What’s the difference between reading a poem or story on the page (or screen) and hearing it performed live? Actually, quite a lot, according to the Worthing Wordies. This local literary performance group, based at The Ardington Hotel on Steyne Gardens, has a host of dedicated fans who already know what fun it is to hear actors perform extracts from books and plays – simply for their delectation and delight. And when that performance is followed by an elegant two-course dinner at the Indigo restaurant – well, what’s not to like?
The Worthing Wordies were formed just over four years ago when The Ardington’s owner, Simon Margaroli, was looking to develop a series of evening events - something out of the ordinary, that no-one else was doing. Two local writers and performers, Wendy Greene and Gill Medway offered to help.
“We know a bunch of actors,” they said. “Leave it to us and we’ll come up with something.”
Wendy and Gill made a few phone calls, everyone put their heads together, and the first Wordies programme took to the hotel’s Eden Room in August 2010. It proved so popular, the group were invited back, again and again.
Their introduction – “May we have a word before dinner?” – has now become an inimitable part of the programme.
“We’ve presented all kinds of shows on a variety of themes,” says Wendy. “We like to include a mixture of classical and quirky in the items we choose, so there’s always something for everyone.”
The Wordies’ current line-up includes Russ Bravo, Audrey Lee, Jane Ware and popular newcomer Isaac Finch, fresh from a superb performance in Neil Simon’s play The Good Doctor at the Connaught Theatre in October.
“We’re known as the literary luvvies,” says Gill. “But don’t be put off by the word ‘literary’. There’s nothing remotely stuffy or highbrow about what we do. The whole emphasis is on fun and enjoyment, but if, along the way, you find yourself moved to shed a tear – so much the better!”
Follow my blog to find out more about the Wordies and their performances. If you love to hear a tale well told, they’re definitely the group for you!
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