Latest news from CADS

May 2021 newsletter

(May 10, 2021)

It's a wrap! 
It's finally here! We've finished recording and editing our innovative online drama Seven Movies, specially written for CADS by local author Roy Maddox, and have sent off the resulting film to the organisers of this year's Welwyn Drama Festival. It features some familiar faces as well as a couple of actors new to CADS, and we've even added some original incidental music, written for us by one of the cast. Full details can be found on the Current production page.

The festival, which is completely online this year for obvious reasons, runs from Monday 17 to Saturday 22 May, with two or three different groups represented each night. The CADS production is being broadcast on Wednesday 19 May at 7.30 p.m. and we really hope you'll find the time to watch it (as well as other shows in the festival, of course). You'll need to buy a ticket for each evening's broadcast - they're £4 each and you can book via the Welwyn Drama Festival website, where you'll find the full programme and links to the box office.

Each night's "show" will end with an adjudication by professional adjudicator Walker Ewart, who will also sum up the festival on Saturday night and award nominal prizes - six for performance. four for technical achievement, and two "I didn't expect that!" awards. Whether or not CADS comes home with one of the coveted rubber duck awards is secondary to the fact that we've been able after such a long delay to put together an actual production. Let's hope it wont be long before we can do so on a real stage with a live audience! Speaking of which...

Maddox and Englishmen

The currently prolific Roy Maddox (Seven Movies) has recently submitted to CADS another one-act play for consideration. This one is entitled The Blonde Bombshell and was inspired by a college dissertation written by local artist Rachel Haynes, no stranger to CADS in past years. It tells the fictionalised story of the conflict between celebrated British designer Abram (Abe) Games and a group of MPs during World War Two. Commissioned to design a new recruitment poster for the ATS, Games chose as his model a young office girl who happened to wander into his studio at the War Office. The resulting poster was loved by the public (who nicknamed it "The Blonde Bombshell") and led to thousands of young women joining the service, but a number of mostly Conservative politicians took exception to it, claiming that it showed the wrong image of women in the forces, and the poster was eventually withdrawn. Roy's play tells the story from the point of view of the model, in scenes that alternate between the past and the present, and shows that some of the issues raised are still the subject of discussion today.

We'd very much like to perform the piece at this year's Royston Arts Festival (assuming it takes place). It would form half of a double bill with Strangers on a Film; this, you may recall, was the play adapted by Roy Maddox that should have premiered at last year's festivals but which had in the end to be shelved (though see below). To that end, were holding an online read-through of the play on Monday 7 June at 8.00 p.m. At the time of writing, we don't have a director for the play, so if you fancy coming along to see whether you might be interested, either in auditioning or in taking on the direction, or just to see what the piece is all about, please do. There's absolutely no commitment at this stage.

As is usual with our online events, though, if you'd like to take part, we'll need your e-mail address so that we can send you the necessary link and password. Please contact [email protected],com or use our Contact page....

Strangers revived

As the Cambridge Festival of Drama has recently signalled its intention to resume in 2021 (16 to 18 September), we're hoping this will mean that, at long last, we can present on a real live stage our postponed world premier of Stephen Wyatt's Strangers on a Film, adapted from a radio play by local author Roy Maddox. In case you're a new subscriber to this newsletter, the piece imagines a series of meetings between film director Alfred Hitchcock and novelist Raymond Chandler, whom Hitch approached in 1950 to write a screenplay for his next movie Strangers on a Train. Discussions aren't helped by the fact that the two men have diametrically opposing views on how the thing should be done, and the meetings themselves become more and more acrimonious.

The play is basically a two-hander - Martin Maynard plays Hitchcock and Michael Young is Chandler - but also features a silent chorus of extras, and combines dialogue and mime with film clips, animations, and direct addresses to the audience. We'd like also to stage the play as part of a double bill at this year's Royston Arts Festival - see above. Watch out for further news of both these events when we have some more definite information about whether they are proceeding.

New blood

Well, we did manage to hold an AGM this year, thanks to the wonders of Zoom. Two of last year's committee have decided for various reasons to stand down this year, but we are delighted to welcome Martin Maynard to the committee and look forward to his contributions to our deliberations in 2021/22. That said, we would still welcome anyone else who feels they'd like to help us to steer the group forward into what we hope will be a post-pandemic future. It's not too onerous a task - most of the actual work of the committee is done by the officers (Chair, Secretary and Treasurer) - but we depend on and value the input of our other members in helping us decide what we should (and occasionally shouldn't) be doing. If you're interested, please contact us either via our Contact page or by e-mailing [email protected]

Evening meetings

We're still continuing, despite lockdown, with our programme of evening meetings, currently being held online via Zoom. These take place at roughly six-weekly intervals and each will be hosted by a different person. Next in the pipeline are:

  • Monday 7 June 8.00 p.m. - play reading: "The Blonde Bombshell" by Roy Maddox, hosted by Michael Young [see above]
  • July [tba] - play reading: "Absent Friends" by Alan Ayckbourn, hosted by Brenda Cottis

To book for either of these meetings - and they're completely FREE - we'll need your e-mail address so that we can send you the necessary link and password. Please contact [email protected] or use our Contact page....

Committee

Our next meeting is on 24 June 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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