April 7th at 11.30 Brilliant Drama group is going to rock out The Andover Time Ring as part of Andover Rocks.
Andover Rocks is a yearly 2-day music festival which raises money for community mental health. 200 performers give their time and talent to help raise funds. Club leader Cat Randle asked festival organiser Marie Ponting back in January if there was room for a community based learning disability drama group.
“I was very excited when she offered us the Time Ring. We’ve been asked to perform at festivals before but we’ve not been able to organise the funds for a minibus or support,” says Cat Randle
The Brilliant Drama group was formed when Cat Randle offered to teach drama at Andover and District Mencap for a term. Angela Fyfe and Sharon Hall were part of the team that created The Brilliant Drama group. The group has grown from 12 to 17 and regularly performs musical numbers at Andover and District Mencap's AGM. They have made 2 films 'Rabbit Sisters' and 'The Frog Prince' with the help of Nathan James film productions and a third film 'The Monkey Brothers' will be released in December 2018.
“The challenge with the group is to take what they want to do and make it happen. Ours is a member-led group. They bring the music and videos. The group love musical numbers, dancing singing and acting. It’s quite a challenge, “ says Cat Randle
Cat was inspired by Angela Fyfe who showed the group a video of Blue Apple. She was very excited to be part of their expansion in 2018.
“I always thought, our best and brightest would go off to Blue Apple and not come back. You can imagine my surprise when everyone stayed.”
Cat’s goals are to help each member enjoy the experience of drama, develop members who are capable of working in the industry and to send them to the next step, and to develop people skills.
“I was talking to their parents and discovered that drama had given our members confidence to get out into the wider community. It was a light bulb moment for me.”
In NZ, Catherine Randle read Drama & English at Otago University. She worked as a professional actor for The Fortune Theatre in Dunedin and Bat’sTheatre in Wellington. She trained as a professional journalist, working for the daily newspapers. Cat has sold skits to NZ television, made short films and has written her own children’s theatre pieces based on her popular steampunk character Merciful Grace the Mechanical Maid. In the UK Cat has earned a distinction in screenplays for her Master of Creative and Critical Writing from The University of Winchester as well as winning poetry slams and anti-slams in the South East. She discovered community theatre during her university studies.
“The key for me is to take my experience and use it to enable choice and independence in my group. They have given me so much joy and laughter. I look forward to Fridays. ”
If you would like to see The Brilliant Drama group, turn up to the Time Ring on Saturday, April 7th at 11.00am.