The Company of Ten are no bunch of amateurs as 'Hollywood action hero' takes to the stage

A Bunch of AmateursA Bunch of Amateurs can be seen at the Abbey Theatre in St Albans.

A Bunch of Amateurs can be seen at the Abbey Theatre in St Albans. - Credit: Abbey Theatre

A 'Hollywood action hero' appears in the Company of Ten's next production in St Albans.

Opening on May 13, A Bunch of Amateurs is the Company of Ten’s latest production at the Abbey Theatre.

When a Suffolk amateur dramatic company, The Stratford Players, want to save their theatre, they invite Hollywood actor Jefferson Steele to play King Lear. 

It’s a marriage made in hell. Steele thinks he’s going to Stratford-upon-Avon, and the locals have entirely overestimated Steele’s suitability for a Shakespearean role.

Fading Hollywood action hero Jefferson Steele arrives in England to play King Lear in Stratford in A Bunch of Amateurs

Fading Hollywood action hero Jefferson Steele arrives in England to play King Lear in Stratford in A Bunch of Amateurs, which can be seen at the Abbey Theatre in St Albans. - Credit: Abbey Theatre

Russell Vincent, last seen at the Abbey Theatre in David Hare’s Skylight, plays Steele.

Russell says: "Have you seen the famous actor Jefferson Steel in anything recently? Maybe you’ve seen him in a Noël Coward comedy, Present Laughter or Hay Fever?

"Or was it Waiting for Godot? Or perhaps you caught him in Ayckbourn’s Absurd Person Singular?

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"No, you didn’t! You didn’t see him in any of those because Jefferson Steel doesn’t do that stuff. He’s an action hero. He’d be more likely to do something called Present Slaughter or Slay Fever.

"There would be No Time to Wait for God or you might catch him in Absurd to find a Person Lying Dead in a Pool of Blood."

The script, by comedy writing duo Ian Hislop (Private Eye, Have I Got News For You) and Nick Newman (Murder Most Horrid, The Wipers Times, The Harry Enfield Show) will have you laughing in the aisles at the quick-fire dialogue and delicious one-liners.

A Bunch of Amateurs can be seen at the Abbey Theatre in St Albans.

A Bunch of Amateurs can be seen at the Abbey Theatre in St Albans. - Credit: Abbey Theatre

Russell adds: "Comedy is often about a series of characters put in an absurd situation, whilst drama might portray characters on some kind of emotional journey.

"A Bunch of Amateurs is a bit different – the situation for Jefferson is certainly strange, but it is he who goes on a journey; it’s a comedy for us but a drama for him.

"Despite how much he might enjoy the trappings of celebrity, Jefferson knows deep down that the nature of stardom is absurd, and it takes a bunch of British amateurs to remind him of that."

A Bunch of AmateursA Bunch of Amateurs can be seen at the Abbey Theatre in St Albans.

A Bunch of Amateurs can be seen at the Abbey Theatre in St Albans. - Credit: Abbey Theatre

Despite the title of the upcoming play, the Company of Ten is, in fact, run to professional standards, showcasing outstanding quality theatre to the local community, at affordable prices, with everything from family classics to razor-sharp contemporary theatre, local writing and world premieres.

Performances take place on the Abbey Theatre Main Stage from Friday, May 13 to Saturday, May 21 at 8pm, with a Sunday matinee on May 15 at 2.30pm. 

For tickets, visit www.abbeytheatre.org.uk or call the box office on 01727 857861.