Variety is dramatic spice of life in Lauder Public Hall

Lauder Drama.
Lauder Drama.

LAUDER Amateur Dramatic Society is proving this week that variety is the spice of unbeatable entertainment.

The long-established community group opened its annual production last night (Wednesday) with not one, but four one-act plays, running the gamut of laugh-out-loud comedy and heart-wrenching poignancy.

Rehearsals, which began last October, have paid off in spades for the 14-strong company of players, once again under the inspirational tutelage of director Margot Douglas.

“These are four very different plays which the cast has taken on with relish,” said Margot, whose society has once again chosen to promote Scottish writers with two of its one-acters.

The event opens with John Kelly’s light-hearted comedy No Nudes, is Good Nudes, a punchy offering which tells of Al, whose hobby is writing litters of a highly moral tone to the newspapers. His wife, Sadie, paints pictures, and he is horrified when she wins an art contest with a painting of Al in the nude. His discomfort is completed when his cousin’s snobbish wife, a prudish cleaning lady and a hostile reporter discover his secret.

In sharp contrast, the action comes much closer to home with The Broken Band, by Scots writer Alan Richardson, which is set in a ruined shieling close to the Border on September 10, 1513: the day after the Battle of Flodden.

It follows four characters – a Borders solder, two female camp followers and a Lothian nobleman – as they explain how they came to be at this place in the tragic aftermath of the battle.

The informality of the evening, with the Public Hall laid out bistro-style and cheese and wine proving popular, is reflected in the interval, and it is comedy which kicks off the second half of the evening with Tony Layton’s The Ladybirds – set, appropriately, in a village am-dram group that has lost all its male actors. The arrival of a volatile Italian female director and the stir that the subsequent all-woman production causes, went down a treat with the audience.

The evening concluded with another Scottish offering, Sammy’s Snacks by Sam Sterling. The eponymous cafe owner, raised in the Gorbals, takes his Glasgow patter and acerbic wit to his late night establishment in London where the clientele ranges from prostitutes to alcoholics.

“I am constantly amazed at the versatility of our company to take on so many diverse roles with such enthusiasm and credibility,” said Margot.

The Lauder show concludes its four-night run on Saturday. Tickets (£8) are available from the Premier shop in the town and the curtain goes up at 7.30pm.