The Railway Children by Edith Nesbitt is about to be the latest production performed at the Theatre Royal, Winchester from January 10th- 12th in 2020 by The Blue Apple Theatre Company where all the talented adult actors in this company have varying degrees of learning disabilities.
I had the privilege of being invited to one of their practice evenings on Monday 16th December held in one of the studios at Winchester University. It’s an honour to be welcomed in by them and I soon became part of the rehearsal as I encouraged them to look in my direction as I represented where the audience is going to be sat.
Richard warms the cast up by walking them through a set of exercises. Loosening up their muscles as well as raising their morale which was evident by the smiles and jokes shared by the cast as the became more relaxed and ready to rehearse.
A large proportion of the cast really impressed me as they have already learned many of their lines and required very little prompting during the rehearsal session. Even when someone was stumbling the rest of the cast stepped in to help them out.
In another studio, James and Amy were rehearsing their dance for the filmed section of the play which will be shown during the production. The film is set to last for between 2-3 minutes during the actual performance although this evening alone they were in rehearsals for almost two hours.
The level of dedication and patience these actors have to their roles regardless of whether it is the lead or a smaller part is a real inspiration to see the energy they put into their parts. Even on occasions, when one of them has made an error they carry on and correct themselves with little or no fuss.
Off the stage, there is a lot of laughter and banter between them and the way they support one another is amazing. One of them is always on hand to give someone a hug or help boost their confidence if another is feeling low.
I can highly recommend going to see one of Blue Apple Theatre companies productions. This year The Tempest was really enjoyable and tackling Shakespeare certainly isn’t for the faint-hearted. I am really looking forward to seeing the finished product on the 10th of January. Look out for my review of the evening which will follow shortly after the show.
Photos are from the evening taken by myself.
For performance information and booking tickets please use the link below.
If you like to know more about Blue Apple please follow the link below.