Am Dram Star of the Week is Lauren Dingley, a member of All Saints Players in West Bromwich
Thirty-one-year-old Lauren Dingley, a member of All Saints Players based in West Bromwich, is our Am Dram Star this week.
Lauren first became involved with am dram aged 11. Invited by friends to join a local group, she was hooked from day one. She went on to study drama at college, obtaining a BTEC National Diploma and an HND in Performing Arts.
All Saints Players are currently in rehearsal for Jack Sharkey’s mystery farce, The Murder Room, which they will present at All Saints Church from May 22-25. Lauren plays the role of Mavis and I ask her about this role.
“The Murder Room is set in the home of newlyweds Edgar and Mavis. Shortly after their wedding, Edgar discovers that Mavis is being unfaithful. When her first attempt to murder Edgar fails, she resorts to shooting him and enlists her lover to help her hide the body.
“Meanwhile, Edgar’s daughter from his first marriage, Susan, arrives home from America. Susan has recently become engaged to Barry and she is thrilled to introduce him to her father’s housekeeper Lottie,” says Lauren.
“Then Inspector Crandall arrives and reveals that the gun that was used to shoot Edgar was loaded with blanks and chaos ensues when Edgar’s body disappears.
“Mavis is a truly unpleasant character and whilst I don’t personally relate to her, I do enjoy portraying such a devious person.”
It’s a good old-fashioned comedy murder mystery!
The path of am dram is rarely smooth and the group had to replace one of their actresses with just three weeks to go until opening night. I asked Lauren how it had affected the cast.
“An exceptionally talented actress called Susan Wyld-Bennett has taken on the role of Lottie the housekeeper,” says Lauren. “The entire cast has welcomed her and she is fitting in perfectly.” Am Dram folk are troupers to the end.
The role of Mavis is both dramatic and comical but which does Lauren prefer?
“I enjoy performing both. I don’t have a preference,” she says.
Lauren does have favourite playwrights though. “I admire Oscar Wilde, William Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe and Alan Ayckbourn.
“If I had to pick one play to appear in though, it would be The Tragical History of the Life and Death of Dr. Faustus by Christopher Marlowe,” she continued. .
All Saints Players will be celebrating their 40th anniversary this year. .
l For tickets for The Murder Room, call 0121 588 4786 or visit the group’s Facebook page.