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Barford Drama Group – Annual Report 2013/14

Our first production of the year in March was “The Glass Menagerie” by Tennessee Williams, which had been postponed from the previous September. Alycia directed – her first time here in Barford – and although her methods were not quite what the group had been used to, she certainly knew how to get what she wanted from the small cast. The result was a highly acclaimed, very professional production. It also made good use of the new staging which was transformed into an excellent fire escape.

The summer production in July was “Calendar Girls” by Tim Firth, which wad directed by Jan. The play had been released for amateur production just for a year ( although this was extended to 18 months) so groups all over the country were performing it amidst a great deal of hype! Here in Barford it broke records. First – the hall was packed for the auditions. It has a big cast, 10 women and 4 men, but competition was fierce and, although it’s good to have plenty of people to audition, inevitably there were quite a few who didn’t get parts. The second record was the speed with which the tickets sold, most of them gone in the first hour and a half of selling. It made a record sales day for the village shop too, with nearly £1500’s worth of ticket money going through the till in one day!

The play was great fun for the cast, and although there was initially a bit of reticence about the stripping scene, inhibitions were soon cast off along with the clothes. It seemed to be enjoyed by the audiences too, some of them getting rather over-heated, but whether that was a result of the heat wave or what was going on the stage I’m not sure .
An extra performance was done for members of local W.I.s which went well. We couldn’t charge them as we had no licence for that night, but they all gave donations which went to Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research, the charity being supported by the play nationally.

Overall the play was a great success, and raised a lot of money for BDG and for the charity.

The Music Hall in November was produced for the first time by Lorraine, with some help from Wendy and Alycia. Lorraine was very organised and efficient and we’re hoping she will take on the job again for 2014. Everyone enjoyed good food and a good show and, although we didn’t sell out on the first night this year, the Music Hall still made a profit of £5000, Age UK and the Air Ambulance each receiving £2500.

Just yesterday we completed the production of a pantomime, “Goldilocks 2” by yours truly. It was great fun for me and the cast seemed to enjoy themselves, though whether for quite the right reasons I’m not sure. I’m certainly getting a bit worried about Terry! The audiences entered into the panto spirit with gusto, and with no royalties to pay and very few other expenses, the production should have made a bit of money to swell our somewhat depleted coffers.

Apart from our own productions, several BDG members took part in a recording of “Barford at War” for the Heritage Group’s presentation in April.

We also held 2 readings, just for fun, in March and September.

On the social front, the Annual Dinner was held in March in the hall with Bev doing the catering. The food was excellent and the entertainment was great fun. A thoroughly enjoyable evening. We are looking forward to the next one in a few week’s time.

The Skittles Evening at Snitterfield took place in September. There was a different person doing the catering this time, and though the food was fine there was less of it than we’ve had previously and it was more expensive. However it was a good evening.

A DVD Social Evening had been planned for September but had to be cancelled due to lack of numbers.

Wendy organised several theatre trips during the year, 3 to Malvern Theatre to see “Pitmen Painters” in March, “Woman in Black” in May and “39 Steps” in June, and a visit to the Belgrade to see “The Mousetrap” in November. A group also went to the Spa Centre in October to see Terry in “Carousel”

Storage has become something of an issue over the last month or two with Bet’s imminent move to Alveston Leys. Fortunately we have a temporary solution and much of the furniture, props and costumes which have been stored in Bet’s house and garage will very soon be in Hazel Taylor’s garage in Wasperton Lane.

Looking ahead our next production planned for June is “Entertaining Angels” by Richard Everett, which Jan is directing.

And to finish on a really happy note…..

In January we welcomed little Miles Timmis, who is, I believe, the first baby to be born to parents who are both current members of the Drama Group. Congratulations Alycia and Mark!

Jane Scott

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