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Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen's Guild Dramatic Society Murder Mystery

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By arrangement with Samuel French Ltd


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The Greater Manchester Drama Federation (GMDF) is recognised as one of the leading associations representing amateur theatre in the North West of England. The GMDF's affiliated network alone makes it one of the largest regional organisations of its type and it's Full Length Festival, is probably the largest drama festival to be held in Europe. Entries into this Festival are adjudicated by four adjudicators throughout the season and their awards across various categories of drama are announced at our prestigious Awards Evening during the summer. We also hold a long established, annual, high quality, week long, One Act Play Festival which, next year, will be held at CHADS Theatre, Mellor Road, Cheadle Hulme. SK8 5AU. Details are on our website.  To provide a central organisation through which the membership can take co-operative and concerted action in all matters which concern non-professional theatre.  To involve and encourage at all times, in every facet of the theatre, the youth drama movement in the Greater Manchester area .  To promote 'live theatre' to the general public in, thus providing a cultural activity of acknowledged value in this modern era of increased leisure time . NATIONAL OPERATIC and DRAMATIC ASSOCIATION Serving Amateur Theatre since 1899 Inspiring theatre Our vision is that amateur theatre is successful and sustainable, providing a range of opportunities for people to develop their skills and enjoy taking part, at all levels. Mission We are here to support the education and information needs of individuals and organisations with high quality services and products that contribute to the success of amateur theatre, as well as encouraging appreciation of the sector by participants and audiences alike. We aim to: • Help amateur societies and individuals achieve the highest standards of best practice and performance • Give a shared voice to the amateur theatre sector. • Provide leadership and advice to enable the amateur theatre sector to tackle the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century. www.noda.org.uk


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Chairman’s address Good evening and welcome to another evening of theatrical performance from Woodford Players. Since we last entertained you I am delighted to tell you that Woodford Players won four prestigious awards at the NODA North West Area 1 awards night in January this year. We won the award for Best Staging for our production of "The Titfield Thunderbolt". For our last production "Gaslight" we won three awards, we won the award for Best Drama, Catherine Eaton won Best Actress for her portrayal of Bella Manningham and David Wilkinson won the award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Rough, the detective. Tonight we take you to the Farndale Avenue housing estate where the ladies of the Townswomen's Guild have formed an amateur dramatic group. They are, somewhat ineptly, staging a murder mystery play. To say that they put the ham into Am-Dram would be putting it mildly. So please sit back and enjoy the hilarious and chaotic antics of the ladies (and one gentleman ) of Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen’s Guild Dramatic Society. And remember, we are always on the lookout for new members both backstage and on stage, so if you are interested, please contact any one of us or send us an email via our website, I can guarantee that you will be most welcome, I look forward to seeing you. Best Wishes Derek Snowdon Chairman www.woodfordplayers.co.uk John, Catherine, Sheryl and David with their NODA awards


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JTW-387-71726-Cheshire_NE-210x297-AUTUMN-from15-14oct15-PRINT.pdf 1 12/10/2015 10:56


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Stunning new homes in Woodford How very Redrow Images typical of Redrow homes. Details correct at time of going to press. Open Mon, 12am - 5.30pm Tues to Sun, 10am - 5.30pm Call: 0161 825 8756 Visit: redrow.co.uk/woodford WOODFORD GARDEN VILLAGE Chester Road, Woodford, Cheshire SK7 1QP 4 & 5 bedroom homes available from: £466,995 Woodford Garden Village is an innovative new development in the heart of Cheshire. Based at the historic former aerodrome at Woodford, the development lies in close proximity to Wilmslow, Poynton and Bramhall and within commuting distance of Manchester. 28113 Woodford Waterfront Mag 300 x 230 wc100417.indd 1 12/04/2017 10:54


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Director’s Notes the way home! Best wishes Sue Mooney Good evening everyone. This will be the second time in 15 years that I have directed this play. This type of play is becoming very popular in the world of professional theatre and has certainly stood the test of time. We hope you enjoy the fun and frolics of the Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen’s Guild Dramatic Society’s production of a Murder Mystery. Nothing is what it seems in the world of Farndale. Things can, do and will go wrong so sit back and be prepared to laugh all The Farndale plays. Murder at Checkmate Manor is one of ten plays written in the Farndale series by David Mcgillivray and Walter Zerlin Jnr. They focus on the disastrous efforts of the ladies (and the occasional man) of the Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen’s Guild Dramatic Society to put on productions including works by Shaksepeare, Dickens and Gilbert and Sullivan. In real life Zerlin was a barrister in the West Midlands. During this time he defended John Cleese over a parking offence and the actor later recommended him to help Marlon Brando in a court scene for the film A Dry White Season. Born in Guilford the son of a refugee he was called to the bar in 1974 and a year later he went on to form “Entertainment Machine” and created the Farndale characters together with David Mcgillivray whose background is in the film industry as a script writer and actor. He has also written scrips for Julian Clary. The Townswomen’s Guild is a British women’s organisation. There are approximately 30,000 members in 706 branches and 77 Federations throughout England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Isle of Wight. The movement was formed in 1929 at the instigation of Margery Corbett Ashby and Eva Hubback, when women first won the right to vote with the aim of educating women about good citizenship. Since then, T.G. has lobbied on national and local issues. Townswomen are encouraged to have ideas and views, develop new skills, campaign on various issues, support each other, make new friends and have fun. The Townswomen’s Guild produces “Townswomen” a magazine published quarterly and delivered directly to its members. The nearest guild in this area is in Poynton which meets in the Poynton Civic Centre on the 3rd Thursday of each month at 10:00. For more information checkout their Facebook page.


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550 Chester Road, Woodford, Stockport. SK7 1PS If you haven’t visited this pub, put it on your “to do” list because you are in for a treat. This pub has been in the Hallworth family for 85 years with the current landlady at the helm for the last 26 years and when her son takes over it will be the 5th generation of Hallworths in the Thief’s Neck—A considerable achievement indeed. A warm welcome awaits you at The Davenport Arms (The Thief’s Neck). The Hallworth family, are the longest serving family of any pub in Robinsons’ 330-strong estate, have been pulling pints at the Davenport for more than 80 years. Relax in this lovely pub and enjoy a pint of perfectly kept beer or choose from a large selection of fine wines. An extensive traditional food menu as well as a selection of delicious grazing boards will leave you spoiled for choice. Scrummy, locally sourced food and a great atmosphere always provides customers with the perfect setting for a cosy festive season celebration. Early booking is always advised as this popular pub gets booked up very quickly. A traditional, family run, country pub offering high quality food, drinks and perfectly kept Robinson’s beers. 30 consecutive years in The Good Beer Guide 0161 439 2435


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Farndale Avenue Townswomen’s Guild Dramatic Society Murder Mystery — Synopsis of Scenes . Act 1 The Drawing Room at Checkmate Manor. It is a Winter’s evening There will be a 20 minute interval between acts 1 and 2 during which the bar will be open and tea, coffee and biscuits will be available for a donation Act 2 Later on the same evening The President’s Jottings Tonight's show reminds me of our earlier Farndale presentation of "Macbeth" given in November 1996 to celebrate the Players 100th production which was directed by Derek Blunt. We had tremendous fun and laughter at the rehearsals, Dorothy Bayman played the redoubtable Mrs. Reece. The set was a complete shambles in the true Farndale tradition with the 31 sound cues and 54 lighting cues mixed up, reversed and occasionally forgotten. Pat Helicon did her best to choreograph the three hopeless witches (one of whom was yours truly) in the dance "Old Black Magic". Our long noses kept falling off and Norma Redwood who played witch number 3 was jet -propelled around the stage in a wheel chair. The Guild's accompanist "Gwyneth Williams" alias Malcolm Braddock dressed up for the occasion and could often be seen in the interval bar awaiting "her " favourite tipple of sherry to help keep "her" fortified on the piano stool during the performance. We trust that you, the audience, will not need fortifying and that you will enjoy this hilarious murder mystery at "Checkmate Manor". Thank you for your continued support and patronage. Best wishes Heather Braddock. Woodford Community Players gratefully acknowledges the vital support of the following: Christ Church Woodford for rehearsal facilities Mark Wilkinson for help erecting the raked seating All our advertisers, please lend them your support and those who have assisted with our publicity.


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Farndale Avenue Townswomen’s Guild Murder Mystery Cast Barbara Harris - Mrs Reece This is the first time that I have acted on the Woodford stage and am very pleased to have been invited to perform in this very funny play. I am reprising the role of Mrs Phoebe Reece who is the Chairwoman of Farndale Housing Estate Townswomen's Guild, having performed it 15 years ago in 2002 under the same director, Mrs Sue Mooney. Catherine Eaton - Thelma Greenwood Catherine has performed in a number of plays with Woodford, and is still flushed with success from winning the NODA best actress award for her performance as Bella Manningham in ‘Gaslight’. Catherine says that Farndale has been an absolute laugh a minute from the read through onwards and it has been wonderful to work with old friends and new on this bizarre and hilarious romp. Monica Wickham - Audrey Monica's love of all things theatrical began with Shakespeare at school and her local theatre. This is her third appearance for Woodford, her favourite part so far being Rachel in Alan Ayckbourn's Seasons Greetings. She would like to thank Sue Mooney and all the cast and crew, for making rehearsals such fun, providing lots of laughs! Will she get into the right costume at the right time! Carol Ackers - Felicity Carstairs Carol has trodden the boards for Woodford Players on many occasions playing a wide variety of roles both large and small. Her most recent performances have been Annie Clark in Calendar Girls, for which she won the NODA North West Award for Best Actress in a Drama, and Vera in Stepping Out. She would like to thank her fellow cast members for being a pleasure to work with and most importantly our Director who has had the patience of Job. When not appearing on stage Carol is our Social Secretary. David Carlile - Gordon Pugh Gordon here. Hope thee well. Stage manager and set builder. Well chief shouter really. Can't hold a hammer for toffee, let alone nails, and putting screws in always confuses me as to which way the wood should rotate. Therefore I learnt the art of dramatic delegation. Before set designing I tried to direct a few things ‘ere at Farndale: Season's Greetings, Quartet and a few one act plays, but Mrs Reece is reet particular about content so no swearin' or nudity. I tried the old actin' malarkey in Titfield Thunderbolt and Stepping Out but find the dialogue gets in way of the plot. Years ago I tried me best in our version of Macbeth but the damned spot would not go out. So enjoy tonight and my paintin' strokes on fireplace. Red hot this production'll be -mark my words.


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Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen’s Guild Dramatic Society Murder Mystery Cast Mrs Phoebe Reece Barbara Harris Thelma Greenwood Felicity Carstairs Audrey Mainwaring Gordon Pugh Catherine Eaton Carol Ackers Monica Wickham David Carlile Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen’s Guild Dramatic Society Proudly presents ~ Murder at Checkmate Manor Mrs Reece playing Felicity playing Audrey playing Thelma playing Gordon the stage manager playing Clarissa Rook (Lady Bishop's sister), Regine (The French Maid) Patricia (Lady Bishop's Niece), Letitia Bishop (her sister), Mr Goodbody (a Solicitor) Pawn (a butler), Colonel King (Lady Bishop's Brother-in-Law) Lady Doreen Bishop (a Widow), Violet Bishop (her Spinster Aunt), Mrs King (the Colonel's wife), Joan Bishop (Lady Bishop's Cousin) Daphne Bishop (Lady Bishop's Daughter)Rose Bishop (her Spinster Aunt) Inspector O’Reilly Producion Team Director Technical Director and Lighting Design Sue Mooney Wilson Young Stage Manager Tom Dawson Assistant Stage Managers Derek Snowdon and Derek Manton Continuity Set Design Tracey Hepburn Sue Mooney Set Construction Team and Stage Crew Derek Snowdon, Tom Dawson, Derek Manton, Wilson Young, James Cawley Sound Engineer Graham Scurfield Properties John Lomax, Carolyn Manton , Pat Snowdon Wardrobe The Cast, Jude Craig, Janet Mullen, Nikki Lees Programme and Publicity Tom Dawson and Jude Craig Photography Derek Manton and Angela Rezzano Front of House Team Graham Ackers assisted by Society members Refreshments Teresa Dawson and The Farndale Ladies


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Tickets for our plays can be booked at www.woodfordplayers.ticketsource.co.uk or telephone 0333 666 3366



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