Latest news from CADS

April 2020 newsletter

(April 13, 2020)

Play reading goes virtual!
As previously announced (lockdown restrictions permitting, of course) we are hoping to  perform  Stephen Wyatt's one-act play Strangers on a Film at this year's Royston Arts Festival in a special double bill with the intriguingly titled Six Dead Queens... and an Inflatable Henry, which was originally developed by Foursight Theatre, formerly in Wolverhampton.

Six Dead Queens is a tale of three Catherines, two Annes and one Jane – the ill-fated wives of Henry VIII - reunited for a sort of girly sleepover. It's boisterous, farcical, slightly bawdy and immensely entertaining and weaves together history, comedy, satire, slapstick and song in truly surreal fashion. David Atkins is directing the play, and we're excited to announce that we're planning a special read-through of the play as one of our evening meetings on Thursday 23 April.

Because of the current restrictions, we're going to experiment with an online read-through using the Zoom meeting app.  Some of you will already be familiar with this app, which seems to be becoming the medium of choice for both work and social meetings during the lockdown. Indeed, our friends at Settlement Players in Letchworth have started doing this and it seems to us a good way round the present situation.

If you'd like to take part, we'll need your e-mail address so that we can send you an invitation to the meeting which will start at 7.30 and should last for about an hour and a half or so. Please get in touch either through our Contact page or by e-mailing [email protected] before the date and we'll send you a link to the meeting together with the necessary meeting ID and password and, of course, a copy of the script! Don't worry if you've never used Zoom before - when you click on the link, the necessary software will download on to your laptop or tablet or whatever before proceeding to ask you for the ID and so on.

We had originally planned to hold auditions on the following Thursday, 30 April; however, we're still discussing how best to arrange this, as Zoom may not be entirely suitable for this purpose. Please check the website regularly for further information.

It doesn't quite go without saying, by the way, but there are only six parts involved, all female! (There could be some flexibility about ages...) However, anyone who wishes to attend the read-through is more than  welcome, male or female - you might want to get involved in some other capacity, for example, when  we do come to perform it or simply get to know the play and have a bit of a laugh.

AGM postponed (but we're still here!

As you probably all know, we've also had to postpone the AGM which had been planned for 2 April. Our current Chair, Emma Daintrey, however has put her time to good use and produced an annual report, which you're welcome to read on our website here. Emma had previously announced that she would be standing down at the AGM, but because of the postponement, the existing committee - Emma included - will continue to function for the time being, probably using Zoom to hold virtual meetings.

Prizes! Prizes! Prizes!

D'oh! We completely forgot to record in our last newsletter the winners of this year's two CADS drama awards! We're happy to correct that omission now...

The Fred Sillence Award for 2020, given for outstanding contribution to drama, was presented to Shaunaid Crosby "for her extraordinary commitment to music and drama in the town through her work as Leader of Performing Arts at King James Academy Royston".

The Lizzie Houghton Award for 2020, for outstanding contribution to youth drama, went to a team of Year 10 pupils at KJAR Senior School who made up the technical team for Little Shop of Horrors (Nov 2019);  some of them also worked on Seussical, performed in June 2019 on the KJAR Junior Site.

Our (belated, sorry!) congratulations to all our award winners.

Evening meetings (possibly!)

Our semi-regular evening meetings have largely been suspended because of the present situation, but once restrictions are lifted we'll certainly be starting them up again. They take place usually at the Coombes Community Centre in Royston (unless otherwise noted) and run from 7.00 to 9.00 p.m. (unless otherwise stated). Our next planned meetings were (and may well still be):

  • Wednesday 3 June - illustrated talk: "What I did for Auntie" - tales of working for the BBC by Steve Richards
  • Wednesday 15 July - drama quiz, hosted by Pauline Rowe (postponed from February)
  • Wednesday 23 September - talk: "Adaptation" by Nick Warburton (NOTE that this will take place at Royston Library as part of this year's Arts Festival)

Provided these go ahead. there's no need to book for any of them - just turn up on the night - and they're completely FREE! As an added incentive, we generally manage to provide some refreshments...


Our next meeting  - virtual or otherwise - has yet to be scheduled by the committee, but if there's anything you'd like us to consider or discuss, please feel free to contact any of us at any time via the Contact page of this website!

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