This year marks 20 years of Hayling Island Amateur Dramatics Society at The Station Theatre.
And in a nice coincidence two of the leads in the production they’re putting on to mark the anniversary – One Man, Two Guvnors – were born the same month HIADS moved in.
Laurie Noble, who’s directing the show, says: ‘We’ve got a gala night on Saturday to celebrate the 20 years – we’re inviting mayors and ex-mayors, including the one who was mayor when we first opened.
‘Two of the key members of the cast – Scott Hawley who’s playing Stanley Stubbers, and Peter Hewitt who’s playing Gareth the head waiter – were born in the month that we opened, in July 1996.’ He laughs: ‘It struck me, in my advanced years, as being yesterday. But for them of course, it’s their whole life.
‘We’ve got a superb cast and the characters are extremely well formed – we’ve got a couple of professional actors in there and some drama teachers on board.
‘And we’re very fortunate with the music. The backing track for the final piece of music has been put together by the head of music at the college, Neil Ogley, and we’ve got a fantastic guitarist, James Golden, playing with us.
‘In the West End, to cover the scene changes as much as anything but to add to the mood of the period, they actually had a skiffle group. We’ve got part skiffle and parts where we’ve got this excellent guitarist.’
The show made it debut in the West End in 2011, starring James Corden, and has gone on to great success, touring the UK and on Broadway.
Set in the early ’60s, it is actually based on Servant of Two Masters, an 18th century Italian Commedia dell’arte piece.
‘It had those stock characters of Harlequin and Colombina and Pantalone, even as A Servant of Two Masters it’s a comedy, but what made people laugh in 18th century Italy isn’t the same as today.
‘Although this play is set in 1963, there are these modern references dropped in, it’s a bit of a mickey take of the future.
‘It’s a very funny play, but there’s also some very physical theatre involved in this. It’s a lot of fun.’
Station Theatre, Hayling Island