Latest news from CADS

May 2020 newsletter

(May 10, 2020)

Six Dead Queens come to life
Last month we held our first online reading of the one-act play Six Dead Queens... and an Inflatable Henry, which we're hoping to perform at this year's Royston Arts Festival, all being well. 20 people took part and, give or take the odd technical glitch and a few audio lags,  the reading went really well and was enjoyed by all. It's time, therefore, to think about auditions...

On the assumption that the Royston Festival will go ahead, David Atkins, who will be directing the play, has decided to hold auditions online via Zoom on Tuesday 19 May, starting at 7.30 p.m. (If you can't make that time but would still like to audition, David will also hold a catch-up session on Wednesday 20 May but please let us know when you e-mail us.) If you weren't at the read-through, don't worry - you're still eligible to audition; you do, however, need to know that there are only six female roles (the eponymous dead wives of Henry VIII) and ages are generally youngish (though some leeway may be given).

You should probably also know that performance dates at the Royston Festival are likely to be Thursday 24, Friday 25 and Saturday 26 September - more details will be announced very soon...

As with the play reading, if you'd like to take part, we'll need your e-mail address so that we can send you an invitation to the auditions. 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 event together with the necessary meeting ID and password and, if you don't already have one, 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.

One little tip - some first-time users last time found it helpful to download Zoom in advance so that they could check their video and audio connections and generally get used to the look and feel of Zoom. This certainly helps at the start of a meeting and avoids people not initially being able to see and/or hear the other participants!

The play's the (virtual) thing...

So successful was our first foray into online play readings (see above) that we've organised another one, again via Zoom - this time it's another hilarious play by the wonderful David Tristram, whose work we've performed a few times before. Michael Young will be presenting Inspector Drake and the Time Machine - part whodunit, part sci-fi fantasy and completely silly. 

The reading is scheduled for Wednesday 27 May and will start at 7.30 p.m. - as this is a full-length play, it should probably last for about a couple of hours. Again, 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 and a script. Please get in touch as detailed above...

Zoom along to our drama quiz
If you fancy some light relief, why not try your luck in our online drama quiz? We had originally hoped to present this as one of our evening meetings but we've decided to see if it will work as a Zoom session instead. Pauline Rowe will be asking the questions and you can take part as individuals or as couples (or, I suppose, as families) by joining our Zoom meeting on Monday 8 June at 7.30 p.m. The session is likely to run for about an hour and a half, depending on how many of you take part (and how much you argue with the answers!).

Once again, we'll need your e-mail address so that we can send you an invitation to the meeting - see all the stuff above for full details.

All change?

One of the items we were hoping to discuss at the AGM-That-Never-Happened was next year's pantomime and how we might change things around to make the most of the fact that our matinees very often sell out (as, indeed, they did this year). We're considering three models of how we might increase the number of matinees so that more boys and girls can attend at a reasonable hour:

OPTION A1st weekend: Saturday matinee, Saturday evening, Sunday matinee; 2nd weekend: Friday evening, Saturday matinee, Saturday evening

OPTION B1st weekend: Friday evening, Saturday matinee, Saturday evening; 2nd weekend: Saturday matinee (11.00), Saturday matinee (2.00), Saturday evening

OPTION C1st weekend: Saturday matinee, Saturday evening, Sunday matinee; 2nd weekend: Saturday matinee (11.00), Saturday matinee (2.00), Saturday evening

Any of these options would thus give us three matinee shows and three evening shows. (The times of the additional matinees are for illustration only.) Ultimately, the decision will rest with the committee, but we'd really value your opinions before we make up our minds. To this end, we did set up a Googlepoll a while ago, but disappointingly only had five respondents. We've set it up again and hope you'll find time now to visit it (if you haven't already) and let us know your views! Please click on this link to go to the poll; note that you may need to sign in to Google to complete it. Thank you.

Speaking of panto...

Yes, yes, we know it's only May, but in reasonably optimistic anticipation of the lockdown being lifted by next year we do need to start thinking about the 2021 Royston Town Pantomime, for which we would normally begin preparations about now. (Goodness knows, the town may well be glad of a bit of silliness by January!) As we speak, scripts are being read but as yet we don't have a director or an actual show. If you'd like to take this on, or if you have a brilliantly funny pantomime script you'd like to see performed, now would be an excellent time to let us know.
As hinted above, the model for next year's show is likely to be slightly different from previous years with a greater number of matinee performances, so that's something you might want to bear in mind. If you're a first-time director (and we've had several of those over the years), don't be shy - there are always plenty of people around to help or advise. The main thing is that it's great fun and hugely rewarding. Contact us in the usual way via our Contact page or by e-mailing [email protected]


Because of the postponement of the AGM, last year's committee members have agreed to continue until the 2021 AGM. We've had one online committee meeting already and are likely to have more as long as the lockdown continues, 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 the Contact page of this website!

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