Amateur dramatic performances pull in enormous audiences here in the Borders; our appetite for wobbling scenery, wooden acting and missed cues is matched only by the average am-drammer’s ingenuity with floral curtains and enough blue eye shadow to cover the sky and call it summer.
We at NOTBAD are huge fans of am-dram, because when it’s good it’s very, very, good but… when it’s bad it’s better. You never know when you may have to consciously relax so that expectations can be more comfortably taken from behind. The last time your emotions will have veered so wildly was either a) after eating a bag of jelly beans on an empty stomach, or b) Christmas with your parents. Watching am-dram is kinda like playing Russian roulette, but with your mind.
Broadly speaking, am-dram is split into two categories — community am-dram and watchable am-dram. There are no shades of grey.
Watchable am-dram (or ‘pro-am’) is pretty self-explanatory. You pay the ticket price then spend the next ninety minutes or so watching something you did at school. You come away feeling uplifted, impressed, and probably ever so slightly nauseous from over-indulging on the tray bake provided as refreshment in the interval.
No, the danger — and therefore the excitement — lies with community theatre. Usually made up from what appears to be the disparate survivors of some mass extinction event, there’s no telling what might happen. And if you throw kiddies into the on-stage mix, with so much wood around the whole place could go up. Think ‘Backdraft — The Musical’.
But what community am-dram productions lack in skill and sophistication, they more than make up with guts and soul. NOT The Berwickshire Advertiser hearts them.
However, will that stop us from giving you the filthy low-down on backstage shennanigans and reviewing curtain-up with a bracing robustness on your, the paying public’s, behalf?