A Bunch of Amateurs

 

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Show programme for A Bunch of Amateurs performed by Woodford Players Nov 2017

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Greater Manchester Drama Federation 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, this year, will be held at TheTheatre Royal, Smithy Street, Ramsbottom BL0 9AT. Details are on our website. GMDF aims include: • 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 . www.gmdf.org 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 entertainment from Woodford Players. I am delighted to tell you that Woodford Players won prestigious awards for “Best Director” and “Best Staging” for our production of The Lady in the Van, at the NODA North West area one’ awards evening in January, I am sure that many of you will have enjoyed this play. This evening we are presenting for you A Bunch of Amateurs a hilarious comedy by Ian Hislop and Nick Newman. The play was originally set in rural Suffolk but the authors have very kindly given us permission to set the play locally and to change some of the place names as appropriate, they have also wished us luck with our production. As far as we know, this is the first time that this play has been performed locally but I am certain that it will not be the last! You will, I am sure recognise some of our actors, several of whom have been award winners and nominees for awards. For this play I am delighted to introduce Phillippa O’Shea and Katie Clayton, both of whom are making their debut on Woodford’s stage, I sincerely hope that this will be the first of many appearances by them on our stage. As ever, we are on the lookout for new members, both on and off stage, so if you have a yen for the theatre, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We are a friendly and welcoming bunch and as with any theatre, there are loads of areas in which you could be involved. For now though, please sit back and let us transport you to “A Stratford” and an evening with “The Bard”. Best Wishes Derek Snowdon Chairman www.woodfordplayers.co.uk We have open auditions on Tuesday 1st May 7.30pm for our November 2018 play Secondary Cause of Death by Peter Gordon. All details are on our website www.woodfordplayers.co.uk/auditions

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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.

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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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STOCKPORT OPERATIC SOCIETY This amateur production of “Me and My Girl” is presented by special arrangement with SAMUEL FRENCH LTD Music by NOEL GAY M OContributions to revisions by IKE CKRENT Book and Lyrics by L ARTHUR DOUGLAS FRUORSBEEaRnd SBoToEkPrHevEisNionFs RbyY The GMIERAMNLDY Lambeth Walk Mu sical 16TH TO 20TH OCTOBER 2018 THE PLAZA, STOCKPORT EVENINGS AT 7.15PM SAT MAT AT 2.15PM ALL TICKET ENQUIRIES: 0161 427 7121 WEBSITE: stockportoperaticsociety.co.uk

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The President’s Jottings The title of tonight’s production reminds me of the time over 50 years ago when the Players entered a One Act Play Festival. The name of the play escapes me but the venue was the Buxton Playhouse. Derek Blunt and I were in charge of props most of which we transported in Derek’s car. The Playhouse backstage folk were most helpful and one lady offered us an old hatstand to “help dress the set, dear”, she said. We dutifully placed the hatstand in a corner upstage thinking it looked quite well. However, when it came to the adjudication, we were criticised for having a hatstand on the set! Derek and I felt duly chastened but on reflection we were only “a bunch of amateurs”! Enjoy the show. Heather Braddock President About the Authors Ian Hislop is a writer and broadcaster and has been editor of Private Eye since 1986. He has been a columnist for The Listener and the Sunday Telegraph and T.V. critic The Spectator. As a scriptwriter with Nick Newman,his work includes five years on Spitting Image, Harry Enfield and Chums and My Dad’s the Prime Minister as well as the film and play A Bunch of Amateurs. He has written and presented many documentaries for TV and Radio , appeared frequently on Question Time and since 1990 has been Team Captain on BBC’s Have I Got News For You which has won many awards including the BAFTA for Best Comedy 2016. Nick Newman is an award winning cartoonist and writer. He has worked for Private Eye since 1981 and has been pocket cartoonist for The Sunday Times since 1989. His cartoons have appeared in many other publications including The Guardian,Punch and The Spectator. He was the The Cartoon Art Trust’s Pocket Cartoonist of the year in 1997,1998,2005 and 2016.He won the Sports Journalists’ Association’s Cartoonist of the Year in 2005,2007 and 2009. His script writing career with Ian Hislop began with Spitting Image and continued with Dawn French’s Murder Most Horrid and The Harry Enfield Show. Director’s Notes Amongst the plays I have directed or performed in at Woodford many have been stage adaptations of films, or plays that had been subsequently turned into films, The Titfield Thunderbolt, Gaslight, The Lady in the Van and now A Bunch of Amateurs. It is always interesting comparing the two genres and the way that the plays have to adapt to the constraints of a theatre and this was certainly true of TheTitfield Thunderbolt and Lady in the Van. For this play the film came first and I remember watching it a few years ago with Burt Reynolds as Jefferson Steel cast alongside a star-studded line-up which included Imelda Staunton, Derek Jacobi, Samantha Bond and others. Whilst I enjoyed the film I think the play adaptation is better - but then I would say that wouldn’t I? As always, I am extremely grateful for all the help and support provided by the hugely talented, not to mention patient, production team here at Woodford in bringing my ideas, be they reasonable or otherwise, to the stage. I hope you enjoy this very witty play and laugh as much as my cast and I have done during rehearsals. Thank you for your continued support. Best wishes John Lomax

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A Bunch of Amateurs Cast David Wilkinson - Jefferson Steel It was reported in the Hollywood Gazette that Jefferson Steel started his acting career on the stage – this was in fact “fake news”. Steel had been spotted, as an Extra, in the TV series The A Team. Groomed by Hollywood producer Albert Broccoli, Jefferson was jettisoned onto the ‘silver screen’; quickly moving from bit-parts to ‘star-status’. After his debut, in TV detective series Sledge Hammer, Steel became a household name as Jack Finality in the ‘Ultimate Finality’ block-buster franchise of action movies. Jefferson commented: “I am delighted, that the very modest, multiple ‘award-winning’ actor David Wilkinson has agreed to play my role” ...hhmmm! Carol Ackers - Dorothy Nettle Carol has trodden the boards with Woodford Players on many occasions most recently appearing as Felicity/Pawn the Butler and Colonel King in The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen’s Guild Dramatic Society Murder Mystery. Carol is looking forward to acting alongside friends old and new in A Bunch of Amateurs” Carol is also a member of Stockport Amateur Operatic Society and has recently had the pleasure of playing “Aunt Eller” in their very successful production of Oklahoma!, for which she received a NODA nomination as “Best Supporting Actress”.When not on stage with Woodford Players Carol is their Social Secretary. Lindsay Statham - Mary Plunkett Lindsey joined Woodford Players in 2006, she arrived at a get together/ audtion offering to help backstage and ended up with the lead part of Laura Warwick in The Unexpected Guest and the rest is history. Over the years Lindsey has played a variety of roles to name a few..... the Duchess of York in Crown Matrimonial, Mrs Frank in The Diary of Anne Frank and Chris in Calendar Girls. She is really looking forward to playing the marvellous (slightly crackers) character of Mary Plunkett in our production of A Bunch of Amateurs. Phillippa O’Shea - Lauren Bell Phillippa is very excited to be appearing in her first show with The Woodford Players. She has also appeared in in Dial M for Murder, The Last of the Red Hot Lovers and Calendar Girls at CHADS Theatre. She is a Drama teacher at a local secondary school. Bill Cross - Dennis Dobbins Bill has appeared on Woodford’s stage many time in various roles. He has also represented Woodford in the Greater Manchester Drama Federation’s One Act Play Festival where he played the hapless Bernard in Last Panto in Little Grimley for which he won Best Comedy Performance. Bill is very much looking forward to performing in A Bunch of Amateurs given the laughs and fun he has had with his fellow cast during rehearsals.

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A Bunch of Amateurs Cast Ian M Butterfield - Nigel Dewbury A Bunch of Amateurs marks the return of Ian to Woodford’s stage after a few years away. Previous roles at Woodford have included Edward VII in Crown Matrimonial, Roger in Outside Edge and Graham in Alan Bennett’s A Chip in the Sugar monologue.Ian has also directed two Woodford productions, Witness for the Prosecution and Agnes of God. While away from Woodford his major roles have included Estragon in Waiting for Godot, Jim Preston in Woman in a Dressing Gown and the very unlucky Stanley in A Bedfull of Foreigners. Katie Clayton - Jessica Steel This is Katie’s first performance on the Woodford Stage and she is delighted to be part of this production. Katie has more recently acted in Party Piece at Poynton Players, taking the part of Roma Smethurst under the direction of John Lomax. With previous experience in youth theatre (Northern Kids Theatre Company) and a degree in Theatre Studies & Media Arts, Katie is also a keen director having recently directed the debut production of There’s Nobody at the Door by new writer Adam Colclough. Synopsis of Scenes Act 1 Scene 1..... The Village Hall Theatre - Stratford upon Mersey Scene 2..... Press Conference - Manchester Airport Scene 3..... The Village Hall Theatre Scene 4..... Mary’s “Bed And Breakfast” Scene 5..... The Village Hall Theatre first reading (during set construction) Scene 6..... Mary’s “Bed and Breakfast” Act 2 Scene 1..... The Village Hall Theatre - Rehearsal Scene 2..... Jefferson’s bedroom Scene 3..... Mary’s “Bed and Breakfast” (in the evening) Scene 4..... The Village Hall Theatre - Rehearsal Scene 5..... The Village Hall Theatre- “Casting Call” Scene 6..... The Village Hall Theatre - Rehearsal Scene 7..... The Village Hall Theatre - “Night” Scene 8..... The Village Hall Theatre - ”Early next morning” Scene 9..... The Village Hall Theatre - “Opening Night” Scene 10....The Village Hall Theatre - “The Performance” Scene 11... The Village Hall Theatre- “The Morning After” Woodford 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 the publicity

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The Cast of A Bunch of Amateurs Dorothy Nettle Nigel Newbury Mary Plunkett Dennis Dobbins Jefferson Steel Lauren Bell Jessica Steel Carol Ackers Ian M Butterfield Lindsay Statham Bill Cross David Wilkinson Phillippa O’Shea Katie Clayton Production Team Director Technical Director and Lighting Design Stage Manager Continuity Set Design Set Construction Team and Stage Crew Sound Engineer Properties Wardrobe Programme and Publicity Photography Front of House Refreshments John Lomax Wilson Young Tom Dawson Heather Braddock John Lomax Derek Snowdon, Tom Dawson, Derek Manton, Wilson Young, James Cawley, Graham Ackers, Graham Scurfield, Alan Statham, Trevor McKelvey Graham Scurfield Pat Snowdon, Carolyn Manton The Cast, Janet Mullen Tom Dawson, Jude Craig Derek Manton Sue Mooney and Players members Members of Woodford Players

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