Latest news from CADS

October 2020 newsletter

(November 02, 2020)

Just because it's Christ-a-mas...
Following the success of our CADaret! production for the Royston Arts Festival, we're planning a similar venture for December. This would have a Christmas theme and feature members (and others) performing the same sort of mixture of sketches, songs and monologues as before. We're hoping to be able to book a venue in which to record contributions, but if that doesn't work, we may revert to the previous model and record everyone separately.

What we need, though, are volunteers to do a "party piece" - we have a few thoughts, based on the Christmas show we did last year for the Royston Museum, but we could always use more ideas. If you'd like to take part, we'd love to hear from you. You don't at this stage need to decide what you're going to do (and we may, in any case, suggest things once we've got a rough plan together) but if you can let us know in principle as soon as possible, that'd be great. E-mail [email protected], please...

A Claire winner

During lockdown, lots of us tried our hands at new things, perhaps none more so than the redoubtable Claire Hogan, who not only took part in a stand-up comedy course (some of you may have watched her very funny end-of-term performance on Zoom) but also signed up for an online School of Comedy, run by the excellent David Tristram.

Part of the "homework" for the course included the writing of a short sketch set in a launderette - Claire's resulting playlet Smalls subsequently became part of our CADaret! production and many of you will have seen it in that context. Not content with that, however, Claire has gone on to write three other short pieces featuring the same three friends (with, we understand, another in the pipeline that may well end up as part of our Christmas CADaret!) and is planning to publish all four in a single volume shortly. She's even managed to persuade Nick Warburton to write a foreword to the plays.

As part of the School of Comedy, participants were also encouraged to write their own one-act comedy play and Claire once again rose to the challenge and came up with The Staycation, which Emma Daintrey has agreed to direct as a rehearsed reading via Zoom in the New Year. Note that this won't be a free-for-all play reading in the style of our usual sessions but a rehearsed read-through with a set cast.

The play is set in the home of Wendy and Rob, whose plans for a Caribbean cruise to celebrate their silver wedding anniversary have been thwarted by the restrictions of lockdown. Attempts to re-create the atmosphere of the Caribbean at home are falling somewhat flat, despite Wendy's best efforts, but then things take a turn for the worse when Marcus and Portia arrive, suitcases in hand, expecting to stay for the weekend. It seems that Rob has forgotten to cancel his own plans to rent out their house through Airbnb. As Marcus and Portia seem reluctant to leave, it's up to the four of them to make the best of a bad job...

If you'd like to "audition" for this presentation, there'll be further details in the next newsletter, but you'll need to be able to commit to three or four evening rehearsals, again via Zoom, probably after the Christmas break. Please watch out for further news on this and Claire's other ventures - it seems there's no stopping her!

The write stuff

If you fancy following in Claire's footsteps, by the way, the Institute of Continuing Education in Cambridge is currently offering an online course called "Finding your voice as a playwright", part of the University of Cambridge’s Micro Master’s programme in writing for performance and for the entertainment industries. It's an instructor-led course lasting four weeks and requiring about 8-10 hours effort a week and, unless you want your work assessing and accrediting, it's completely free of charge, though you'll only be able to access the material during those four weeks unless you're paying. (Note that it's being run on the EdX platform, so some sections don’t work on mobile devices.)

The course aims to look at how to find your own distinctive dramatic voice as a playwright, how to choose themes that will resonate with audiences, how to create powerful characters and structure a scene, and how to connect with new forms of theatrical outlet such as social media

Claire comments, "I think that this is a really useful asset for actors, directors and writers. Give it a chance, as not every module of the whole programme will appeal, but there'll always be something to consider."

The course actually started last week but you can still enrol at if you're quick!


Our next meeting is on Wednesday 11 November; 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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