Latest news from CADS

August 2023 newsletter

(August 12, 2023)

Stand by your Boots
As you may know (because we've been crowing about it for long enough), our production of Nick Warburton's comedy Don't Blame it on the Boots won third prize overall at this year's Welwyn Drama Festival! It was also nominated for direction and stage presentation and for the adjudicator's special award for an outstanding moment. We're now bringing it to a Royston audience - as our contribution to this year's Arts Festival in September, we're staging three repeat performances of the show, together with screenings of the short film Seven Movies by local author Roy Maddox, which was our multiple award winning entry at the virtual Welwyn Drama Festival back in May 2021.

In "Boots", the audience gatecrashes on rehearsals for, and subsequent performances of, Shakespeare’s Hamlet by an amateur drama groupEric has been cast as the ghost of Hamlet’s father; his fiancée Liz, who happens to be in charge of costumes for the show, would like him to wear the boots her late father wore at Stratford-upon-Avon when he played the same role. Eric isn’t keen, largely because the boots are the wrong size, but he’s also a bit distracted by the young (and very keen) female actor playing Ophelia. Trying to keep the peace (and wishing she’d produced Macbeth instead) is the increasingly harassed director, Kate. In the end, the boots do make an appearance but in mysterious circumstances… 
Two years ago, during lockdown, the Welwyn Drama Festival decided to get round the problem of groups not being able to perform live by staging a “virtual” festival. Groups were invited to submit filmed pieces which were then shown and judged online. Local author Roy Maddox decided to rise to the challenge: “CADS needed something that could be filmed without any of the cast actually meeting because of the COVID restrictions. I came up with the idea of a play that could be filmed using Zoom, and the result was a little piece called Seven Movies.” Roy’s play features seven neighbours who decide to form a film club, with a different member each month choosing a movie for them all to watch. Everyone then gets together on Zoom, ostensibly to discuss the film but in practice to discuss almost anything else that occurs to them. In the process, prejudices are revealed, gossip exchanged and secrets discovered. Roy says, “In the event, the play clearly struck a chord with the audience and also did rather well in the competition.” Indeed, Kathy Young won a performance award, Michael Young a director’s award (as well as being nominated for a performance award) and the group received a special award from the adjudicator for one outstanding scene.

CADS will be performing Boots live on stage as the first half of the evening and then screening Seven Movies after the interval. The shows begin at 7.30 on Thursday 28, Friday 29 and Saturday 30 September at King James Academy Royston, Senior Site, and seating will be unallocated with cabaret-style tables and chairs (so get there early for the best seats!).Tickets will be £8 each and will be available very soon either via a link on the website or via the CADS Box Office on 07856 599039

Strangers on the air

Michael Young and Martin Maynard have now, with the invaluable assistance of Joe and Emma Daintrey, finished recording and editing Stephen Wyatt's Strangers on a Film, adapted by Roy Maddox, and it has finally been submitted to Royston Radio. (The play won second prize at the Cambridge Drama Festival in 2021; Martin won the award for best performance and Michael was nominated for best supporting role at the same festival.) At the time of writing we have no idea when it will be broadcast, but we'll be sure let you know through the usual channels.

In case you don't know, Royston Radio is an internet-based local station based at the Coombes Community Centre in Burns Road. There are already a couple of CADS connections - Emma Shaw and Pete Eather (and occasionally Oliver) have a regular Saturday show called "Em and Pete's Mixed Beats" and Carl Filby, whom most of you will know through the Royston Arts Festival, presents a folk music programme on Sunday evenings. You can hear the station online at or you might prefer to download the app by searching for "Royston Radio" in your app store.

We're hoping that the CADS contribution will be the first of several radio plays the group will record. We'll bring you more news when we've firmed up our plans but it's likely that we'll need to hold auditions and/or read-through sessions for at least some of these, so watch this space!
Oh,yes, it is! (Probably!)

We are happy to report that it's looking more likely that there will now be a town pantomime in January! Following our recent advertising campaign, we now have a possible director prepared to take this on. We can't say a lot more at this stage as discussions are still taking place but we hope, by the time the next newsletter goes out, we should be able to announce both the director and the choice of script, plus details of auditions. (If it does go ahead, these are likely to take place early in October.) Needless to say, we're absolutely delighted that what has become a regular and popular feature of the Royston calendar looks as though it has been saved for another year!

It's murder out there

Our friend and fellow member Nicky Paton has asked CADS to consider performing a murder mystery evening at the Museum (of which Nicky is Manager). This is still very much in the ideas stage at the moment and, if it goes ahead, it might well coincide with pantomime rehearsals. Having said that, we realise that not everyone connected with CADS gets involved in the panto, so it could still be a possibility. No decision has yet been made on whether we would create something tailored to the museum or try to find a ready-made "script", but if anyone out there thinks they might be interested in taking part, we'd love to hear from you, at least in principle. You can contact us in the usual way at [email protected]. More news when plans gets more clearly defined...


Our next meeting is on 6 September 2023; 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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