Latest news from CADS

January 2023 newsletter

(January 18, 2023)

Time to raise the curtain 
Only a matter of days now before the opening show of our 2023 pantomime Sleeping Beauty, directed by David Atkins with musical direction by Louise Atkins. To say that tickets have been selling well would be an understatement - indeed, both Saturday matinees and the last Saturday evening show are now completely sold out! There are still a few tickets left for the Saturday 21 January evening, the Sunday 22 January matinee and the Friday 27 January evening show but even these are getting scarcer by the day.

If you haven't yet booked, there's just about still time to do so, either online via our booking partners Positickets or over the phone using our Box Office hotline on 07856 599039 (though note that this is not necessarily staffed around the clock so you may need to leave a message and a number and someone will get back to you as soon as possible).

A stake in our next production

And even before the panto gets under way, we're working on our next show, albeit a slightly smaller scale production than Sleeping Beauty! This is intended to be the CADS entry into this year's Welwyn Drama Festival, which takes place between 22 and 27 May at the Barn Theatre.  Michael Young has unearthed another of Bruce Kane's "Justin Thyme" one-acters (we performed the last one, with some success, at the Cambridge Drama Festival a whopping fifteen years ago!) that he's planning to direct. The play is The Case of the Count Formerly Known as Dracula - we had hoped to organise a reading of it before holding auditions, but the need to submit our entry to Welwyn at around the same time as the pantomime has meant that we just had to go straight into the auditions, which will take place from 7.00 p.m. on Monday 6 February in the Drama Studio at King James Academy Royston (Senior Site).

For those who don't know, Justin Thyme is a hard-boiled 1940s-style private eye (think Humphrey Bogart as Philip Marlow) who specialises in investigating fictional cases. In Thyme/Dracula (as it seems sensible to call it for reasons of space, not to mention speed), he's summoned to Transylvania to look into the sudden and mysterious disappearance of large numbers of young maidens. The usual suspects in the case include a chorus of vampire women, the sinister Renfield, Igor the barman and, of course, the eponymous count.
The full list of characters is shown below, with some notes about age ranges and so on. 
Justin Thyme - see above; could be any age from 20s to 40s
Dracula - typical dapper Hammer Horror character; undead so, again, could be any age
Effie - Thyme's voluptuous and sarcastic secretary; youngish
Stagehand - grumpy and probably middle-aged; non-speaking role - could be male or female
Van Helsing - Transylvanian professor; probably middle-aged - could double as Renfield
Igor - hunchbacked barman; any age from 20s to 50s
Molly - young and beautiful (and, occasionally, a vampire)
Renfield - Dracula's sinister henchman - could double as Van Helsing
Martha - leader of Dracula's harem of the undead
The Girls - chorus of four undead young vampire chicks (only two spoken lines) 
Thyme's Little Voice - dresses and talks like Thyme - written as male, but might be funnier if female
Nurse Shapely - the name says it all, really (only two spoken lines)
Our auditions are open to absolutely anyone, whether or not you've been involved with CADS before. You don't need to prepare anything in advance - just turn up on the night and we'll get you to read through a few pages of the script. Further news about the show will be announced via thisnewsletter, on the website and on social media through our Facebook page. Meanwhile, you can contact us at any time via our Contact page or by e-mailing [email protected]
Mystery win

Usually, at this time of year, CADS presents two drama awards for outstanding contributions to the performing arts in the area - the Fred Sillence Award for over-eighteens and the Lizzie Houghton Award for under-eighteens. This year, sadly, we have received no nominations for the latter, but we have selected a worthy winner for the Fred Sillence Award. However, as the person in question hasn't yet been informed, we're hoping to announce it slightly later than usual, both on this website and in The Crow. Watch both spaces!
Come and join us!

Recent events have meant that the current CADS committee is now down to six people - manageable but not ideal. Having more people on the committee inevitably broadens the range of experience available to the group as well as improving the quality of discussion and decision making. If you've been enthused by this year's pantomime, or inspired by another of our (admittedly few in number) recent shows and feel you could contribute to the committee in some way, we'd love to hear from you. We meet roughly every five or six weeks in someone's house and sessions usually last about an hour to an hour and a half, depending on what's happening in the group. Subjects under discussion could be the current production, future plans, resources, publicising the group or any one of a number of other topics. Why not share your thoughts and ideas with us? Contact [email protected] if you think you'd like to give it a try.


Our next meeting is on 21 February 2023, so if there's anything you'd like us to consider or discuss then, please feel free to contact any of us at any time via the Contact page of this website!

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