Latest news from CADS

January 2022 newsletter

(January 25, 2022)

Bombs away!
Despite the disappointment everyone feels over the recent cancellation of the 2022 pantomime, we're not sitting back and licking our wounds but are already looking forward to our next venture. This will be a production of the one-act play The Blonde Bombshell by local author Roy Maddox, which we're hoping to enter into this year's Welwyn Drama Festival in May.

During World War II, the War Office employed an official war poster artist. He was Abram (Abe) Games, later to become recognised as one of the country's leading poster artists. Commissioned to design a recruitment poster for the ATS, Games chose as his model a young woman who happened to wander into his studio. The resulting poster was an instant hit with the public (who nicknamed it "The Blonde Bombshell") and led to thousands of young women joining the services, but concerns were expressed in Parliament about the image it portrayed of women in the forces. The play tells its story from the viewpoint of the young model and explores attitudes then and now to images of women.

Bombshell is being directed jointly by Michael Young and (in a directorial debut) Martin Maynard, part of the team that brought you the award-winning Strangers on a Film last year. (And, speaking of Martin and awards, see below!)

Auditions for the play will be held at 7.30 p.m. on Wednesday 23 February in the Drama Studio at King James Academy Royston. The roles up for grabs are as follows (in order of appearance, with a rough guide to age ranges):

Becky - female, thirty-something
Jess - female, slightly younger
Corin - female, mid to late seventies
Abram ("Abe") Games (as a young man) - male, mid to late twenties
Doreen - female, nineteen (Corin as a young woman)
Ronald Tritton - male, thirties
Fred - male, early to mid twenties
Dobson - male, any age (NB: has one line only)
Thelma Cazalet-Kerr - female, forties
Abram ("Abe") Games (in later life) - male, late seventies to early eighties
Auctioneer - either sex, any age

Auditions are open to absolutely anyone, whether or not you've acted with us before, and you don't need to prepare anything - just turn up and we'll get you to read a few pages from the play. However, if you'd like to see a copy of the script beforehand, please e-mail [email protected]

Winner, wnner...

We're delighted to announce the winners of our two annual drama awards for 2022. The Fred Sillence Award, given for "outstanding contribution to the performing arts", goes this year to Martin Maynard. The citation reads, "Martin has brought a breath of fresh air to the group since he joined us in 2018. On stage he has given brilliant performances in comedies such as Ghost Writer, straight dramas such as Flare Path, and pantomime, where he was a memorable dame in Robinson Crusoe and the Pirates. He also contributed to several online shows during lockdown including the award-winning Seven Movies and most recently gave a bravura performance as Alfred Hitchcock in Strangers on a Film, which won him - and rightly so - the Best Performer award at the 2021 Cambridge Festival of Drama. He has become a valuable member of CADS off stage as well, joining the committee in 2020 and conducting a fascinating workshop on the Meisner technique, which he hopes to follow up with a series of workshops on duologue during 2022. Professional, controlled, versatile and always a joy to watch, he richly deserves this award."

The Lizzie Houghton Award, given for "outstanding contribution to youth drama" is presented to Sam Durrant. His citation reads, "Sam has been a junior member of CADS for several years. Although he can be quiet at times he has a wicked sense of humour, and a great work ethic. During the past few months Sam made a significant contribution to CADS pantomime Snow White. He came to the auditions and was happy to be cast in the chorus and also as one half of the Camel. He was then unfazed, when asked at reasonably short notice, to take on a main character role which involved attending more rehearsals than he had anticipated. Sam was one of the only junior members to turn up to both set build weekends and willingly undertook challenging tasks involving some tricky carpentry, being instrumental in building key pieces of scenery. He also, unasked, put himself forward to create sound effects for the show which he did brilliantly. Sam has shown outstanding commitment to CADS this year, which is why he is the well deserved winner of this award."

Our warmest congratulations to both winners.


Yes, it's approaching that time of year again when we hold our Annual General Meeting. This is your opportunity to ask questions, make suggestions and express opinions, as well as to vote in the new committee. (Remember that you're only eligible to vote if you're a paid-up member.) One major change to the committee this year is the decision by our current Chair, Emma Daintrey, not to stand for re-election; our other members have all indicated their willingness to stand again. However, we could also, like all voluntary groups, do with some fresh faces on the committee and would encourage you all to at least think about putting yourselves forward - the committee generally meets once a month and meetings begin at 7.30 or 8.00 in someone's home. If we don't spend too much time chatting (or drinking tea), they're normally over by about 9.00.

Most of the actual work of the committee gets done by the officers (Chair, Secretary, Treasurer) but we do rely on our "ordinary" members for their insight and their opinions on what we're doing, what we plan to do, and even what we should be doing instead! If you can spare an hour every month or so, do please let us know that you're interested.

The AGM itself will take place at 7.30 p.m. on Wednesday 6 April at the Coombes Community Centre, Burns Road. No need to book for this - just turn up on the night. We'd love to see you there...

Evening meetings

What with pantomime and other activities taking up most of our attention recently, we have no definite plans as yet for further evening meetings, but we're hoping at some point this Spring or early in the Summer to bring you - among other delights - a reading of local author Claire Hogan's one-act comedy The Staycation, a series of workshops led by Martin Maynard on duologues, and an evening of "coarse acting" led by Michael Young. Keep an eye on the website or check future editions of this newsletter for more details.

Meetings are hosted by a different person each time, and take place usually at the Coombes Community Centre in Royston between 7.30 p.m. and  9.00 p.m. unless otherwise stated. For the immediate future, we'll be making provision for anyone to join them via Zoom if they prefer to do so. There's no need to book for any of our meetings if you're attending in person - just turn up on the night - and they're completely FREE! If you're lucky, we might even manage to provide some refreshments...


Our next meeting is on 9 February 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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