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Frome Drama Club present ‘Tom Jones’

Frome Drama Club’s  spring production is well under way in rehearsal.   

Henry Fielding’s joyfully bawdy 18th Century romp ‘Tom Jones’, dramatised by Joan Macalpine, sees Tom Jones, a foundling, adopted by the honest, wise and noble hearted magistrate Squire Allworthy in Somerset.

Tom, played by newcomer to Frome Drama Club Ben Hardy-Philips,  grows to be vigorous, lusty, honest and kind-hearted but soon falls victim to the charms of one rustic wench after another, until at last the Squire grows tired of the trouble he causes and sends him off to cause it elsewhere.

Then Tom’s worries begin in earnest, as he becomes entangled with three women at once, Molly Seagram, a lady of warm heart and dubious virtue, Mrs Fitzpatrick, a society lady seeking diversion from her oafish husband, and Sophia Western, with whom Tom is truly in love.

Two of these ladies are played by some well-known club members, Tina Waller who amazed audiences in ‘The Revengers’ Comedies’ takes on Mrs Fitzpatrick, while Sarah Jane Worrall (Lily Smalls in ‘Under Milk Wood’) plays Sophia and Christopher Dunn, who has done much behind the scenes for FDC, steps on stage as her father Squire Allworthy.

Abi Holmes who plays Jenny, has done a lot with Frome Musical Youth Theatre and TriArt. She first acted with Frome Drama Club in ‘Brenton Versus Brenton’ for the festival and is pleased be having a change from musical theatre.

The efforts of foundling Tom Jones to win the divine Sophia are thwarted not just by his calamitous susceptibility to so many females’ charms but by all manner of misunderstandings, battles, misadventures and dreadful accidents.

There are some wonderful characters – with equally wonderful names! Thwackum is the tutor to Tom and his brother Blifil.  The slimy creep Blifil, played by Frome Drama Club regular Calum Grant, is trying  to disinherit Tom, and this adds to the plots and deviousness.

The play is directed by Christine Dunn, her first major production for Frome Drama Club – although she took ‘Me and My Friend’ to the final of the All-England One Act Play competition, and has done much with the Bruton Players also for the Royal Air Force Theatre Association (RAFTA).

The atmosphere of the 18th Century will be created by some absolutely sumptuous costumes organised by  Gillie Richardson, there are 32 outfits altogether!. There will be another two-tier set from Bill Jacques and set building team with, as you would expect, lots of doors.

Christine is keen to emphasise that this is a fun play with lots going on and she said, “This period piece will delight audiences with its exuberance and humour. There is a lot of action, not only in the bedroom,  and the whole play is fast moving and fun! We have had a great time practising both the fights and the loving – and at times can’t go on for laughing. I know the people who come will really enjoy it!”

‘Tom Jones’ is at the Merlin Theatre from Thursday 23rd to Saturday 25th April. For tickets ring box office, tel: 01373 465949

For more information contact Migs Jacques 01373 477611