Tree’s starring role in St Albans’ Company of Ten’s play

PUBLISHED: 10:35 15 May 2014

dress rehearsal pix

dress rehearsal pix

© 2013 surrealimages.co.uk/Steven Else

Being wooden isn’t usually a quality the Company of Ten looks for in its performers but it has made an exception for the next production.

Alan Ayckbourn’s classic comedy Round and Round the Garden runs from tonight (Thursday) to May 24 but luckily for the audience, the performer in question is not an actor but a tree.

Before making its stage debut, the tree – which forms the centrepiece of the garden where the action takes place – grew just outside the theatre in Verulamium Park.

Director Alan Bobroff explained: “Some of the land beside the theatre was recently cleared so we could extend our car park. When we realised the tree was being felled, we just knew we had to have it for our play.

“However, since it was cut down about a month ago it has lost a lot of its leaves, which could have been a problem as Round and Round the Garden takes place in the summer.

“Luckily we have a very talented props manager in Judith Goodban, and she and her team have done a fantastic job not only of re-leafing the tree with artificial leaves but also of making the entire set look like an authentic English country garden in full bloom, complete with lawn, flowers and foliage.”

Round and Round the Garden is one of the plays in Ayckbourn‘s trilogy The Norman Conquests which are all set in the same country house over a single weekend.

For further details of performance times go to www.abbeytheatre.org.uk or call the box office on 01727 857861.

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