In 2002, OTTC celebrated its 10th Anniversary. Lance Hodges, then Vice Chairman, looked back over the company’s first decade…
|OTTC cast and crew celebrate success at the All England One Act Play Festival in 2001
"It's interesting to see how the company has evolved since its inception. We have had many ups, several downs, turned a few corners and taken a few risks along the way. But it is satisfying to see that the original ethos of the company is still its driving force today. Indeed, this policy has proved to be the paramount factor in forging the group's identity and remains its greatest strength.
During the last ten years we have presented over forty productions including works by Alan Bennett, Dario FO, John Godber, Tom Stoppard, Dennis Potter and Joe Orton. We have also performed works by new playwrights and by our own members. We have toured Wiltshire, performed for local radio and films and given a number of charity performances.
Previous productions range from Shakespeare's bloody "Macbeth" to Monty Python's hilarious "Life of Brian"; the elegant decadence of "Les Liaisons Dangereuses", to the carry-on slapstick humour of "Allo, Allo". Our repertoire includes such shockers as "Brimstone and Treacle", "Strippers" and the wonderful but disturbing, "Madness of George III". We have won the Swindon One Act Play Festival for the last four consecutive years presenting plays of such diverse style.
We have staged several musicals and introduced Terry Pratchett's "Discworld" to our audience in "Mort". Another first for Swindon was our most recent venture: an interactive whodunnit, "Murder at Rutherford House".
All this has established OTTC as one of Swindon's most ambitious and innovative theatre companies. This reputation has been built from the desire of the members to challenge and stretch themselves as actors and from a common philosophy to break down the barriers of what an 'amateur' company can, or should, perform.
Hopefully the company will continue to progress and re-invent itself at every opportunity. This is encouraged by an 'open-door' policy, where membership is open to anyone interested in all aspects of the theatre including acting, directing, stage management, set design, lighting and sound.
As OTTC begins a new decade, it's perhaps fitting that our home is also entering a new era. We look forward to the completion of the refurbishment work at the Arts Centre and hope the improvements produce the anticipated benefits.