A busy year ahead for Barony, both front and back of house

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The month of March welcomes in spring but for the Barony Theatre in Bo’ness it is the launchpad to what is a very busy period.

A number of events are being staged throughout the month and it is hoped the local community will once again participate in supporting its productions and events.

Crowded house...The Barony Players have never had trouble pulling in an audience but the group is now keen to attract even more volunteers to its ranks.

Crowded house...The Barony Players have never had trouble pulling in an audience but the group is now keen to attract even more volunteers to its ranks.

Wendy Turner, chair of Barony Players, said: “March is the start of a busy period for us as we have a film screening, our youth theatre production and then our open day.

“This year we decided not to stage a spring production due to our ongoing restoration work at the theatre.

“Members have been really busy since the start of the year putting in over 300 hours of work decanting our workshop of stage sets, props and costumes, painting and decorating and the like.

“So we took the decision not to stage a production as this work was deemed more essential as opposed to rehearsing for a production.”

A busy year for members will kick off with the Player’s entry in the 2017 Scottish Community Drama Association (SCDA) Stirling District one-act play competition.

Under the direction of Craig Lowe, members will perform The Real Inspector Hound by Tom Stoppard.

The plot follows two theatre critics, named Moon and Birdboot, who by chance become involved in the action, causing a series of events which parallel the play they are watching.

The first round of the competition is this Sunday, March 5, in Fintry.

On March 18, in conjunction with the Silent Film Festival in Bo’ness, the theatre will screen A Couple of Down and Outs, a poignant 1923 tale of a soldier’s friendship with a war horse made six decades before Michael Morpungo’s best-selling War Horse brought a similar story to a global audience.

The film depicts Daniel, an ex-Royal Horse Artillery serviceman with a distinguished war record who is down on his luck on civvy street.

Turned away from yet another casual job at the docks, he comes across ex-war horses on their way to the slaughter, and among them his loyal battle-companion Jack. Daniel rescues his beloved horse and the pair go on the run.

Tickets cost £9.50 and £7.50 concession and are available at http://www.falkirkcommunitytrust.org

Wendy said: ‘‘We staged a silent film screening back in December and it went down really well.

“With so many films being shown at the Hippodrome during this month’s festival, they asked us if we could feature a film and we were delighted to do so as it brings a new audience, not a theatre-loving orientated audience, to our facility.

“Also in December we were grateful to Stagedoor Productions who called upon the theatre to stage their panto Puss in Boots.”

The Players’ have not staged a panto in Bo’ness for more than 20 years and it proved very successful, with six sold-out shows so it is likely to be repeated again this festive season.

At the end of this month, on March 29 and 30, it is the turn of the Barony’s Youth Theatre to perform when they stage Sixteen in Ten Minutes or Less.

It features sketches about being 16 years old and looks at the lives of seven teenagers who become intertwined in a humorous and often times bittersweet collection of ten minute plays.

From extracting a gummy bear out of a new set of braces to coping with bullies, these characters share their innermost hopes and fears, ten minutes at a time.

As the audience drops in on these intimate moments, they will come to understand that being 16 isn’t always all that easy.

Tickets are priced £8 and £6 concession.

Wendy said: “The youth theatre features children aged from ten to 16 years old.

“This latest production is quite challenging as it is not about just reading one script – it is a series of different scripts for each act.”

On April 1, the theatre is staging an open day for people to come and have a look behind the scenes, from noon to 4pm.

Wendy added: “Ideally, we are lookingfor people to come along and see what is on offer.

“We are not just looking for people interested in acting but someone maybe interested in sound and lighting or costume design.

“We are always looking for volunteers to help out front of house or in the bar on show nights.

“Why not just drop in and have a chat?”