LEITHEATRE eschew the frivolities of the season at the Church Hill Theatre this week.
As theatres across the Capital prepare to open their Christmas offerings, the members of the Capital’s highly acclaimed amateur dramatics club look to Ena Lamont Stewart’s classic drama Men Should Weep for inspiration.
Set in the Glasgow of the 1930s, this moving piece focuses on the lives of Maggie, her family and neighbours, who survive in a world where appalling housing, massive unemployment and grinding poverty can only ever lead to tragedy.
That said, the play also mines a rich vein of comedy - after all, everyone needs a good laugh to help them through the difficult times.
Explaining the attraction of the piece, Don Arnott of Leitheatre says, “We traditionally do Scots comedy on the Fringe, followed by a drama in November. We did Paras Over The Barras on the Fringe, which was set in the East End of Glasgow and was an out and out comedy. Men Should Weep is set in the same East End, but tells of a much grimmer life during the 1930s Depression.
“One playwright remembered ‘the good old days’, the other, Ena Lamont Stewart, was more of a realist. A nice contrast to how one views life in the old tenements.”
A favourite with schools audiences, Arnott reveals that already, tomorrow and Thursday’s performances are almost sold out.
He continues, “We like to do plays that appeal to schools. Men Should Weep certainly fits the bill with tomorrow and Thursday’s performances well filled - we even have school parties coming from Ayr, Glasgow and Lanarkshire to see it.
“Nearer to home, we have schools coming from Haddington, Prestonpans, Currie, Balerno, Trinity, Leith, Portobello, St Augustine’s, Stewarts Melville - a nice cross section from across the Lothians. We want to encourage these young students as they are tomorrow’s theatre audiences.”
Men Should Weep, Church Hill Theatre, Morningside Road, tomorrow-Saturday, 7.30pm, £10, 0131-668 2019
Maggie Morrison - Lynne Morris
John Morrison - Mike Paton
Granny - Patricia MacLeod
Alec - David Rennie
Jenny - Lauri Young
Edie - Maya Marshall
Earnest - Sam Wood
Lily Gibb - Moira Macdonald
Isa - Elona Smith
Mrs Wilson - Phyllis Ross
Mrs Harris - Alison Kennedy
Mrs Bone - Sally Pagan
Lizzie Morrison - lrene Cuthbert
1st Removal Man - John Macaskill
2nd Removal Man - Charlie Jones
Director - Rik Kay