Newsletter Archives – May 2007

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Well, those of us who saw Will in his briefs in Relatively Speaking thought that nothing could surprise us any more, but Stewart Woodward’s excellent Habeas Corpus proved us wrong!  Congrats go to all concerned for keeping a straight face whilst being confronted (if that is the word) with Robert’s leopard-skin apparel and particularly to youngsters Laura and Martin for a lovely job in their first adult Bovingdon production (or should that be “Adult”?).  The audience clearly enjoyed this wonderful farce, and the company did a great job of trouser-swapping and groping.  Well done too to Jan for making those amazing, er, appliances, and the crew for ensuring there were no real hangings!

Amazingly Iain and Lionel managed to find the energy after Habeas to cast two further productions, so we now have the programme for the rest of the year well on its way.

The Mystery of Talbot Manor, Saturday 2nd June

Iain King is now directing would-be suspects in preparation for this murder mystery.  His “dodgy” cast is as follows:

Cringe - Birju Thakker

Harriet Ffinch - Jane Kendall

Lawrence Wetherby - John Oglesby

Ruby - Nikki Clough

Frau Schmidt - Anna Murkowski

Marcus Talbot - Jeff Prestedge

Liberty Talbot - Patricia Choffel

Thaddeus Kent - Scott Billing

As you can see, we have a couple of new faces, so please support the team by coming along on Saturday 2nd June with your picnic supper from 7:30pm (8pm curtain up, but please arrive in good time to settle yourselves in), to help solve the mystery.  Please bring your own food and drink and there will be two intervals when you can discuss the clues and your questions to the suspects over your dinner.

Tickets are £8 and £6 concessions, available from Janet Aylward on 01442 832061.   You can book as many or as few tickets as you like, but tables will be arranged for parties of 6-8 so if you want to book a full table, please let Janet know.

 The team will also be performing for the St Paul’s PTA on Friday 18th May, so if you can’t make the Bovingdon date, contact Imogen Roberts (01923 265973) for details of tickets to that performance – food will be provided at the PTA event.

Autumn production – King Lear

Two auditions were held for our venture into Shakespearean tragedy, and director Lionel Elton was delighted to be able to cast nearly all the main parts before disappearing to Provence to recover.  Some small walk-ons are still available, and the odd character with a few words, so do get in touch if you would like to get involved, now that there is no danger that you will be asked to smear yourself with mud on stage, or lose an eye.  Cast at time of writing is as follows:


King Lear

Stewart Woodward


Liz Lewis


Sally Bull


Patricia Choffel

Duke of Kent

Robert Peacock

Duke of Gloucester

Jeff Prestedge


Adam Briffett


John Mower


Andy Royle


Penny Coombs

Duke of Cornwall

John Downs

Duke of Albany


King of France


Various servants, gentlemen and knights -


Nicky Woodward has bravely agreed to take on the role of producer so if you are interested in being involved in any other capacity please let her know. 

We will bring you more info on the progress of the production as rehearsals get under way.  A first cast read-through will be held on 9th May, when the sheer enormity of it all will no doubt hit us!

A plea from the Treasurer

If you are claiming any expenses from the Players, eg. for the last production, please let Tony know as soon as possible, so he can make up the accounts for the AGM.   Thank you!

Ten pin bowling, Friday 22nd June

Thanks to everyone who signed up for the bowling which is now fixed for 22nd June, at Watford Hollywood Bowl.  Start time probably around 7pm.  If you would like to join us, it’s not too late – please drop me (Penny) an E-mail or call me on 01442 874530 by the end of May.  Depending on numbers we may get a party booking or just a couple of lanes, and in either case we will probably munch something inbetween games.  Once we know exactly who is coming we can figure out a game-plan.  Each game costs £4 for adults or £3 for children – yes, bring your mini-bowlers along too

2007 AGM, Wednesday 4th July, St Lawrence Church office

In recognition of the date, we will have a fish and chip theme to this year’s AGM (isn’t it about time we fought back against the Americanisation of all our holidays?).  We haven’t quite worked out how this will all come together, but we will probably ask everyone to bring their food along and provide some drinks to wash it down.  More details nearer the time (no need to tell us you’re coming, as we won’t get your food for you!), but please mark this in the diary for now. 

The AGM will be held in a new and exciting venue, namely the St Lawrence Church Office which is “just off Bovy High Street next to Longmeadow surgery”, says our illustrious secretary.  Kick-off at 8pm.

We have a vibrant calendar planned for the next 2 years (see next item), so come along to hear all about it, pay your subs and volunteer to come on the committee. 

The play programme 2008/9

Yes, you did read that right.   Two thousand and NINE!  We are very lucky to have several volunteer directors, all with very respectable pedigrees, so the main problem facing us is how best to fit in all the ideas.  It’s not a simple matter of scheduling a show every three or four months, as we have to ensure we have the right cast and crew and the time to make all the production arrangements.  At the AGM we hope to put a plan to the members for discussion. 

The  Committee is keen to involve as many people as possible in productions and the AGM is your chance to join in the great “Three Productions a Year” debate, around putting on at least two full-length shows as well as a Festival entry.  “Can we get an audience in July?”; “would anyone be around to rehearse during school holidays?”; “can we increase the backstage support to build three sets?”; “should we do a Christmas production?” are the sorts of questions we will be thrashing out, so come and have your say.  If you have ever complained about not having your chance on stage because you couldn’t get a part in a small or specialised cast, now is your chance!

Barber Shop evening, Saturday 23rd June

“Chiltern Harmony”, a ladies’ barber shop ensemble featuring our own Sarah Hooker, singing washerwoman extraordinaire, are presenting an evening of song and dance at The Watersmeet in Rickmansworth.   More than Words also features the Lindy Circle Performance Group.  Tickets are £10/£8 concessions and are available by calling 07976 685335.   Several Players are already going along, so why not join us?

Chipperfield Theatre Group, 4th, 5th and 7th July

Stepping Out by Richard Harris

Many Chipperfielders have supported our recent productions, and a certain amount of actor-lending has been going on between us, so please do look out for the publicity for their summer production, Stepping Out and try and go along.  (I can guarantee the show is entirely free of my dancing on this occasion.)

Pygmalion, Westminster Players, 6th-9th June

Finally, an unashamed uxorial plug for this popular play which Robert Peacock is appearing in “in town”.  Robert has promised to remain fully clad as Henry Higgins in this production by the Home Office’s very own drama group (which has not yet been declared to be unfit for purpose, although we’re not sure Mr Reid has found out about it yet). 

The very fringe-y theatre this is playing in is under Waterloo station (yes, really), so if you fancy a trip to the Smoke, Robert or I will be happy to provide details.  Evening performances are at 7:30pm, and the Saturday performance is a matinée only.