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All's well when there's much a do

PUBLISHED: 09:53 10 January 2008 | UPDATED: 14:07 02 July 2010

ROMFORD SUMMER THEATRE, celebrates its 47th year of continuous Shakespeare productions in the park, with the dark comedy, All s Well That Ends Well. Directed by Vernon Keeble Watson, the play has been put on before by the group of dedicated players and wi

ROMFORD SUMMER THEATRE, celebrates its 47th year of continuous Shakespeare productions in the park, with the dark comedy, All's Well That Ends Well.

Directed by Vernon Keeble Watson, the play has been put on before by the group of dedicated players and will run for six performances in June.

Formed in 1961 by Con and Grant Chandler and then Havering Chief Librarian, Gordon Humby, the theatre's home is Romfords most beautiful open space, Raphael park with all the plays being performed by the lake on a specially built rockery.

Despite being open to the elements, very few performances in the four decades have had to be postponed due to weather.

'All's Well' is one of the bard's stranger comedies, where misunderstanding and mayhem walk over peoples best intentions.

Shakespeare love on Italy continues with this tale that concerns an older maid, Helena, who cures the King of France of a disease and asks for young Bertram's hand in marriage as a reward.

Bertram obliges and then quickly flees to war in Italy, hoping for death to avoid marriage.

Helena is greatly hurt and sets out on a pilgrimage, only to end up in Florence, Italy, where she meets Bertram's new young mistress, Diana. In a perplexing 'bed trick' Helena sleeps with Bertram, while Bertram believes he is sleeping with Diana. This act secures Helena's bond to Bertram and Bertram, matured by war, consents to happily love Helena and their future child.

Vernon is looking for a large cast and will be holding auditions tomorrow night, (Thursday January 10).

He said : "There are around 16 in the cast split between nine men and seven women and with a range of ages," he said.

He is setting the play at the time of the Three Musketeers of 1625, so in terms of costume drama, it will present the costume department a few challenges.

With characters such as Lafeu, a wise old lord; Parolles, an obsessive liar and follower of Bertram; the Countess, the mother of Bertram and stepmother of Helena; Rinaldi a companion to the Countess; Lavache, a witty servant to the Countess; and a Widow, the mother of Diana to fill, Vernon is hoping for a full house of potential actors.

One audition has already gone, with Thursday's being held at Fairkytes opposite the Queen's Theatre in Billet Lane, Hornchurch, and full read through with all the cast on Friday Feb 22.

"To help offset the production expenses, everyone involved will be expected to pay a £20 'RST Membership Fee' and, if we have to hire it or have it specially made, each of the actors may also be asked to contribute £10 towards the cost of their costume," said Vernon.

Rehearsals start on Tuesday April 1 and then every Thursday, Tuesday and Sunday until the performance dates which are June 12 - 14 & June 18 - 21.

Vernon's last production for the RST was Much Ado About Nothing. If you have any queries, call him on 01708 704297.

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