Casting Off - A Play by Philip Paris - Directed by Dave Smith
Producing Casting Off has been an extraordinary experience and the response from audiences to the four performances during October 2015 has taken everyone by surprise, particularly me! Writing a stage play and having it performed is the achievement of a lifetime as I’ve wanted to be a playwright since the age of eight - I never imagined that we would be turning large numbers away because we couldn’t fit any more people into halls.
Although Casting Off is a comedy it’s also about friendship, sacrifice, loneliness and how reaching out to strangers can completely change our lives. The play, set in a Highland care home, contains messages that are universal.
I’ve been extremely fortunate in getting Tain playwright/director Dave Smith to direct the play. His advice on how to revise the initial script and guidance during rehearsals has been invaluable. The three actors – Heather Corpe (Dorothy), Cass MacDougall (Joan) and Sheila Simey (Miss Ross) – gave fantastic performances, bringing the words on the page to life with great skill.
The link below is to a review by journalist Margaret Chrystall for the What’s On North website.
The following are only a handful of comments, emailed from people who saw the play …
“HUGE congratulations on an excellent play. I think I had a huge smile on my face throughout the performance. It was brilliant, and obviously the entire audience thought so too. I will look forward very much to seeing it again next week.”
“Well that was the best entertainment for many a day, absolutely brilliant.”
“Lovely to see such a large and happy audience in the hall.”
“We ALL thoroughly enjoyed the play. Hilarious is an understatement, I honestly haven't laughed like that for far too long, we all ached with laughing so much.”
“The play was super! We spoke to lots of people on the way out! Very funny and uplifting (so to speak!).”
“Still chuckling, absolute breath of fresh air!”
“Just wanted to say congratulations and very well done. My friend and I hugely enjoyed ‘Casting off’ on Saturday night. Wonderful writing, great ideas and a very funny plot line. Anyway, it all provided a fabulous evening’s entertainment.”
“What can we say? It was fantastic, what a laugh - never realised how funny knitting was!”
“We had a great time and I'm still giggling this evening.”
“Many congratulations on what has clearly been a great success! We enjoyed the play and especially the script; well constructed, very ‘sharp’ and easy to enjoy, connecting extremely well with the audience.”
“Thought it was one of the most enjoyable plays that I have seen. Well done!”
(Left) Cass MacDougall (Joan), Sheila Simey (Miss Ross) and Heather Corpe (Dorothy) during rehearsals.
Philip and Dave discuss the script.
I’m extremely grateful to the following for sponsoring Casting Off: Alasdair Rhind Funeral Directors, Avis & Keith Financial Advisers, BLACK & WHITE PUBLISHERS, HRI Architects, Links House at Royal Dornoch.
Raffle for Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund raises £1,628
In the weeks leading up to the last performance of Casting Off, and on the evenings of the performances, raffle tickets were sold to raise money for the charity Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund. A total of £1,628 was raised for the charity. I would like to express my thanks to the organisations and individuals that have kindly donated raffle prizes: ANTA, Doreen Bruce, Carnegie Club (Skebo Castle), Dunrobin Castle, Frank Nicol Farm & Garden Machinery Ltd, Sandra Hall, Links House at Royal Dornoch, Royal Dornoch Golf Club, Tain Golf Club.
Casting Off was part of Luminate - Scotland’s creative ageing festival. Luminate is an annual festival that takes place across the length and breadth of Scotland each October, offering the chance to celebrate creativity, share stories and to explore what ageing means to all of us.