We were delighted to receive this press cutting from Scotland in this mornings post. The reproduction is not easy to read - please see below, where we have reprinted it.
Graham Players – drawing the crowds in The Algarve.
Remember The Graham Players? For an amazing 38 years, starting in the mid fifties they entertained Ayr residents and summer visitors with a variety of performances in Ayr’s Civic Theatre.
Until the mid-nineties when the lovely little theatre was closed they brought light comedy and mystery week after week, introducing to Ayr plays by renowned writers, and a wide range of actors, some well known, some new to the stage – to delight audiences and to play to full houses night after night during their summer season.
In celebration of Ayr 800 in 2005 Ayr Arts Guild invited the two founders of the company Victor Graham and Suzanne Jefferies to return to Ayr, where they staged ‘Old-World’, a light comedy ideally suited to their unique performing style. The event was, predictably, a sell-out – and Victor and Suzanne, who each live in Portugal for six months every year returned to the Algarve – elated, but convinced their last performing ties with their Ayr audiences were completed.
Not so – for a group of six ‘Graham Groupies’ got together shortly before Christmas and flew to Portugal to enjoy once more the talents of the hard-working duo – now in their mature years, but still drawing the crowds!
Re-named ‘The Jefferies English Theatre’ the duo regularly plays to ex-pats living in Portugal, and to holidaymakers. Their plays are regularly performed in Hotel Garbe, Armaco de Pera – a delightful hotel situated on the Atlantic beach near Albufeira. And when the Ayr contingent arrived they were greeted in the hotel foyer by a familiar sight –a board featuring Victor and Sue’s photographs, details of the play ‘A Month Of Sundays’ – and a huge ‘Sold Out’ sign!
Suzanne directs and acts in the play enjoyed by the group, and Victor rolls back the years, acting with his usual humour a grumpy old man, while looking years younger than the - 70-ish man he portrays. And Suzanne? Well – she sings – and we all remember just what that sounds like! An amiable cleaner doomed to put up with Victor’s grumpiness as she ‘does’ his room she makes the audience laugh out loud, then rushes off stage to do her main job – directing the five-strong cast.
The ‘Graham Groupies’ comprised Michael Hitchon, who organised the trip – Margaret Miller, Pat Crook, Les and Margaret Flannigan and Anne McNair. All enjoyed the play, the chance to meet up with Victor and Suzanne, the sunshine, good food and of course some heady port wine!
There are regular opportunities to enjoy The Jefferies English Theatre experience – contact Jane at Hotel Garbe on 282 320 260 if you’d like a nostalgic theatre trip, plus an on-the-beach sunshine break. Maybe this autumn? It will be an enjoyable trip, and that’s a certainty!