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Barford Drama Group – Annual Report 2016/17

Things have gone a little more smoothly this year. We have only put on two productions during the last twelve months, as the 2016 AGM was just after the pantomime. So the first production of BDG’s year was the summer play in June, which was “Day of Reckoning” directed by Jan. This was a beautifully written play by Pam Valentine with lots of humour, but pathos too, and some wonderful characters. It was very much enjoyed by the audiences and the cast.

The second production was “Not The Music Hall” which Wendy produced in November. The new format of a shorter show and only one weekend seems to be working well. It is certainly much better for the cast, and the tickets all sold within 48 hours so we must be doing something right! It also raised another £2500 for the new Youth and Community Centre.

In May, Pauline reached the grand old age of 90 and she had a party in the village hall to celebrate. Her son, Graeme, asked BDG to do a short Music Hall style entertainment, so a few of us put together a 45 minute selection of songs, poems and sketches for the occasion.

We held two social events in the hall, both involving members bringing food and drink to share and the showing of a DVD. At the first in July we watched the DVD of an old Drama Group production of “See How They Run”. This provided for lots of laughter and a great fun evening. Several friends and former members of the group who had been involved in the production were able to come and join us too.

In September we saw a DVD of a professional production of “Flint Street Nativity”. The programme committee had read the play with the idea that it might be a possible alternative to the Music Hall one year. However, having watched it performed by professionals it was clear that it was far too complicated for BDG.

We didn’t have an Annual Dinner in 2016, but hopefully later this evening we can sort something out for next month.

Our arrangements for meetings have changed over the last year. There have been three “Post-Production Meetings”, held here in the hall in April, June and December, but as quite a number of members had missed the regular monthly meetings in members’ houses, there have also been four of these “Social Meetings” in May, August, October and January. In Jan’s absence these have been chaired by David.

The problems with storage that we’ve had over recent years seem to have been resolved very satisfactorily. All the costumes and props have been at Di Hadley’s for a year now, and the arrangement has been working well, thanks in great part to Carole’s excellent organisational skills. We are very grateful to Di. She has refused any payment but has been happy to be offered free tickets to all our productions.

Looking to the future “Plays and Platters” is coming up in only two and a half weeks, with two very different plays. For “Syrinx” by Kate Mosse we welcome Ann back to the director’s chair, and for “Alternative Accommodation” Joy is directing for the first time with BDG. Tickets are going very quickly so if you haven’t got yours yet see Barbara tonight!

After that “Cider with Rosie” is planned for July. It has a large cast with lots of small parts, so it is an ideal opportunity to get more people involved. A recruitment drive is planned and so hopefully soon we will have some more members, perhaps even some younger ones, to swell this somewhat aging band that is Barford Drama Group.

Jane Scott

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