Local performers from across the kingdom are stepping out of their comfort zones and joining a professional theatre production where they want the audience to eat, laugh and love their powerful performances.
The Bark At A Crow company, founded by British events director Liz Hadaway, has teamed up with new Bahraini production house ‘Two Little Birds’, established by theatre producer Hannah Turner, to put on ‘An Evening of Romantic Comedy’ featuring a Bahrain-based cast, including an excited Olivia Middleton.
“It is my first time performing in Bahrain,” said Ms Middleton who is one of the food loving sisters that started the popular artisan vegan chocolate bar and café, Raw Candy. The former St Christopher’s School pupil has spent many years in Dubai performing and is extremely keen to get back on stage.
The show features three award-winning short plays based around themes of love, jealousy and incredible bad luck and are set to be enjoyed by audiences throughout a three-course dinner show.
According to Ms Middleton, the cast has been busy rehearsing for several months. “I play two roles in two separate short plays, that are drastically different in personality from one another, which is fantastic because I get to flex my skills,” she added.
The first play of the evening is called Last Drinks written by Australian playwright Greg Gould, whose work has been performed in Australia, New Zealand, the US, India and the Gulf states.
It features ‘the unluckiest woman in the world’ and is full of surprising and hilarious twists and turns.
The second play, One Night Stan, by Adam Szudrich, features three women who are all going on first dates with the same gentleman. Plays by the writer have been selected for more than 100 international festivals and have notched 48 accolades.
Tagged is the final laugh-out-loud-comedy of the evening written by Russell Bell. It’s the story of Tracy who just can’t decide between two suitors.
Ms Middleton will be playing Rachel and Tracy, while Ms Turner, who has been showcased in a number of productions in Bahrain previously, will be playing the role of Marie in One Night Stan.
“Marie is a professional and takes her responsibility as a mentor very seriously,” said Ms Turner, who is co-producing the event. “However, she is a woman with desires and needs and she’s not against bending the rules to get what she wants. She’s a hugely relatable character and bound to get the laughs.
“As someone who has been involved in theatre in Bahrain, as well as comedy and ‘improv’ since 2011, it’s great to be able to work professionally with a director, such as Liz, who has so much experience in terms of production. That collaboration, and what’s to come, is what excites me.”
Other members involved in what promises to be a hilarious ‘roma-dey’ include actors Amy McGavin, Samuel Nazareth and Chris Cheval.
Mr Nazareth, an Indian expatriate local stand-up comedian, will be taking on the role of Taylor in Tagged while Mr Cheval, a French/Australian actor will play Ben in Last Drinks.
The evening will also feature live music from Manama Singers’ musical director Jo Diciolla and Ukrainian pianist Natalia Kashyrtseva.
“I’m really thankful to be given this opportunity to appear alongside a whole host of exciting talent,” said Ms Diciolla.
Ms Hadaway, who has directed events and immersive productions for 20 years in the UK, UAE, Singapore and Hong Kong, is looking forward to the Bahrain collaboration.
“It’s such a fun show; upbeat, energetic and fast moving,” she said. “Bahrain is a great country and the people are so friendly and welcoming.
“It’s exciting to be at the forefront of this theatrical growth and expansion and we hope to put on a wide variety of events and productions in the coming months and years.”
She added that she hopes to be able to find spaces in Bahrain so that she can create new experiences. In the past she has staged events in all sorts of venues including the roof of a mall, inside an ambulance, in a car park, warehouses, a swimming pool and in the bowels of an old cruise ship.
The inaugural production will be held at The British Club of Bahrain at 8pm on Thursday and at The Dilmun Club at 8pm on March 16.