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Lots of laughs in store at BMDS

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Marisa Trott, Nicola Flood, Gillian Henderson and Kim Day in Girls’ Weekend (Photograph supplied)

Girls’ Weekend is described as a “lightning-quick farce” and Deborah Correia promises its BMDS production will live up to that. She is the director of the comedy, which opens at Daylesford Theatre on Thursday.

At the centre of it all are four women, lots of wine, a cabin in the woods and a husband waiting for his wife to secretly let him in and hopefully, get her pregnant.

Ms Correia loved the plot and was thrilled it was different from the performances typically put on by Bermuda Musical & Dramatic Society.

“I went onto a theatre site that you can purchase scripts from and it caught my eye,” she said. “It reminded me of the movie Wine Country, where a group of friends travel to different wineries.

“We’d not really done something like this. We tend to do a lot of either Shakespeare or English productions and this is an American production. I wanted to do something different.”

It’s the second play she has directed. Absolutely Murder, an Alfred Hitchcock/Agatha Christie-type murder mystery, took the stage at Daylesford in 2019.

Ms Correia, who hasn’t acted since she was a student, believes her interest in the arts was inherited.

“My uncle and aunt were involved in the opera so whenever my family would go to Canada to visit we would end up at the theatre for whatever production they were either involved in or had very good friends that were involved in,” she said.

Seeing The Nutcracker onstage in Toronto is an experience that really stands out for her.

“Watching the changes of the scenes right before your eyes when you didn't really notice that they were changing, that's what started my interest,” Ms Correia said.

She began helping out behind the scenes at In Motion School of Dance, where her niece was a student. She then got involved with BMDS, often working backstage with friends “as crew, as props, as assistant stage manager and stage manager”.

The playwriting competition Famous for 15 Minutes gave her the chance to “get [her] feet wet directing”.

“That’s pretty much a good start for anyone that's new to directing,” Ms Correia said. “It was just a 15-minute play and a small cast. From there I went to assisting as a director for other productions and then started doing full-run plays myself.”

Actors are now preparing for Girls’ Weekend, which opens on Thursday at Daylesford Theatre (Photograph supplied)

In 2020 however she was forced to stop when the world was shut down by Covid-19.

She has slowly gotten back into things since the curtain at Daylesford lifted again last year.

“In this lightning-quick farce, four women travel to Dot’s Northwoods cabin to consume copious amounts of wine, laugh at their lives, trade stories and chat about their book club’s latest selection. However, after the third case of wine comes through the door, it becomes clear there will be more stewing than reviewing,” reads the show’s synopsis.

“As the night goes on, each of the women try to sneak in boyfriends and husbands without letting the others know; resulting in a madcap slapstick comedy that will make audiences howl with laughter.”

So far, the most difficult part of the show has been the casting, Ms Correia said.

Kim Day and Alan Golbertson in a scene from Girls’ Weekend. Stefano Ausenda can be seen through the window climbing a ladder (Photograph supplied)

Especially when it came to the character Dot, what was important to her was that the actress could carry the role for an hour-and-a-half.

“Also important was the chemistry between different people. So yes, it was very difficult. I had to call a few people back a few times for further auditions because if they didn't have the chemistry [the audience] wasn't going to get the comedy bits.”

As it stands she is “very pleased” with the cast she has assembled.

“You always think, ‘What if I did this? Or, ‘Could I have done this better?’ But I'm allowing the cast to also have some input and show me what they can bring to the production. So I think it's a collaborative production and I prefer to work that way because if I do, then I'm gonna have a happy cast.

“I'm always nervous but I have to have faith in the people that I have working on the set. And I do have faith because I pretty much hand-picked all my department heads and I let my department heads pick who works with them and I have an amazing stage manager who will oversee [it all]. I think it's going to be OK. It's going to be a fun show. I’m looking forward to it.”

Backstage at BMDS: Olivia Onyia and Eric Cabral in the foreground (Photograph supplied)

She warned that because part of the show takes place during a snowstorm the theatre may occasionally get a little bit cold.

“I would recommend people bringing a light jacket or something just to keep them warm, just to be comfortable while they're watching the show. But the temperature will be monitored by the stage manager and the crew.

“One thing that's important, that many people don't realise for productions like this one, is there's a lot of people behind the scenes working together to put it together to entertain the public. And when the show closes, those same people will come behind, take the whole set down and clear the stage for the next production.”

Tickets, $35, are available on www.ptix.bm. The show starts at 7pm and will run on Thursday, Friday and Saturday as well as August 24 through 26. Tickets will also be sold at the Daylesford box office on show nights if there are any available.

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Published August 14, 2023 at 8:00 am (Updated August 15, 2023 at 8:06 am)

Lots of laughs in store at BMDS

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