To all members of WBDS; after a year which I’m sure everyone has found completely stressful in so many ways and which many are longing to forget;Christmas Greetings and best wishes for the coming year from myself and your committee!
During the year we, together with yourselves, the members, have made great and highly enjoyable efforts to keep the spirit of drama alive; sadly we have had to postpone some physical performances; we really do mean “postpone” and I am sure you are all looking forward as much as I am to seeing these realised in the future (more of this later); we hope to return to The Studio Theatre in July 2021 with a week of one-act plays, directed by Margarita Papadopoulou and Roxana Ciurean.
The calendar year started off with Pyramus and Thisbe directed by Barbara Seymour which seemed to have a cast of thousands including live music and dance (the band can be hired by the way); this was extremely well received by all and I look forward to further forays into Shakespeare.
We experimented with costumed read-throughs as we got to grips with the possibilities and problems associated with the Zoom format, including Blythe Spirit by Noel Coward and Gaslight by Patrick Hamilton. Tim Farrow obliged with several of his fiendish quizzes (look out for the new year one on 12 January) and workshops were hosted by, amongst others, Mark Buckley.
Chris Robinson then directed a varied group through 8 episodes of Douglas Adams’ Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy including green screen backgrounds and quick costume changes. Hilarious, and I understand there may be another 8 episodes down the back of someone’s sofa.
The highlight of the calendar year (in my opinion) has to be the use of Zoom and YouTube not only as the medium but as the theme of Ali Bakewell’s rewrite of Pirandello’s Six Characters in Search of an Author; the cast and crew had a ball, the NANDA crit was very favourable and I understand there may be offshoots on our YouTube channel and website, developing the characters further.
The last event in the year’s calendar was Jerome Foley’s panto, Robin Hood which everyone involved enjoyed as much as when we had the freedom to choose our own costumes from the store; it has to come back next year as a physical event.
Finally, as noted earlier, I will try and give a flavour of what we plan to do next year, all things being equal; we are discussing with Anna Hodkin and Mark Buckley the possibility of doing some radio plays, hopefully in late January and late April/early May. No doubt there will be read throughs and auditions via Zoom; this will also probably be the medium for auditioning Music for Amelia (Margarita) and Close to Croydon (Roxana).
Tony Vokes is anxious to cast and rehearse Veronica’s Room (Ira Levin) which is provisionally down for the September/October slot and Anna Hodkin will be directing Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None which we hope to perform in early December.
As always the committee will be working hard to put on interesting club night events; if you have any ideas for a club night theme or if there is a play or other production you would like to see performed, please do ring, email or otherwise contact any of the committee members.
Wishing you a merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year.
20th Dec 2020