Mad as a Hatter

Or How Amateur Theatre Came to Highlands

People sometimes think that living in the country limits one's opportunities, but I say, "NOT SO!".

Where else could you form a theatre company with no permanent rehearsal space, no paid staff and a mere pittance of petty cash?
Where else could you say, "Hey, let's put on a show!" and do it?

So it was, back in 2005, when the MAD HATTERS (Highlands Amateur Theatre Society) was formed. Forget the high-brow pretensions and inflated egos often associated with theatre - Mad Hatters just like to dress up and have fun. All plays are originals - we
can't afford to pay copyright - so there's no re-hashing the same old plays seen a hundred times before.
The cast of the first play, 'Sir Kenneth's Quest', was made up of Paula Lade, Ray Dearness, Peter and Pauline Roberts, Jill Mc Lean, Susan and Laura Bennett, Shaun Gabrielle and almost the entire Graf family.
Our second play, 'The Merchant of Rippoph', (2006) was staged with only five weeks rehearsal after several cast members had to pull out and the intended play was shelved. Marisa Gorry and Crystal Johnson joined the cast that year, along with dancer, Jenny Bertei.
In 2007, 'Life With Kiri' (a story for anyone who thought they owned a cat), was a hit, the 'Yea Chronicle' calling it, "a laugh-a-minute fun romp from start to finish". John Bennett made his debut and we at last lured Adam Dennis from backstage to centre stage where he worked the audience to full effect.
After a rest in 2008 (to accommodate overseas travel and the kindergarten run), the Mad Hatters were back in 2009 with 'The Exhibition', which took a humorous look at the world of art.
Now, in 2010, we are starting production of 'The Chronicles of Kenneth', which sees the return of Sir Kenneth; his wife, Deidre; their faithful servant, Gerald; and legal advisor, Bernard; plus a host of new characters, including: the fair Janet; fiercesome Helga; fashionista, Cesare; Gladys, the wisewoman; McNab, the rat catcher; the intimidating Dr Zerubabel Thorndike; a gang of pirates, a dragon, rats and a swag of ferrets.
Not all roles have been cast yet, so if you have a hankering to 'tread the boards' come along to the next meeting: Thursday, July 1st, 7:30pm, Highlands Hall.
There ARE opportunities in the country when people with a bit of passion and enthusiasm make them happen. For further details contact:
Susan Bennett 57904333 or
Pauline Roberts 57969301.

(By Susan Bennett)

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