Throughout mid to late August, the Atlantic Coast Theatre traveled town to town, bringing joy and endless laughs along for the ride. Ian Goodenough, a member of the theatre company, explained that the show was a live performance of the series BlackAdder. They performed “3 episodes from the 2nd series ‘Bells’, ‘Money’ and ‘Head’,” Goodenough said.
Throughout the year, the Atlantic Coast Theatre performs several shows a year, BlackAdder being a smaller scale show that “toured around several local halls,” Goodenough said. The main goal of the performances was “to enjoy staging a show with our members in different venues in the area,” according to Goodenough. He explained any additional funds went to the company, and several other local charities. Goodenough said that they “definitely met, and exceeded our goals as the production was far more popular than we anticipated!”
To spread word of the performances, the Atlantic Coast Theatre relied heavily on the internet, using their website, Facebook and their email list. The company also used printed tickets provided by UK Ticket Printing, as well as posters around the different communities they were performing in. Goodenough also said that they used “a large banner which was hung above our main venue.”
As any actor will tell you, every performance is different; different audiences cause different atmospheres that the actors feed on. Goodenough said that there were several highlights throughout all the performances, particularly the “’off-script’ moments that occurred as we mixed with the audience, in character, before the shows and during the odd long scene change when we would berate the stage crew while still playing our respective parts.” While still in character during a scene change, he remembers “vividly storming onto the stage during an overly long blackout shouting ‘Oh give it here. I’ll do it, I’ll do it!’ —since I was playing BlackAdder I could get away with it”
Goodenough explained that the “BlackAdder” show put together on a much smaller scale that the theatre company usually worked on. He said, “The show was put together with a very small, but experienced production team… our main show this year (Acorn Antiques the Musical) had a team of around 45 people supporting the actors. BlackAdder had a team of 4.”
In order to prepare sets and props that would fit on a variety of stages throughout the community, the theatre company had to do a lot of advanced planning. “I would advise anyone planning to stage something similar to make sure your stage manager and construction team visit each of the locations you plan to perform in well in advance. In one location we had to build an extra stage extension because their stage was so tiny!” Goodenough said.