Newsletter – November 2014

‘2 Laughs & A Bite’

Thanks to Cherine Hill for directing, to Mike & Hazel Cawte for organising and stage management both ‘Immobile’ and ‘Last Panto in Little Grimley’ and to Tony Hill for assembling and operating a challenging set of sound & lighting cues in ‘Immobile’. It turned out to be a very successful pair of evenings in the Woodmead Hall, with some good food during the interval. It seems to be a popular format for a show, and we may repeat the formula – perhaps in Spring 2015.  It also made a small profit. Continue reading

Newsletter – August 2014

As you may know, we had to cancel the spring production this year, due to casting difficulties, and we are playing a large part in the forthcoming production of ‘Oh! What a Lovely War’, directed by Jenny Wiles in November. (Of which more on a later newsletter).

A number in the Society were keen to produce something before this, and we are delighted to put on a summer evening’s entertainment, consisting of two short and very amusing plays, with an inclusive supper in between! Our evening is called ‘Two Laughs & A Bite’ It consists of two short plays:  Firstly ‘Immobiles’ by Michael Frayn, followed by ‘Last Panto in Little Grimley’ by David Tristram. Both are directed by Cherine Hill, with sound effects by Tony Hill.

The first, set in the peaceful time of no mobile phones, concerns the confusions, chaos and misunderstandings created by four people trying to meet each other whilst talking on numerous coin-box telephones through a single, non-digital answering machine from varying locations around London. Michael Frayn is a master of this playwriting craft. The cast is Linda Crawford, Pam Ladd, Jim Pettifer and Fred Humphrey.

The second is a play closer to home (!) and is about the efforts of a small Amateur Dramatic Society, in financial straits, attempting to put on a Pantomime, as a last effort to survive. The director in the play has written a saucy twist to the usual plot, to entice the audience. The cast is Anne King, Hazel Cawte, Dave Ballinger and Mike Whatmore. Both short plays are very funny and not to be missed.

In between the plays will be served a two-course meal which consists of:

  • A slow- cooked Beef Goulash served in scooped out sourdough bread dish
  • followed by a Lemon Drizzle Cake
  • A vegetarian version will be available to those requiring it, please specify this when ordering tickets.

Tickets are £12.50, which includes the meal.

They are generally unreserved, but you can book and make up a table (of up to eight). Woodmead Halls have a well-stocked bar for the purchase of drinks. The show runs for TWO nights only, Friday 29th and Saturday 30th August, and is at the WOODMEAD HALL (not the Theatre). Although it could not be at our beloved Marine Theatre, we do have the advantage of easier parking at Woodmead!

Tickets are available to members (with a reduction of £1 per member) from Jacky Hedley-Tuffs (23 Fairfield Park, DT7 3DS; 01297 445932; ) from next Monday 4th August, for ONE week only , and then from 11th August at the TIC (01297 442138).
There is space for only about 12 tables, so get your tickets early!  It should be a fun evening for all.

On a sadder note, our more senior members will be sorry to hear of the passing of Irene Booth, friend & supporter of Jean Heppenstall, and of Jean Booth, a past director of plays with the Society.

Fred Humphrey

Most Recent Production – A Christmas Carol

Theatre review by local author, Tracey West

Fred Humphrey as Scrooge

Fred Humphrey as Scrooge

I had the unique opportunity recently to embrace the Lyme Regis Dramatic Society’s production of A Christmas Carol,from all sides.

As chaperone to one of the young members of the cast, I observed a few rehearsals in an empty, echoey, gracefully ageing Marine Theatre. I also had a front seat for the inaugural performance and assisted with assorted costume and tress-tweaking duties backstage for the subsequent four shows.

Cherine Hill exercised a firm and focused grip on the director’s role and the weighty associated responsibilities that come with encouraging a twenty-five strong cast to pull together as a team, almost a third of whom are still at school; unenviable really.

Steve Knight as Bob Cratchit

Steve Knight as Bob Cratchit

So, what of the main characters then? Well, Fred Humphries and Steve Knight served up entirely believable visions of the Dickensian characters Scrooge and Bob Cratchit.

Firstly Fred; he hit the mark on so many levels, his diminutive stance, gentlemanly disposition and long grey hair complimenting perfect casting and his ability to breathe new life into a character we all know and love to hate. In my backstage guise, I had the clandestine pleasure of watching him get off stage and growl like an injured wolf at onlookers, as he kept a tight hold on his character and repositioned himself on the other side of the stage.

Chris Knight as Marley

Chris Knight as Marley

Steve’s portrayal of Bob had a fatherly air of strength, calm and confidence that he exuded backstage as well, interacting often with the youngest members of the cast and keeping their spirits buoyant and giggly. The connection clearly paid dividends in several of his family scenes, most especially in Act II during spousal dialogue with his wife (Hazel Cawte) reflecting upon the death of their son, Tiny Tim. As he recounts his visit to the cemetery, Steve induced tears from the audience and himself with his gently commanding and powerful execution of those emotionally charged lines.

Click here to read the rest of this review.

A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol was another challenging production for Lyme Drama. Not only did the group have to incorporate music and singing in one of their productions but they also had to contend with nearly 30 people moving around the cramped Marine Theatre stage. Everyone involved hopes their audiences enjoyed the performances and wish them a Happy Christmas.

absolutely terrific. You’re all a great credit to this town
Margaret Rose

We would love to hear what you thought of the play.

Please leave your comments on the performance below.

October Newsletter

‘A Christmas Carol’, by Charles Dickens, dramatised by Michael Snelgrove:

Under Director Cherine Hill, assisted by Richard Stirk, rehearsals are well under way, and with a large cast, imaginative music and some promised special effects, it looks like it’s going to be a production to remember! Players, with many of them playing more than one character, include Andy Penman as Marley’s ghost, Anne King & Chris Knight respectively as the ghosts of Christmas Past and Present, Steve Knight as Bob Cratchit, with Hazel Cawte as his wife; plus Jerry Smith as nephew Fred, Richard Stirk as Fezziwig, with Linda Crawford as his wife; Nicky Hinton as Fred’s wife, Nicky Sweetland as Belle; Sylvia Lee and Pete Ward respectively as a resourceful charlady and ‘old Joe’. Pam Ladd & Karen Hull play charitable ladies, and Fred Humphrey (casting to type, I’m told!) plays Scrooge. We are also delighted to welcome new member Simon West as Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come, and some younger actors, playing Dickens’ array of colourful children. They include Abby Smith, Benedict, Mary-Marguerite & Philomena Brogan-Harrison, and Eleanor & Sebastien Robson-Ellis.

The production runs from Wednesday 4th December, to Saturday 7th December, at 7.30 p.m. We are also staging a matinee performance on Saturday 7th at 2.30 p.m. which we hope will attract many children as well as those who don’t like going out in the evening.

As usual Margaret Faragher will kindly be handling ticket sales for members, which will be available for Society members from 2nd to 9th November ONLY. A form is included below. After this date, tickets will be on sale at the TIC. Normal prices are £10.00 (for first 5 rows) and £9.00 for the rest of the auditorium, with under 16’s at £5. Group bookings of 8 or more attract 1 free seat for each 8 purchased.

Christmas Dinner: We had an excellent and convivial meal at The Millside, Lyme Regis last year, so this year we have booked the same venue on Wednesday December 11th. I list below the probable Christmas Menu (it may change a little). Please can you indicate how many places you would like, to me by December 1st at the latest, either by email, or by phone on 01297 445207. We will contact those who are interested, so you don’t have to make your menu choices yet.

Directors: If you have ever fancied directing a production, or know of someone who might, we are always looking! It can be a challenging but very satisfying job, seeing one’s efforts and imagination being brought to the stage. Please let me or one of the committee know.

Website: Mike Cawte and Simon West are close to launching the Lyme Regis Dramatic Society website – on where it will include much about the society, our history (now over 62 years!), the theatre, and the productions.

Spring 2014: Dates for diary: Our spring 2014 production dates will be 9th-12th April 2014. (It’s the first week of the Easter holidays). Watch this space!

Fred Humphrey

New Website

At long last after 63 years of treading the boards, the Lyme Regis Dramatic Society has a website. Here you will see all the latest news about our productions, find out how to join the society and read about our past performances.

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