WHEN amateur dramatists look for strong prose and comic flair, more often than not they’ll turn to the river of work by Alan Ayckbourn CBE.

This September Wellington’s long-serving acting company, The Civic Players, begins its show run of 1970s Ayckbourn classic Bedroom Farce.

Directing is long-standing thespian, operatic society member and pantomime player Graham Hart, who outlines the plot’s conundrum.

“There are four couples and only three bedrooms,” he says, “which gives you a clue about what goes on.

“They’re fairly young, apart from one elderly couple, but it’s really about one couple having an altercation.

“Ayckbourn has the knack of making the ordinary spectacular, and Bedroom Farce is just so nicely written.”

A carpenter in his spare time, Graham has hand-built the set for the fast-paced action, ready to receive lashings of paint, and dress rehearsals are well underway.

“Our cast includes the indefatigable Mary Lewis, who is just in everything, while John Hayhurst has been involved with the Players for as long as I have – that’s since 1984.”

So what is it about Wellington that makes it such a home for the arts?

Graham reflects: “We are very independent – we don’t receive grants – and we are fortunate enough to have access to both the Wellesley Theatre and the arts centre.”

He adds: “I love theatre; I think it’s great. So I do what I can.”

Bedroom Farce runs at Wellington Arts Centre from Wednesday to Saturday, September 3-6, at 7.30pm with a Saturday matinee at 2.30pm.

Tickets cost £8 at www.ticketsource.co.uk