Games and love triangles

Rehearsal of South Down Musical Society production of the musical Chess  Picture: Allan Hutchings (122266-238)

Rehearsal of South Down Musical Society production of the musical Chess Picture: Allan Hutchings (122266-238)

Forty Years On at Chichester Festival Theatre SUS-170217-095019001

REVIEW: Forty Years On at Chichester Festival Theatre

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Chess – a game of skilful mind tricks, defeating the King and Queen... and a musical.

Chess The Musical involves a love triangle between two top players, an American and a Russian, in a world chess tournament.

Running from Wednesday until Saturday next week at Ferneham Hall, Fareham the musical also features a woman, Florence, who manages one and falls in love with the other.

South Downe Musical Society is putting on the production, with Sue Rourke playing the role of Florence.

Sue says: ‘What first attracted me to the role was the music of Chess, which I was kind of familiar with from a while ago because there are a few famous songs. I just thought they were incredible.’

The musical is set against the backdrop of the Cold War, when America and Russia would compete to win international chess competitions for propaganda purposes.

Sue loves playing the role of Florence, but does feel a little sorry for her character.

She explains: ‘She’s suffered quite a lot of loss in her life and it’s made her quite hard to the world.

‘She ends up trusting people when perhaps she shouldn’t and basically everyone is playing games with her.’

But she does end up in a better position towards the end of the musical. Sue says: ‘She doesn’t have the nicest of times, but towards the end she tries hard to change things. She’s a strong woman and I that’s quite important.’

Featuring songs such as I Know Him So Well, One Night In Bangkok and Pity The Child, the musical is one of Sue’s favourites.

She says: ‘It’s an absolute dream role. She’s complex, she always has relationships with various other characters and the songs she has to sing are incredible.

‘I’m excited but I’m nervous. To be honest I’m feeling a little bit sad that my time doing it is nearly finished!’

Written by ABBA’s Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus, it features lyrics by Tim Rice.

n Tickets cost £10 to £12 from Ferneham Hall, Fareham on (01329) 231942 or go to fernehamhall.co.uk.

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