Latest news from CADS

February 2023 newsletter

(February 26, 2023)

In our last newsletter we mentioned that we were planning to enter a one-act play into this year's Welwyn Drama Festival. Well, that's still the case, but in the event we were unable to cast the one we had intended to submit so we've had a change of tack and we'll now be presenting a comedy by our old friend (and drama festival favourite) Nick Warburton. It's called Don't Blame It On the Boots and takes place during rehearsals for - and subsequently the opening night of -  Hamlet. Liz, the wardrobe mistress, has a pair of boots worn by her late father at Stratford and wants her fiance Eric, who's playing the ghost of Hamlet's father, to wear them for the show. Eric is less than keen and, besides, has his eye on the young and impressionable female actor playing Ophelia. Trying to keep the production on an even keel and to avoid everyone falling out is their director, the ever harassed Kate who, on reflection, would rather have produced Macbeth. On the opening night, the boots do make an appearance but under mysterious circumstances...
The full cast consists of:
Ophelia - Lucy Talbot
Eric - Rupert Jordan
Kate - Alison Bass
Liz - Donika Jordan
Stage crew (non-speaking roles) - Jo Buggey, Darren Dunford, Patrick Key

We're particularly pleased that three of the cast are completely new to CADS and it looks like being a very strong line-up. Rehearsals start soon and the festival itself runs from 22 to 27 May at the Barn Theatre in Welwyn Garden City (though we don't as yet know which night CADS will be performing). There'll be more news on progress in future newsletters.

Another year rolls around

It's the time of year when we traditionally hold our Annual General Meeting - your chance to ask questions, make suggestions or comments, vote in the committee, or just come and listen to us spouting on about the previous twelve months. Oh, and you generally get a cup of tea or coffee, too! This year's AGM will take place at 7.30 on Wednesday 12 April and for a change we've decided to hold it in The Old Schoolhouse on Market Hill, Royston. Some of you will know that this building -  which was, indeed, at one time the town school - is now owned by the Trinity Life Church and has been lovingly converted to include two excellent meeting rooms, a kitchen and other facilities. It seemed an ideal location for the meeting, being slap bang in the centre of town.

Just to remind you - anyone is welcome to attend the AGM but if anything gets put to a vote (including the appointment of committee members), then only fully paid-up members of CADS are eligible to vote. Nonetheless, we'd be delighted to see you there whether or not you're a member and everyone's voice will get a chance to be heard, so if you have any thoughts on the present or future of the group, do please join us...
And the winners are...

If you haven't seen the news (and we realise that not everybody gets The Crow), we have now presented both of our annual drama awards "for outstanding contribution to the performing arts" The 2023 Fred Sillence Award for over-eighteens went to the indefatigable Peter Heppelthwaite of Limitless Academy both for all the amazing and inspiring work the Academy has done during its first five years and for Peter's own "seemingly boundless exuberance, commitment and sheer hard work".

The 2023 Lizzie Houghton Award for under-eighteens was given to Oliver Eather in recognition of, among other things, "his commitment  reliability and willingness to take part since he was very young".

Huge congratulations to both parties!

Fresh faces

Our appeal for new committee members in the last newsletter seems to have borne fruit and we are really pleased to be welcoming to the committee (or back to the committee in two instances) Brenda Cottis, Zoe Nesteriuc (nee Reader) and Darren Dunford. We've already had one meeting and the larger committee seems to be working brilliantly!

Tall tales

It's been some while now since we had people trained in the use of the tallescope - the complex extending tower structure that we use to rig lighting among other things - and most of those who were trained then are due a refresher. Training  is given by an external company and is essential to the group, as we need to be sure that everyone who uses the equipment understands how it works and how to use it safely. We'd like to arrange something, ideally on a Saturday in May or June, and we need a minimum of four people to sign up for this. If you've been involved with the stage crew recently, or would like to be in future, you should probably sign up for this now. Please contact [email protected] in the first instance, preferably before the end of this month.

Evening, all!

Speaking of matters technical, we're currently organising our next few evening meetings (these are free and open to anyone and are unconnected with any particular show). One that we'd like to put on in the near future is an evening looking at the backstage aspects of production, explaining the various roles - stage manager, deputy stage manager and so on - and perhaps giving some technical tips for anyone who'd like to take on some of this work in future productions. As yet we don't have a date for this but it could well be soon after the Welwyn festival (see above). If you'd be interested, by all means let us know by e-mailing [email protected] so that we can assess how much interest there is in such a workshop. 

Return of the merch

We're offering once again a range of CADS branded t-shirts and hoodies and now is the time to place your order. Based on an initial quote from our vendor, prices will be around £11 for a black t-shirt (large logo on back) or £24 for a black hoodie (small breast logo on front, large logo on back)

If you'd like to take advantage of this offer, or if you have further questions, please e-mail Zoe Nesteriuc ([email protected]) with your required quantity and sizes (products are unisex and range from S to 4XL). The deadline for submitting your order is 24 March. The following week we'll place our order with the vendor and confirm with you the price to be paid.

We don’t make these offers often so make sure you don’t miss out!


Our next meeting, as mentioned above, is the AGM on 12 April 2023 at The Old Schoolhouse on Market Hill, Royston; 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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