Latest news from CADS

June 2021 newsletter

(June 30, 2021)

Strangers in Cambridge

The 52nd Cambridge Festival of Drama is currently scheduled to go ahead at its new venue - the ADC Theatre in Park Street, Cambridge - and this year runs from Thursday 16 September to Saturday 18 September with a number of one-act plays being performed by local groups in front of a professional adjudicator over the course of the three days. Evening performances on all days start at 7.45 and there is an afternoon session on the Saturday at 2.30.

CADS planned last year to enter Stephen Wyatt's Strangers on a Film as adapted by Roy Maddox (regular readers will remember that it's the one about Alfred Hitchcock's meetings with Raymond Chandler), but obviously the festival didn't go ahead in 2020, so it seemed a logical step to re-submit it for 2021, which is what we've done. We've actually been given the opening slot on Thursday 16 September so we hope many of you will come along to support us then. We'll be circulating more details, including how to buy tickets, nearer the time.

However, in the year and a bit since we started rehearsing the piece, we've sadly lost three of the non-speaking "extras" who add variety and texture to what is otherwise essentially a two-hander. The "extras" appear as delivery people, domestic staff, cinemagoers and other characters and also get to do a couple of bits of mildly silly miming as they act out some of Hitchcock's ideas for his next film. If you'd like to join this happy band, please contact director Michael Young or use our Contact page - we'd love to hear from you. Apart from the performance date, relevant dates so far pencilled in for rehearsals will include Monday 6 and Thursday 9 September (and possibly a couple of earlier ones to be announced), plus a technical and dress rehearsal with full set, costumes, lighting, sound and so on on Saturday 11 September. We're hoping these three rehearsals will all take place at King James Academy Royston (KJAR) but at the time of writing this has still to be confirmed.

And, as well as performing the play at Cambridge...

Bombs away?

... we'd like to give our local audiences the chance to see it at this year's Royston Arts Festival, which is also going ahead (subject to any further restrictions) in a slightly reduced form between Friday 24 and Sunday 26 September. We'd be looking to perform the play on the evenings of  Friday 24 and Saturday 25 September in a double bill. either with a cabaret-style "second half", or (our preferred option) another one-act play.

The "other" play is likely to be an original Roy Maddox piece called The Blonde Bombshell, which we read through recently at one of our monthly meetings. At the time of writing, we haven't yet a definite commitment from a director, though this is being considered, and thus we also don't yet have a cast but the chances are that we shall be announcing full details fairly soon.

It's never too early to express an interest in helping out, though, either backstage, or front of house, or with costumes and/or make-up. Any production is very much a team effort (as well as great fun!), so we're always grateful for volunteers. If you'd like to get involved, please contact us through the website or by e-mailing [email protected]...

Evening meetings

For the past fifteen or so months, our roughly six-weekly evening meetings have been taking place via Zoom, but at last we're cautiously optimistic that we can plan for them now to take place "live"! As in previous years, each will be hosted by a different person, and they'll take place at the Coombes Community Centre in Royston, usually between 7.00 or 7.30 p.m. and 9.00 or 9.30 p.m. unless otherwise stated. For the first few meetings, however, we shall be making provision for people still to join in via Zoom if they're not comfortable with attending a live event.

The first of these live meetings for 2021 is:

  • Wednesday 28 July - play reading: "Absent Friends" by Alan Ayckbourn, hosted by Brenda Cottis

There's no need to book for any of our meetings - just turn up on the night (unless you want to join us online, in which case we need your e-mail address, please - contact [email protected] before the date) .And they're completely FREE! If you're lucky, we might even manage to provide some refreshments (though that might be tricky if you're joining us online!)

Techie stuff

Joe Daintrey of CADS has been busy for the past few months drawing up a set of guidelines for anyone involved on the technical side of the group, These guidelines cover a range of tasks from the design and construction of sets to lighting, sound and the use of props and are intended both to identify areas of risk and to stipulate who should be responsible for such tasks in order to comply with health and safety guidance. The document, which is likely to be modified from time to time as circumstances and technology change, has now been made available in the Backstage area of the CADS website (contact [email protected] if you don't yet have access to this) and, once we get back to doing some real live productions, it will be mandatory for anyone carrying out any of the tasks listed to have read and understood it. 


Our next meeting is on 5 August 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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