two cultures- American and British and two opposing attitudes towards theatre – film and stage, sets up some of the many, comic situations in the play.

In the lead role of Jefferson, Sam Barnes returns to Metro stage ( last seen in “Communicating Doors” ) Jefferson has many challenges; he has to learn  a huge amount of text and adjust to this come-down in  his expectations; no limo to take him to rehearsal,  no 5-Star hotel in which to chill and relax, no haute cuisine etc. etc.

“Dorothy” (the director, and also playing “The Fool” in “Lear”) has challenges of her own. There is “Nigel “(played by Peter Robbins, last seen in “Up and coming”) who desperately wanted the role of King Lear and is very antagonistic to the upstart Yank from across the pond.

Lisa Gach ,( last seen at Metro in “Blithe Spirit” ) is playing “Dorothy; a woman who epitomizes the expression one-armed paper-hanger. She must mollify the movie star, all the while keeping her theatrical ship afloat!

Adding to the mix are “Mary” (Alison Schamberger, last seen as “The Busybody” ) a star-struck fan of Jefferson’s although somewhat confused as to which movies he’s been in! She is disappointed that Jefferson is not comfortable in his room at her Bed and Breakfast, nor is he enamoured of her menu offerings.

“Denis” (played by Roger Monk, seen last season in both “Persuasion” and “Communicating Doors”) has volunteered himself as Jefferson’s entourage (of one!) He is a general handy-man and plays many of the supporting roles in” Lear”.

The money for this enterprise has been arranged by “Lauren” (played by new-comer   Laura Burke), the sponsor’s “trophy wife”. A lover of the Arts, she has talked her husband into putting up the money for this production, although as the owner of a brewery, he is more interested in selling beer in the Intermission!.

Rounding out the cast is the unexpected arrival of Jefferson’s daughter, Jessica. (played by Jamé Wonacott last seen in “Persuasion”) She has a fractious relationship with her father, who generally had no time for her during her childhood. Now he is stuck with her, as his x-wife is on her honeymoon.

How Jefferson will cope with one of the more difficult Shakespeare, will relate to his estranged daughter, and will learn to admire and respect a woman unlike the “bimbos” he has met on movie shoots, is part of the story.

Jefferson finally realizes that the “Bunch of Amateurs” are just non-professionals who, unlike himself, are not paid!