NORTH LONDON ACTORS
The Circle reading for this month was ‘Loyalties’ by John Galsworthy, chosen and led by Monty Holender on Monday 4th February. Monty says ‘From 1906 through to the twenties, Galsworthy’s plays’ addressed the class system and social attitudes and specific grievances of the time . He creates vivid characters both male and female (giving actors great possibilities of interpretation), which though of their time, speak to us today. ‘Loyalties’, written in 1922, is one of the first plays to deal honestly and openly with the problems of antisemitism, in the context of the British class system. As always in Galsworthy’s plays there is a strong narrative and the play builds to a dramatic climax.’
Our February performance was ‘The Colleen Bawn’ by Dion Boucicault, directed by Gareth Pilkington. The Colleen Bawn (meaning the blonde girl), or The Brides of Garryowen is a melodramatic play written by Irish playwright Dion Boucicault. It was first performed on 27 March 1860. The play is set in rural County Kerry in the 1790s. Hardress Cregan and his mother have fallen on hard times. His mother tries to persuade Hardress to marry the wealthy Anne Chute. He agrees, although he is already secretly married to Eily O’Connor, a beautiful fair-haired girl who has many admirers including the roguish Myles na Coppaleen.
This production required Southern Irish accents, so many of our Irish actors were drafted in, along with those good at accents. Rehearsals took place on Sunday 17th February at a member’s flat in Finchley. As is often the case there is a lack of young male actors, so the castings were all scaled up so older actors could play these roles, giving people the chance to play characters that may be outside their casting bracket. The rehearsal started with a read through of the play so we were all aware of what happened in the plot, before getting stuck into the rehearsal. Since we have such a short rehearsal time (6 hours for the whole play) rehearsals are quite concise. Actors are given the freedom to interpret their characters and lines as they see fit, as long as they stand in the right place!
The performance was on Wednesday 20th February and we had a very good turnout, almost a full house! One of our actors had to be rushed to hospital the day before so another actor kindly stepped in at the last minute. The actors had a brief rehearsal before the show to rehearse him in and also a couple of actors who had very small roles and were not needed at the Sunday rehearsal. The production went well and was well received by the audience. Irish accents were still intact by the end of the show, and we all had fun even if we couldn’t agree on whether the play was a melodrama or a domestic drama!
Further details of North London Actors can be found at
The best way to see what we do is come along to one of our events. February’s events are: Circle Reading of ‘Fight for Your Life’ by Gareth Pilkington on Monday 4th March and a performance of ‘The Fall & Redemption of Man’ by John Bowen on Wednesday 20th March. All events are held at The Oak and Pastor, 86 Junction Road, N19 5QZ(Nearest tube Archway. 10 minutes from Upper Holloway Overground. Bus 134 or 390, Pemberton Gardens bus stop. Parking in the area free after 6.30 pm.)