Sorry but this blog got overlooked and should have gone in before the last one so I'm adding it now, but it's a little out of order!
When Dad had returned to the fold and resumed work, life became a little less hectic. It was then I decided to join the local Youth Club, and became a member of the drama group.
The first performance that we put on was a one-act play by Noel Coward, called ‘Fumed Oak’. In this I played the Mother-in-law. It was tremendous fun rehearsing each week. The Youth Club’s venue was in my old school at Stroud Green, and one of the teachers ran the drama group. His name was Geoff and he was very enthusiastic, as were we all. The public performance of the play was a big success, so Geoff entered us in the Hornsey Drama Festival. This was open to all amateur dramatic groups in the borough, and ran in ‘heats’ over several weeks. Much to our amazement, we managed to get into the finals. The winning group were to perform a three-act play in the Town Hall Theatre, under the direction of a professional theatrical director. We didn’t come first, but we did come second, and considering this was the first production we had ever put on, it was quite a feather in our cap.
The icing on the cake came a few days later. The winning drama group (The Ansata Players) didn’t have enough members to cast the play they had chosen, so they decided to cream off the best actors from the runners up. I was the one they chose from our drama group!
It was great fun rehearsing with a real director and I made a lot of new friends. Having only acted on school and church platforms, it was quite a shock performing on a professional stage. The size of it took my breath away, and ‘Exit Left’ took on a different meaning when the wings were so far away from centre stage.
The great night arrived and the Town Hall was packed to capacity. All my family and friends were out there rootin’ for me on this very exciting night. All went well, and we had good press notices. Ansata asked me if I would like to join their company and I appeared in several more plays. It was great fun. Coincidentally, one of the company (who was rather dishy) was called Philip Chapman. Little did I know at the tender age of fifteen that Chapman would become my married name, and Philip the name of my first-born son.
To be cont…