AFTER having worked for many, many years as a professional actor and stage manager, as well as a more recent position as one of the historical interpreters at Fort Nelson on Portsdown Hill, I think it is safe to say that I know the theatre world very well indeed.
So, when I was asked to join with friends in a project to put on plays in non-theatre spaces, I immediately jumped at this frankly excellent opportunity.
Torchlight Mysteries understands how powerful it can be for an audience to go into a building or a space they know well and to find it transformed into another world or to visit a house or museum or gallery for the first time and find it not quite what they expected; it has quite the powerful impact on the audience.
Our latest production is an Agatha Christie play, Spider’s Web, next week at The Square Tower in Old Portsmouth.
People seem to absolutely love a mystery and Ms Christie is, in my opinion, the undisputed Queen of the murder mystery play.
We have presented this classic Christie work before at Wymering Manor in Cosham last year; it sold out completely, and then out of the blue we were asked to bring it back for more performances - so, we will be playing for just three nights at the Tower. It almost feels like my old touring days...from Old Wymering to Old Portsmouth.
The wonderful thing about this particular project is the camaraderie that is surrounding our entire group.
When you are creating something new or working on a new challenge like this, it is so important to work together, but what is particularly nice about Torchlight is that we all get on so well and I think that is a real strength for the performances we put on.
There are a lot of laughs in this particular script - Christie is writing at her sparklingly witty best – and we have had such fun and laughter in the rehearsals and that sense of fun gives the whole piece a lot of gusto and I think audiences know when a company of actors really gels together.
Any theatre company – amateur or professional – is a community in itself, a group of people producing work not only for entertainment but for the benefit of the wider community.
We have more of Christie’s plays planned and various other exciting projects in new and exciting locations planned for later this year – possibly even on an historic ship.
For more information and to book tickets search ‘Torchlight Mysteries’ on eventbrite.co.uk