Ever wondered what it would be like to join Twyford Drama? We sat down with Sam Gittins who joined earlier this year to learn about her experience as a new member.
So Sam, how did you first get involved in Twyford Drama?
I initially attended a local “meet up” session in Twyford which was described as a Drama workshop. It was set up for Kathy Reid to explore the characters in her upcoming play, which she was in the process of writing. It was a great session and it really challenged me and reminded me how much I love acting. It relit the drama BUG.
I then had work commitments, so I didn’t join the group at that time. However, a few months ago Kathy personally emailed me, informing me all about her play and asking if would I like to attend the readthrough and auditions. How could I refuse such a kind invitation from the writer and director? I must admit it gave me the confidence to come along and audition and to join the group… and to get the part of Honey was the icing on the cake.
And have you ever been involved in amateur dramatics before?
I have been involved with am dram but not for over 24 years! I joined Blackpool and Lytham St Annes Drama Group in 1990, in my early 20s, and was in many plays – Charley’s Aunt was a memorable one, and many farces and Noel Coward productions. I then moved to London to train to be a nurse and was living in Chelsea, however working on shifts was not conducive to being in a play. So, when I moved to Oxfordshire in 1998, I joined the Bicester Drama Group – again, I had parts in lots of comedies and farces, and they had a love for Alan Ayckbourn plays, and I was lead in a few of those. I also had the lead part in Glass Menagerie, playing the mother, even though I was still only youngish.
What was it like taking part in your first Twyford Drama production?
The best part were the cast and the director Kathy – it was a joy to bring her character Honey to life. It was also very challenging as I found the line learning very hard – maybe due to my age or my Menopausal brain! – but on the last night I was almost word perfect! Seeing how hard the stage manager and the behind the scenes members work was inspiring and I forgot how much goes into a production – they are all doing it for the love of theatre. I was surprised at how proud I felt for pushing myself so far. My son was immensely proud of me, which was so special, and my friends and family too, which was so lovely to see.
Can we expect to see you involved in future productions?
Oh yes, definitely. I can’t wait to challenge myself again. I would love a serious emotional part next time – a complete contrast to the lovely Honey…
What have you enjoyed most about joining the group?
The people, the fun, the team work – it’s so intense when you’re all working together and you don’t want to let anyone down. And when it goes well, there’s no other feeling like it. I have made some lovely new friends these past few months, and I will treasure the experience always.
What would you say to other people considering joining the group?
GO FOR IT! Yes it is scary, yes it is hard work and you really have to give your all to the play, but wow it is worth it! There is a saying “you only live life when you are outside your comfort zone", so I say go give it a chance, find your inner strength and you will have a laugh, maybe a few tears along the way, but it’s worth it to see the biggest smiles on the faces of the audience and know you had a little part in their happiness that evening.
Interested in joining Twyford Drama yourself? Visit our Get Involved page for all the information you need on joining the group.