Play Reading 1 was started by the late Josephine Burgess soon after Portsdown U3A came into being. Josephine was a leading lady for many years with the Portsmouth Players and also a director of a small amateur drama society. She brought expertise and experience to our group which enabled us to learn and continue to enjoy our play reading.

Members are encouraged to suggest play titles and we now have a list of plays from which we can choose. The play sets are borrowed via the Portsmouth Library Inter-Library Loans Service.

The group meet at 2pm on the 4th Thursday of each month except in December when we meet on the 3rd Thursday. There is no meeting in August. There is a short time for refreshments and discussion midway through the afternoon. We meet at the home of two of our members in Cosham.

The group has read plays from different eras – Elizabethan, Restoration Comedy, Regency, Victorian/Edwardian and the C20th/C21st. Genres covered – plays in blank verse e.g. Shakespeare, other verse plays ‘Anne of the Thousand Days’ by Maxwell Anderson, ‘The Lady’s not for Burning’ by Christopher Fry. We have read dark comedy, domestic drama. farce, historical, thrillers, plays that eventually became a musical film e.g. ‘I am a Camera’ by John Van Druten was the base for the musical ‘Caberet’, plays adapted from books e.g. ‘Rebecca’ by Daphne Du Maurier. Playwrights covered have been from – America, England, Ireland, Norway, Scotland and Wales.

As a former amateur actress and director in a large local amateur drama society (and having LAMDA acting medals and London Guildhall School of Music and Drama – speech and drama grades) I wish the members of the group to enjoy reading the plays even if they have no former acting experience. Play reading can increase confidence in yourself and show you how to project and use your voice. We also gain information about each playwright, their life and works.

At the moment there is not a waiting list and we look forward to having new members. Please contact me if you are interested in joining our group.

Group Leader: Josephine Dance
Email: contactportsdownu3a.org.uk