Preview: Mr Punch’s Pleasure Palace, De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill. June 13 to 16 and June 20 to 23. £10 (£5 children).
“And when he said that the play was going to be set outside the Pavilion and the cast would be made up of local people, I decided that I just had to join in.
“I’m so glad I did. Far from being an amateur play performed by an amateur cast, Suzi Hopkins has written a dramatic and humorous script based on what would arguably be termed the biggest turning point in Bexhill’s history – the creation of the De La Warr Pavilion and what that meant to the people of the town.
“Stephen’s workshops – where we all had to improvise – were great fun and it was from these that Suzi took facets of our own characters and wrote them into the fully-rounded 1930s characters in the play.
“What surprised me most was that I have lived in Bexhill on and off all my life and I hardly knew any of the 40 or so people – including children , teenagers and some who have had very little acting experience – who now make up a real living, breathing theatre company.
“Stephen’s generosity, patience and enthusiasm has pulled us all together in what I can only call a real community arts experience. But it’s not only Bexhillians – we have two professional actors and an authentic Punch and Judy show – a theatrical, colourful device which helps keeps the story moving and has a surprise at the end.
“Most of what you hear the people of 1935 say, you will still hear on the streets of Bexhill today. Some of us love it, and some of us don’t, but we all have an opinion about it and it has been a talking point for almost 80 years. That makes good drama!
“As all Bexhillians know only too well, it gets cold on the seafront at sunset, so make sure you wrap up warm and enjoy the show.”
Call the DLWP box office on 01424 229111 for tickets.