Dream comes true for amateur director

Director of Educating Rita, Lynn Moss.

Lynn Moss, 67, who directs plays featuring amateur actors for the Claremont Dramatic Society, finally had the opportunity to direct her passion play, Educating Rita, currently on at The Masque Theatre in Muizenberg.

Written by Willy Russell, Educating Rita is set in Liverpool, England, in 1980, and follows the relationship over the course of a year between hairdresser Rita portrayed by Jaime Uranovsky, and Frank, a middle-aged university lecturer played by Nick Plummer.

“It is a play that I always wanted to have a go at,” said Ms Moss, who has been preparing with the two actors for the past four months in the clubhouse of the Claremont Dramatic Society known as The Hok.

Ms Moss directed Ms Uranovsky in the play Billy Liar last year and she thought that she would make a good Rita in this play.

“Although she is a young South African girl at the age of 25, she is really good at picking up accents, not every actress can do that. She worked hard to perfect her accent, and she got the Liverpudlian accent perfectly,” said Ms Moss.

Ms Uranovsky said Ms Moss is an encouraging, supportive and passionate director and she adored getting to work with her for the second time.

“Lynn is is flexible in the sense that she doesn’t just instruct her actors on what to do but rather lets us experiment with what feels natural to us as actors, so that it comes across as a genuine action or reaction,” she said.

Ms Moss said there was good chemistry shown by Ms Uranovsky and Mr Plummer, who is a presenter for Fine Music Radio. He also won the Cape Amateur Theatre Award (CATA) for best actor in 2016, for his portrayal of Professor Higgins in My Fair Lady.

Mr Plummer said Ms Moss is a modest, yet visionary director, who flies under the publicity radar, but with deadly accuracy and insight into her work.

“She gives clear and considered direction, yet allows us the freedom to convey a natural delivery of lines and movement,” he said.

Ms Moss said to mark The Masque Theatre’s 60th anniversary this year they are rebooting five famous plays at the theatre with Educating Rita being one of them.

Ms Moss, who is originally from Manchester, England, came to South Africa in 1991 and settled in Fish Hoek. In Manchester she worked for the Royal Mail but carved out a career in the performance arts when she came to South Africa, first working for a company called Dramatic Solutions, which uses theatre and performance as a medium to treat people. She has also acted with amateur theatre organisations like the Cape Town Gilbert and Sullivan Society, the Constantiaberg Art Society, Muizenberg Dramatic Society and Fish Hoek Dramatic Society, performing in plays such as Gosforth’s Fete, My Fair Lady, HMS Pinafore and Habeas Corpus though lately she has focused on her directing. She has been affiliated to Claremont Dramatic Society for the past 20 years.

In the past three years she has directed Educating Rita, Billy Liar and The Unexpected Quest for the Claremont Dramatic Society.

Ms Moss said actors who perform through her amateur society perform at The Masque, using it is a stepping stone to become professional. She said performers like Julie Summers who portrayed Spud’s mother in all three Spud movies performed at The Masque as well as South African superstar comedian, Marc Lottering who is a recipient of a CATA award.

Going forward, Ms Moss would like to direct Shirley Valentine play.

Educating Rita is in its final three days at The Masque Theatre, Muizenberg. This evening and tomorrow evening it will play at 8pm and on Saturday there will be two shows, one at 2.30pm and the other at 6.30pm. Bookings can be done at Computicket or bookings@masquetheatre.co.za or call 021 788 1898.