Chairmans February Newsletter

debraPantomime

Well, what a busy new year we have had already!  Panto was a HUGE success, virtually sold out every performance, and great feedback from the audience.  We can’t ask for more than that.  Peter thank you for doing such a grand job (And set was outstanding as always).  It has been a phenomenal success in anyone’s eyes.
 
CONGRATULATIONS to each and every person who was involved in any way – we are very grateful to you all. We had Boydens erect advertising boards around the village, and this was a great success.  Free advertising for us, and it certainly was an eye catching way of getting out name out there.  Hopefully we will  do the same again for Spring. If you had a board for panto, but dont want another, please let me know, and I will remove your address.  Otherwise it will be on the list!
We had a fantastic panto run, from first rehearsal to final performance.  There was a real feeling of camaraderie backstage.  It was one of the happiest groups of people that I can remember, and we all enjoyed ourselves backstage, onstage and frontstage!  Speaking to other members of the cast, we all had a lovely time, and although we must always make sure we keep the coffers looking healthy, we mustnt lose sight of the fact that this is our chosen leisure activity, and it MUST be enjoyable – otherwise there is no point!
What was different this year you may ask?…..well, we now have some new, younger FAMILIES involved!  Yes, we are getting back to how it used to be.  Not just the youngsters coming along to be in panto and then disappearing for another year, but now we have the whole family joining in.  Our past chorus returned…with Millie, Isobel, Jack, Nathan, Finlay and Alana being joined by Abby and Daniel.
Chrissie Kettle and her daughter Nancy made a huge difference by  using their experienced choreography skills in the chorus numbers and ensuring those big ensembles had a much more professionally arranged look.
Alana’s dad Colm stepped out from backstage and became our big ugly giant (thats a compliment!!). He also oversaw the sound effects, and helped wherever he could throughout the run.
Lorraine, who originally brought son Nathan and friend Jack to be in our chorus, (some three years ago) is now happily involved onstage. She has taken on the role of our resident ‘panto cow/camel’ This year Lorraine was the front-end of our fantastic
Daisy the cow! Lorraine’s partner Nick got roped in on the technical side and operated the lighting.  All of them keen to return. They are very pro-active at every rehearsal, happy to make teas, clean up, put chairs away etc, and have become an integral part of the ’team’ now. Lorraine also made some beautiful thank you cards for me to give out to the crew.
New to the chorus this year was Daniel – who’s mum Vicky stepped in at the very end to be our Props lady.  Again, she got on with the job, really threw herself into the spirit of the group, and did an absolutely stirling job -she was ACE! Not only that, they are both  eager to return! Husband Steve also got roped in to help with the bar one night! Great news!
Another new chorus member was Leandra, and her elder sister Caitlin, (who did  makeup for us).  Mum Tracey then got involved, agreeing to be the back end of ‘Daisy (this was a relief to Finlay, who this year was able to join the young chorus and get out from under the animal skin!)   Dad Brett then got hauled in to help Phil  backstage, and proved himself to be another invaluable member of this very fledgling team!
Isobel’s dad appeared at a couple of rehearsals to help with some technical problems, and of course the other mum’s all helped backstage.
Abby was our new Principal boy, and WOW did she prove her worth.  Her and Izzie worked so well together, they were a delight to watch. We have a great group of youngsters now, and we must nurture them to ensure they get the best possible experience with our group.
Nicole helped out with costumes for our last play, but this was her first ‘go’ at panto. She was amazing.  She would turn up to show nights early to ‘iron’ costumes!  What a star.  We cannot thank her enough.
I must also mention our wonderful musicians, Karen and Darcy, who are just the icing on the cake.
We had a fabulous after show party, I can’t remember the hall being so full after a production – and the following day we had so many helpers it was marvellous.  We were all finished by 11.30!
Im very excited for the future  as we continue to work towards increasing out membership and hopefully appealing to more families and young actors. It is imperative to the ongoing success of the group that we retain these young actors and keep the families involved.

Christmas dinner

This was postponed from beginning of January to 20th Feb.  We had a lovely crowd of 21 members  attend.  It was a great evening at the Treble Tile, food,wine and conversation all flowed beautifully and it was a nice chance to all catch up after the hectic panto season.

Spring production

 
Chrissie Kettle is directing our Spring production, she has chosen ‘Funny Money’ by Ray Cooney. The dates of production are slightly later :  26/27/28th May 2016.
 Her great cast is:
Peter, Frank, Colin, Mike, Jenny and newbies – Sally Parkinson and Gary Huggins.
We are still in need of the following:
Refreshments – Bar, teas and coffees are a staple for our audience, please put your name in the hat if you can make any of the dates.
Other jobs we always need filling……
  • Prompt
  • Props
  • Lighting
  • Sound
Please contact Stage Manager Phil or Chrissie Kettle if you can help!
Roger would really appreciate anyone who would be able to help building the set, painting etc – Please contact Roger direct if you are willing to help at all.

Other business…

The committee are currently working on a few projects.:
  • Revamping the website.
  • Improving/adding to our lighting system.
  • Repairing/renewing the stage.
  • Devising a programme (possibly not until 2017) specifically aimed at our young actors.
  • Membership drive to attract new faces.
  • Bringing back the ‘Orpen’ T-shirts/sweatshirts.
I would just like to thank the committee, they work incredibly hard all year round to ensure this group stays afloat and relevant – you may not always see the fruits of their labour, but I can tell you they work hard and are a fantastic support to me.
Please support the group in any way you can. Don’t forget – you are always welcome to pop along to a rehearsal.  Just check first that we have the hall, as sometimes we have to give way to gardeners etc!!
That’s all for now folks! Here’s to a happy Spring!
Debra
Chairman

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