Bessy Ewa on A Chorus of Disapproval at Salisbury Playhouse

Bessy Ewa in rehearsals. Photo: Ash Mills

Opening for previews at Salisbury Playhouse tomorrow, A Chorus of Disapproval marks the 35th Alan Ayckbourn play that has been performed at the theatre.

Directed by Gareth Machin, the play follows the story of the recently widowed Guy, played by Damian Humbley, who joins his local Amateur Light Operatic Society to find friends and meaning in life but ends up with something much different. The production also stars Bessy Ewa, who takes on the role of Linda Washbrook. Ahead of opening we caught up with Ewa to find out more about the production.

Q&A with Bessy Ewa

How does it feel to be starring in Wiltshire Creative’s A Chorus of Disapproval at Salisbury Playhouse?

It is a joy to star in Wiltshire Creative’s A Chorus of Disapproval at Salisbury Playhouse. It’s so fun to join such a big cast and I’m thrilled to be a part of an Alan Ayckbourn play for the first time!

What can you tell us about the show?

Without giving too much away, the show revolves around the members PALOS, an amateur dramatics group who are putting on a production of The Beggar’s Opera. The group is made up of thirteen rather eccentric characters who create an abundance of drama both on and off stage. It’s a play within a play and right now we are in rehearsals.

How have you approached playing Linda?

Linda is constantly hovered over by her parents, Ted and Enid. It’s really fun to have stage parents and I’m observing Lloyd and Heather in rehearsals to see how their characters evolve in the rehearsal room because it provides me with an incredible backstory for Linda. There are ways in which she is similar to them but mostly she is the complete opposite to her parents and desperate to get out of their grip!

You’ve played at Sheffield Lyceum Theatre, Colchester’s Mercury Theatre and toured arenas nationally – how important is regional theatre and how does it compare to performing in the West End?

Yes, I had the pleasure of performing at the Sheffield Lyceum Theatre, Colchester’s Mercury and I’ve toured arenas nationally. I think regional theatre is incredibly important especially for younger audiences.

For example, Pantomimes are often a child’s first theatrical experience and the memories of watching them year after year at a local venue creates a strong foundation for loving theatre in the future! I think the biggest difference between performing in a regional theatre verses the West End is that if you’re rehearsing for a regional production, you’re often allowed more creativity.

The West End is more commercial and if you’re entering a long running show or something transferring from Broadway, you’re expected to perform within certain perimeters which have been decided by the actors and directors before you. In an original regional production, you get to take part in deciding what those perimeters are, which is more challenging but also very fun!

How do you think audiences will react to A Chorus of Disapproval?

I think that audiences will find A Chorus of Disapproval hilarious and heartfelt!

A Chorus of Disapproval is at Salisbury Playhouse from 25 April to 18 May 2024