Players’ take on Hollywood romp at dawn of the talkies

PUBLISHED: 16:01 04 October 2012

Thhe Guildonian Players are preparing for their latest show called Once In A Lifetime

Thhe Guildonian Players are preparing for their latest show called Once In A Lifetime


»An amateur drama group is set to perform a tale that has been described as “the best ever play about the movies from great masters of American comedy”.

Once In A Lifetime by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman will be staged by the Guildonian Players at the Little Theatre, Methodist Church, The Drive, Harold Wood, from October 17-20.

The satirical comedy is set in Hollywood in 1928 at the beginning of the birth of talking movies.

It is a fast and frothy romp about three vaudeville performers who decide to head west posing as elocution experts to coach silent stars.

But a chance meeting with gossip columnist Helen Hobart changes their fortunes.

The trio’s misadventures include encounters with a playwright plucked from a happy career in New York City, only to be driven to distraction and eventually a sanatorium by studio bureaucracy and a lack of work; silent screen beauties, whose voices sound like nails on a blackboard, and a dirty receptionist who wears an evening gown to work and has the attention span of a gnat. And everyone – including the waitresses and bellhops – want to be in the movies.

After a series of dreadful mistakes, the dumbest of the three is declared a genius by trend-conscious journalists, but how will it end?

Tickets cost £7 from the box office on 01708 341442.

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