Doha Players will be staging the first play of the 2009-10 season as Doha’s amateur actors once again take to the stage to perform Peter Ustinov’s comedy, Romanoff and Juliet from October 14-17.
The story is set around the offspring of the Russian and US ambassadors in Concordia at the height of the Cold War in 1956. Igor and Juliet meet at a masked ball and fall in love, which their parents view both as a diplomatic disaster and a possible end to their careers.
Although loosely based on Shakespeare’s famous work, the lovers in this piece manage to escape a similarly tragic end, and the moral of the story could be stated as the realisation that “international rivalries pales in the face of true love.”
“Even though we are still without a home after four years, we are opening our season earlier than usual this year and credit here goes to the director Ian Lacey and his cast who have braved the heat of summer and remained in Doha working on this play,” explained Doha Players chairman, Peter Phillips.
Without a permanent home to stage their productions, the Players find themselves relying on the largesse of various companies and community members. Phillips expressed his thanks to Qatar Academy, Carnegie Mellon, H&M, The One and Byrne Equipment.
Director Ian Lacey said: “I have to start by thanking the cast, the crew and everyone involved in bringing this production to fruition, without all your help none of this would come to pass.
“This has been an interesting process of development; summer travels have meant that one or more cast members have been away at some time, and the perseverance of the cast through this period has been wonderful,” he said, adding “rehearsing to a missing actor is hard for one rehearsal, let alone for several.
Looking to the future, Phillips has written in his programme notes for the performance: “In the coming months we hope that Doha Players will be able to move into a much-needed temporary home - a large villa on land that will eventually become part of Qatar Science & Technology Park.”
“Contractors are currently carrying out repair works to the villa, which we expect will be completed by the end of this year to enable us to move from our old theatre site,” he explained, adding “this will unfortunately be followed shortly after by demolition of Doha Players Theatre that has stood for almost 30 years.
“Looking on the brighter side, moving from our old theatre is the first step we will take towards the new theatre,” he said, “we are not certain exactly where we will be given land to build our new theatre, but rest assured we will be there, continuing a legacy that stretches back over 50 years since our first performance in Doha.”
The group’s next production will be the annual pantomime, and this year they will perform Cinders – The True Story, to be directed by Sarah Jenkins and staged from December 10-12.
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