Latest news from CADS

October 2019 newsletter

(October 17, 2019)

Pantomime appeal

The cast has now been announced for the 2020 Royston Town Pantomime, Jack and the Beanstalk by Tom Whalley, which is being directed by Nicky Paton with Louise Atkins as Musical Director - see here for full details.

We are, however, still looking for help with costumes; we already have some offers of assistance with sewing and so on but could really do with more and, ideally with one person in overall control. If you're keen, please Contact us in the usual way, or e-mail co-producer Pauline Rowe at [email protected]

Incidentally, tickets for the panto will go on sale for the first time, as is traditional, at the King James Academy Royston (KJAR) Christmas Fair on Sunday 17 November. The Fair runs from 10.0 to 3.00 at KJAR Junior Site (formerly Greneway School). Performances of the show itself are on Friday 24 and Saturday 25 January, and Friday 31 January and Saturday 1 February with the usual matinees on the two Saturdays and evening shows on all four dates.

Evening meetings

We've just held the first in our new series of evening meetings with a round-the-table play reading of the hilarious and poignant My Left Nut by Michael Patrick and Oisin Kearney, which was thoroughly enjoyed by all who took part. Many thanks to Emma Daintrey for hosting it.

Our meetings take place at the Coombes Community Centre in Royston and run from 7.00 to 9.00 p.m. unless otherwise stated. The next three meetings planned are:

  • Wednesday 27 November - workshop: "The Meisner technique for actors", hosted by Martin Maynard
  • Wednesday 8 January - illustrated talk: "Theatre on film", hosted by Michael Young
  • Wednesday 19 February - [tbc], hosted by Pauline Rowe

And we hope to have local drama school Limitless as the hosts of the meeting in April, but right now they're a bit pre-occupied with their production of Oliver! (see below) so exact details are still unknown...!

There's no need to book for any of these meetings - just turn up on the night - and they're completely FREE! If you're lucky, we might even manage to provide some refreshments...

Christmas at the Museum

CADS has been asked to organise a Christmas fund-raising event for the Royston Museum on 4 December, and Kathy Young has agreed to put together an evening's entertainment along similar lines to the hugely successful "1914" show we did for the Museum some years ago. It's still at the planning stage but is likely to be a mixture of poetry, sketches and local history and will take place actually at the Museum as before.

Kathy has arranged a meeting for anyone who'd like to contribute to the evening - you don't need to bring anything along to read but it'd be great to have as many potential performers as we can get. The meeting is at 10 Dacre Green, Royston SG8 7LH at 7.30 on Tuesday  29 October. If you can't make it that night but would still like to be considered, do please contact [email protected]

Flare Path: a postscript

Our production of the classic wartime drama Flare Path by Terence Rattigan for this year's Royston Arts Festival was by all accounts a great success, with lavish praise for its cast, its director, and its brilliant technical crew who did so make to make it a hit!  Donations taken at the Box Office were generous and we were able to make a contribution to the restoration fund for the parish church. The magnificent set has even acquired an extended life as it's being recycled as the set for the King James Academy production of... 

Little Shop of Horrors

Yes, the talented students of KJAR are putting on the ever popular musical Little Shop of Horrors as their Autumn production. Little Shop - a rollicking sci-fi comedy rock'n'roll musical tale of impoverished florists, sadistic dentists and extraterrestrial plants - is being performed at KJAR Senior Site (formerly Meridian School) on Thursday 21,  Friday 22 and Saturday 23 November with performances at 6.00 on Thursday evening and 7.00 on Friday and Saturday evenings. Tickets go on sale from 5 November and can be obtained by ringing the Senior Site office on 01763 242236.

Let's Twist again!

Our friends at Limitless Academy of Performing Arts (who now number many CADS regulars among their company!) are performing Lionel Bart's Oliver! at the Hertford Theatre on 31 October and 1 and 2 November, with evening performances at 7.30 and a matinee on Saturday 2 November at 2.30. We heard some of the musical numbers in rehearsal while we were borrowing their studios for some of the preparatory sessions for Flare Path, and extracts were also previewed in the park at this year's Royston Arts Festival, and if those two experiences are anything to go by, their 40-strong cast are set to make this a magical show!

Tickets are £19 (£17 concessions) and are available from the Hertford Theatre Box Office on 01992 531500 or online at the Hertford Theatre website and further details of the production can be found on the Limitless website. We wish them all the best with the show!

Drama Festivals

Local writer Roy Maddox has recently completed an adaptation for CADS of a radio play by Stephen Wyatt entitled Strangers on a Film, based on a series of meetings in 1950 between film director Alfred Hitchcock and author Raymond Chandler. Hitchcock was at the time looking for someone to write a screenplay for his next movie, Strangers on a Train, and sought the help of Chandler, but their approaches to the original novel were completely at odds - Chandler wanting to be true to the source material and Hitch just wanting to make an entertaining film. The play is both clever and witty and was originally broadcast on Radio 4 with Clive Swift and Patrick Stewart playing respectively Hitchcock and Chandler.

We'd originally hoped to submit this to the Cambridge Festival of Drama 2020, as we understood that the festival was reverting to its old April timeslot, but we've just learned that the 2020 festival will again be in September, when CADS traditionally stages its Autumn production. However, we may decide to put it forward for other local festivals such as Sawston (which takes place in March) or Welwyn (which happens in May) so could well be preparing it immediately after the pantomime...

The adaptation calls for a mixture of live action and projected images and, although it's essentially a two-hander, requires a silent ensemble of actors (probably 8-10 people) to move furniture, serve food, pour drinks, deliver parcels and other on-stage tasks, as well as to act out certain scenes from the film. Once the pantomime has been and gone, therefore, we may well be looking to recruit "chorus" members for the play, but it's not too early to let us know if you'd like to be considered. Contact us in the usual way via the website, or e-mail [email protected].

We hope to be able to preview the play - perhaps as part of a double bill - in Royston shortly before entering it into any festival. More details on all this as soon as we have them!

Angela's achievement

CADS member Angela Sassoli recently took part in the Alzheimer's Society memory walk in aid of that charity. Here's a message she sent to CADS:

"I can't thank everyone enough for their fantastic generosity in supporting my memory walk in Cambridge on 6th October. I raised just over £1,200 and my friend Christiane another £600. It was raining when we started but nothing was going to dampen our spirits, as we united with so many others to help Alzheimer's Society fight for better care, research new treatments and find a cure for dementia.

If you wish to view some of my photos from the event, or add a donation, please click on the link below (then scroll down):
With many thanks and very best wishes"

Our congratulations to Angela on such a magnificent achievement!

Our next meeting is on 19 November so if there's anything you'd like us to consider or discuss, please feel free to contact any of us at any time via our Contact page.

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