Today we said goodbye to one of the stalwarts of Wadhurst Dramatic Club. To a little lady with a strong voice, a generous heart and a lot to give. My memories of Vera Lawson include her and Joy Creasy giggling together in the dressing room in the interval over a small bottle of sloe gin; her clear, well-timed prompts, unflappable in any stage ‘emergency’; her final ‘swansong’ stage performance in 2012 with Hugh Orchard, seated in rocking chairs on the porch performing a poem and a monologue in The American Revue; her straightforward approach and manner which combined perfectly with her sense of fun.
This hilarious new play is set in 2084 on the fictitious island of Abatina in a world where people are either glamorous celebrities or slobbering dog-like followers of them gripped to their telepafones – with the exception of the Nevnops (Not Very Nice People) as the President, Big Al, calls them. The story follows Tina who enters ‘Marriage Maker’, a ‘telepavision’ gameshow. The idea of the game is if you win you get to marry the super-glamorous footballer, Harry Best, on the Saturday, have a weekend of love, then divorce him on the Monday. ‘All the fun & no ties!’ as the compere, Rich Nobb, puts it. Unfortunately, Tina makes the mistake of falling in love when she wins & doesn’t want to divorce. Doreen, her best friend, has her own opinion, but then she might be a Nevnop & the Mind Police might get to her first & send her to the wolves on the ‘Other Side’ – a dangerous world over ‘the mountain’ where the inhabitants of Abatina, according to Big Al, must not go, with dangerous free-thinkers & wolves that might get them.
Will Tina get her man? Will Doreen escape the Mind Police? You’ll have to put down your telepafones and come to find out!
Wadhurst Primary School Field – Friday 8th July at 7.30pm. Entrance from 6.00pm Bring a picnic and low backed camping chair!
Treasure Island the late late...late Pantomime will show on 1st-3rd April 2022.
It will be very funny (if rehearsals are anything to go by!) and an amazing show – Russ Kirton directing, live music, amazing costumes, scenery, comedy and laughs and all the brilliant camaraderie we have missed so much. The plan is to put on a blockbusting, big family and community smash hit in the run up to Christmas. It will be so great!!
‘Three Tales of Spring’ – a beautiful, musical, comical, lovely, original and unique tale of friendship for our times! Written by Amanda Dann, Russ Kirton and Xan Kite, with original music by Xan, all performed by the brilliant Wadhurst Dramatic Club and directed and edited into a gem of a film by Russ – this is set to be an eternal hit!
This year’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) saw us saying “farewell” to our committee Chair, Marianne Johnson; and secretary, Jane Austin. WDC are enormously indebted to them both for their significant efforts to shepherd the rest of the committee into a coherent shape as well as being all round great people.
Taking their place we welcome the amazing Amanda Dann as Chair, and Xan Kite as Secretary. Both are fabulous actors and have been treading the Wadhurst boards for many years now. With Russ Kirton (Treasurer) they have been busy writing and directing, filming and generally heroically piecing together another ‘Zoom’ collective play… to be released soon-ish.
And finally our President John Bush is standing down from the “Ladder Man” role!
His influence was summed up by Heather Woodward…
When we joined in 1975, John was very involved backstage helping Bryan and Cynthia Bell and also helping Hugh Orchard with lighting, but he could also occasionally be persuaded on stage. He was on the Committee even then.
I can’t remember the dates when John and Ann moved out to the Netherlands and when they came back so can’t say when he actually created the increasingly sophisticated lighting and sound systems in the Hall. But they have been a godsend for the Dramatic Club and for Wadhurst.
The Music Halls I devised with Hugh certainly challenged JB and he always rose to the occasion. Helping with the rising man-sized balloon was one! I remember especially the back-lighting for the shadow drama with Frank Creasy. “I can’t do it.” “Oh yes you can!”, replied Hugh Orchard. And of course he did. The sounds of wind, screams, telephones, sea gulls, door bells, crashing china etc
Another huge success was the lighting for the Son et Lumière in the Parish Church (2000) when he set up lighting outside, beyond the windows of the altar, and gradually, as we listened to the Bruch Concerto the lights dimmed until only a small part of the stained glass was lit. Very moving. Quite a few sniffs and hankies!
He always worked hard to support stage managers and props. Every Dramatic Club needs a John Bush.
The Dramatic Club presented John with the pictured “Ladder man Award”
This is an amazing pantozoom written by Amanda Dann, Xan Kite and Russ Kirton, Directed by Russ Kirton and performed by members of the Wadhurst Dramatic Club. A topical comedy and visual treat with costumes and colours, crazy characters, fun and music. Specially designed to be recorded on zoom, using the effects brilliantly with all the actors safely acting within their homes – talent and happiness shines through! Take that 2020!
So, grab your favourite bevvy or brew, settle back in a comfy chair, click on the link above (or type it into your web browser) and enjoy an hour of great fun from your friends in the Wadhurst Dramatic Club! ….oh, and do add a comment or send us one if you like, we’d love to hear from you!
Hope you are all safe and well and looking forward to having a laugh with us once we are all able to be together somehow or other!
We have had two virtual pantomime reads since the lock down began – with home made costumes as you see above – and they have been great fun. We will carry on with them fortnightly on a Monday evening from 8pm, please do say if you’d like to zoom in – either to take part or just to watch, we promise you will laugh!
In terms of stage performances – we are hoping that we will be able to celebrate going back on stage in the Commemoration Hall with a good old pantomime involving young and old with plenty of good laughs in January 2021. That all depends on social distancing requirements and we will keep a close eye on developments, but hope to be able to proceed with auditions (maybe remotely) in September. We’ll keep you informed – please join us in keeping your fingers crossed that this will be possible!
As always, we would love anyone to join us in any capacity – front of stage, back stage, front of house, organising – whatever you fancy! At the moment we could really do with some help with costumes, if anyone is interested?
Stay safe everyone and we hope to be with you somehow or other sometime soon!
The Wadhurst Dramatic Club’s AGM will take place on the 10th February at 7:30pm in the Commemoration hall. If you wish to continue to see local people, young and old, expanding their horizons while entertaining others on stage in Wadhurst then please try to attend the AGM.