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  • Mat Rees

Getting back in the swing of things

In the words of the Jackson 5: can you feel it, can you feel it, can you feel it?

By 'it', I refer to the buzz around the club at the moment. No? Well, perhaps that's because you haven't been up to the studio recently.

I popped in on Sunday, and found the Comedy of Errors cast and crew spread across the bottom half of the building, planning and rehearsing, while the main production team behind The Goat were upstairs looking at props and set dressing. And there are was a definite sense of excitement in the building. A tangible feeling of two excellent shows in the offing. As well as these two shows, we also have the entry for this year's one act festival, Metamorphosis, also in rehearsal – plus the upcoming relaunch of the rehearsed readings. Metamorphosis, directed by Simon Shorrock, will be performed on Thursday 10 February at The Olympus Theatre, WISE Campus, Stoke Gifford. Tickets are available now. On Saturday night you can also see another entry with a Kelvin connection – an original piece called Love You More, written by one of our budding writers, Gill Cowan, who was in The Children. It's great to see the writers' group has been re-established, this time under the enthusiastic leadership of Sam Grayston. Having set the group up more than a decade ago, I'm proud to have seen so many people get the chance to get their own ideas onto a page and then onto a stage – and not just bringing someone else's ideas to life. Sam has bold plans for the group, and if you want the chance to develop your scriptwriting skills, please get in touch with him. We want to see more homegrown plays at the club, and this is your chance. After such a long break, the committee is keen to create as many opportunities as possible for people to get involved with things. We know that for many, there has been a big, theatre-shaped gap in many people's lives while Covid has forced us away from the studio. Unfortunately, though, Covid is still impacting so much of what we do. We had to put a halt to the pre-Christmas launch night planned for December. We were also forced to postpone an intimacy training session planned for January. This is now being rearranged for later in the year. Further training sessions are being planned, and Josh is currently working on a session that will give an introduction to the key backstage areas – particularly useful for some of our newer members. As well as full productions, rehearsed readings, one act festivals, play writing, training...what else is there for you? There are also fantastic opportunities available to help us develop the club. We need help managing the building, marketing the club, and developing a business plan. If you can support us in any of these areas, please get in touch with me. While all this good stuff is going on, I still get a sense from many that there is nervousness about returning to the outside world – about going back to old ways of life, especially after such a long time away. As someone who gets severe social anxiety, I completely understand. It's never easy to return after such a long gap, and there's a worry that getting back in the swing of things can be challenging. You're not alone – many of us feel that way. And please remember two things: 1. It's your club – we want you to come and make the most of it. 2. We miss you – what makes the club so great are the people. And the more faces we see around the building, chipping in and helping out wherever they feel able, the more enjoyable a place it is to be. So, if you feel able, come along to the rehearsed reading launch night, get your tickets for The Goat or Metamorphosis, or sign up to a training session or the writers group, and make yourself at home again. See you soon! Mat.

Chair, Kelvin Players.

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