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Barford Drama Group – Annual Report 2012/13

Our first production of the year was a pantomime written by Jane called “Alice in Blunderland” which was performed in March. This was fun to do and involved plenty of audience participation especially in the croquet game, ( if anyone has any ideas for what we could do with a large number of beach balls polite suggestions would be welcomed) and Terry’s white rabbit costume will, I’m sure, make many more appearances in the future. There were no royalties to pay or scripts to buy so the pantomime made a good profit and we were able to donate £250 each to the Acorns Children’s Hospice and Zoe’s Place, the hospice for babies.

The June production was, I believe, the group’s first venture into the world of Shakespeare. Wendy produced a shortened version of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”. The hall was completely transformed into woods and fairy bowers and then a banqueting hall, and the audience found itself right there in the midst of the action even enjoying the wedding supper. Every available entrance to the hall was in use with cast members running around outside from one door to the next. Any passers-by must have been very confused by the succession of strangely-clad people chasing around the hall.

There was an ACT Festival in June but we didn’t take part this time as we had no one-act play on the go. A few of us did go to see it though.

The production of “The Glass Menagerie” that was planned for September had to be postponed, so there was no BDG play then. However several of our members took part in a production of “Lark Rise” which was performed at the Spa Centre in September.

In November there was another very successful Music Hall. This was our thirtieth, and to the handful of us who have been involved in all of them, it felt like it too. Wendy produced the show again and again it was a sell-out.

This year we had sadly said good-bye to Paul Hunt and Duncan Currie, so the money raised was divided between Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research in memory of Paul and the Air Ambulance in memory of Duncan £2400 being sent to each charity.

On the social front we held the Annual Drama Group Dinner at the Granville in March. Unfortunately, although it was an enjoyable evening, the food was rather disappointing.

In August there was a social evening in the hall for members past and present and a showing on the big screen of DVDs of BDG’s productions of “Lark Rise” and “Candleford” from over 20 years ago. Although the quality of the recordings was obviously not up to today’s standards, it was great to watch them again, particularly to see the performances of members who are no longer with us. With every one bringing a plate of food to share and a few drinks it made for a very pleasant evening.

In September we went to Snitterfield for our annual Skittles Evening. This is always great fun, and as usual we had a splendid supper too.

This year we held two of our monthly meetings in April and October at the Joseph Arch, enjoying large amounts of sandwiches and chips after the business. For some reason we seem to get more members to meetings there. Perhaps we should do it more often.

During the past year our stock of costumes has been on the move quite a lot. In February it became necessary to remove them all from Roy Nelmes’ where they had been stored. They were moved to the Scotts’ spare bedroom as a temporary measure. In April they were on their travels again this time to the village hall, where a good sort through resulted in some large plastic boxes containing useful costumes and accessories and several bags for Oxfam. The boxes remained in the way in the backroom until finally in August Garth cleared what was the second toilet room and they are now neatly stored on shelves in their own little store room.

There has been some movement on staging too. The old flats that had en stored for years in the scout hut garage went on the school bonfire. The big boxes were always being moved about because if they were not in use they were in the way, but now we have at last purchased some new staging that is light and versatile, easily erected and easily stored and the old boxes can be scrapped. This should make things a lot easier for all concerned, and who knows what exciting possibilities there will be for future productions using the new staging?

On the subject of future productions “The Glass Menagerie” is only a couple of weeks away. This is Alycia’s first time as a director with BDG. It’s a challenging play and will be well worth seeing. Tickets are already selling well.

Looking further ahead, in July Jan will be producing “Calendar Girls” which promises to be very popular. Let’s hope for a warmer summer than last year!

First of all, though, we have our Annual Dinner on Friday here in the hall. Bev has always done us proud when she has catered for us so I’m sure it will be a great night to start off the new year.

Jane Scott

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