October, 2005 Newsletter

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Dear Email Friends,

We're casting the next production of the season, LONDON SUITE by Neil Simon. We hope you will not miss THE FOURPOSTER which will close in a few weeks. The last performance will come sooner than you expect and it will be difficult to get tickets in the last week. It may be hard to believe that the theatre season has begun because of the good weather last month, but, guess what, it has! So pull the plug on your TV and come and join us and have a good time.

Recent Press Clipping

Hamburger Morgenpost, 15.10.05
„The Fourposter“ lädt zum Lachen und Mitfühlen ein. Zurück bleibt die hoffnungsvolle Erkenntnis, dass es sich lohnt, um die Liebe zu kämpfen—allen Tücken der Ehe zum Trotz.

Good news. You are now able to park underground behind the theatre (subject to charge) and take the elevator up to the theatre.

Have you missed recent newsletters? If so, all previous newsletters in this format are accessible on our web server at http://www.englishtheatre.de/newsletterlib/.

In Memoriam
Terrick Fitzhugh was perfectly cast in the role of Frank for our 1992 production of EDUCATING RITA. He was an actor of integrity and a joy to work with. We remember him telling us about the disappointment he felt when a school group was not paying attention for whatever reason. He wanted so much to share this play that he loved with every single person who attended a performance. We told him that if he got through to just one young person in the audience he might make an important difference in that person's life. He sighed, but agreed that that was true.

Little did we know at the time that Terrick was seriously ill and would never be able to perform in another play. He knew it though, and he desperately wanted his final work to be perfect and meaningful to everyone. After about eight weeks his health failed dramatically and one of the wonderful doctors in Hammonia Bad who had cared for him, recommended that he return to his family in England. We agreed, of course, when we understood the situation, but Terrick was such a trooper that he insisted on performing until the end of the week, despite his pain and the knowledge that he would not have much longer to live. He was such a good actor that nobody knew the extraordinary effort that went into those final performances.

Terrick was replaced by Brian Hands, God bless him, who flew from London to Hamburg on a Friday and watched Terrick's two final performances. The rest of the time he spent rehearsing and learning lines. Brian went on stage the following Monday. In the meantime we had thanked Terrick profusely, driven him to the Hamburg airport and put him on a plane to London. A short time later he was hospitalized, went into a coma and died. After his last performance, a woman wrote us a letter complaining about the heat in the theatre. We didn't tell her it was due to stage lights being on all day to rehearse an actor who was about to take over the part of a dying colleague whose last brilliant performance of his life she was a witness to. It was a full house, but nobody in the audience knew about the drama going on behind the drama they were watching on stage.

The director of the show shed tears when Terrick died and the rest of the theatre staff felt shattered. The actress playing opposite Terrick was particularly smitten, having to relate to a new actor in the final weeks of the run while still feeling the strong presence of Terrick on the stage. She was a trooper too. We have such admiration for them both.

30th Anniversary Season
(A time to review the last 30 years)

"It is more blessed to give than to receive."

This is a saying quoted by the Apostle Paul as a teaching of Jesus. It is commonly quoted as, “It is better to give than to receive.” We hope that some of you will take this quotation seriously and support The English Theatre of Hamburg with a financial gift. The theatre cannot continue to exist without outside help.

You can find out about the benefits of sponsorship here: Sponsoring Package. Sponsoring is a two-way street. A sponsor helps the theatre, but the theatre does a lot for the sponsor as well.

Please transfer your gift to:

The English Theatre of Hamburg e.V.
Vereinsbank, Hamburg
Konto Nr.: 39 13 928 BLZ: 200 300 00

Please include your name, address, the name of your firm (if applicable) and The English Theatre's booking number: # 400.

Our next production
Previews for LONDON SUITE by Neil Simon begin on 14 November. Bookings are already being taken for this show and the directors are in London casting the play. Preview tickets go fast, so don't wait too long to book if you want those inexpensive seats. If you miss the previews there are other opportunities to ge cheaper seats if you come in groups of four or more. Phone the box office for details: 227 7089.

Our current production
The picture directly below, from a scene in THE FOURPOSTER by Jan de Hartog, shows Michael (Richard Burnip) and Agnes (Janette Summerfield), a married couple, wrestling with each other because Michael has succumbed to the charms of another woman. Agnes brings him back to his senses. The picture below that one shows the couple in younger years. Agnes is about to give birth to their first child and Michael has such empathy with her that he has the birth pains that Agnes is supposed to have. When he runs to get the doctor, Michael places the crib next to Agnes just in case she has the baby while he is gone. (Photos by Hans-Jürgen Kock).


Mr. and Mrs. Gehring
Stephan Gehring and Julie Sym both worked for The English Theatre of Hamburg back in the 1980s. Stephan, a German, started here first. We realized quickly how multi-talented Stephan was. So, before we could afford professional set designers, we asked him to read a book about set building and construct a set that we could use over and over again by placing reusable parts in different positions. He did it! He was also totally bilingual and acted in several plays. The picture of Stephan above is from BUTTERFLIES ARE FREE (1980). Julie, a Scottish lass, came along as a trained actress and played a variety of roles in our productions. Some of you will remember her from GASLIGHT, TUNNEL OF LOVE, MR FOTHERGILL'S MURDER, TABLE MANNERS, and our first production of THE GLASS MENAGERIE. It happens with astounding frequency that people in this theatre fall in love with each other. Is is the Hamburg air? Julie and Stephan now live in London and have two children, a boy and a girl. The children are school age, so Julie has time for her art work again. Stephan works for a computer firm. They both contributed a lot to this theatre.

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