Fairfield Ledger

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Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 24, 2017

Andrew Edlin plays Winston Churchill for charity

By Nicole Major, Ledger staff writer | Mar 20, 2017
Andrew Edlin playing  Winston Churchill

Nothing beats doing what you love — especially when it’s for a cause; and Fairfield resident Andrew Edlin will do just that at 7:30 p.m. May 5, when he portrays Sir Winston Churchill at the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center’s Stephen Sondheim Center for the Performing Arts.

The one-man play called “Churchill” is an anniversary benefit show to support the African Violet Foundation and the Fairfield Middle School’s GOAL class field trips.

Edlin, who has been performing the play for two decades all over the country, found it fitting to celebrate the act’s 20-year anniversary, since it debuted here at the former Odyssey Stage at 16th Street May 1, 1997.

“I have performed ‘Churchill’ many times in many places, but Fairfield is my home, and audiences here have been very generous and appreciative since the beginning,” Edlin said. “So obviously [it’s] the place to celebrate the 20th anniversary, as a benefit for two entities very close to my heart.

“The African Violet Foundation performs vital work, expanding its mission of assistance for local children and families in need [for] 11 years through its Christmas gift program, Caring through Clothing, and its recently acquired clothing store. Fairfield Middle School’s GOAL class field trips for grades sixth-eighth have been an important part of kids’ education and experience of a wider world for many years, led by GOAL teacher Tena Edlin [my wife, full disclosure]!”

Edlin, who was born in Brighton, England, grew up listening to Churchill, who died in 1965 when Edlin was 10.

“He dominated the British political landscape — he was even bigger than Franklin D. Roosevelt was in the U.S.,” Edlin said who recalled watching Churchill’s state funeral on television.

Edlin remembered the grand event, where leaders from around the globe came to pay their respects to the “multi-talented” political giant.

Because Churchill was such a strong force in Britain and around the world, Edlin said he’d been collecting information about him from his youth until today.

Churchill was one of the most famous people in history, which is why Edlin said as a playwright and actor he was drawn to playing this “extraordinary man for 20 years.”

“I’d been kicking around the idea of doing a one-man play,” Edlin said, adding that he decided to play Churchill on the night before his retirement, “trying to decide to go or not to go.”

Edlin said he had so much material to work with, that he had to leave most of it on the cutting-room floor. However, over the years, he’s had the opportunity to refine, hone and polish the play.

“It was a huge opportunity to play the character over 20 years,” he said.

Edlin performed “Churchill” March 12 at the Florissant Civic Center in St. Louis, but he’s even more geared up for the benefit anniversary show in his hometown of 26 years.

The anniversary benefit performance is sponsored by Miller Realty, and is $20 for adults and $10 for students.

For ticket information, contact the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center ticket office at 472-2000.

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