New photos in Past Shows section (menu at the top of the page) for 1996 Music Hall. Please let us know if you have any pictures from old shows as we’d love to take a copy and add them to the collection.
Richard (Richie) Webb, son of long standing WADS member Roger Webb, was recognized this year with a BAFTA award. Richard is a writer, actor and composer with many well known Radio and TV shows to his credit. His shows on Radio 4 have included The Cheese Shop, Week Ending and Parsons and Naylor’s Pull-Out Sections. He has also contributed to many children’s shows including Horrible Histories (yes, he writes those fantastic songs… see video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-8OebG9kOc), My Almost Famous Family, Jackanory, Doodle Do, Bamzooki, Bear Behaving Badly and Ed and Oucho’s Excellent Inventions.
Richard was involved with WADS from the mid 70s to the early 80s as a junior member, appearing in several shows and was kind enough to send us the following message;
“A WADS Old Time Musical Hall in the mid 70’s gave me my first taste of the stage. I was playing the part of ‘small child’ in the legendary Gambolinis Strong Man Sketch. I was perfect for the role – what with being both ‘small’ and ‘a child’- and as well as having to come on and provide the punchline to the sketch by carrying off the dumb-bells that no one could lift, I had one other vital role: I had to stand in the wings and drop a biscuit tin full of knives and forks on the floor to create a suitable crash when my dad – playing one of the Gambloinis – came charging off the stage. I was so obsessed with not missing my cue for this that I would spend the entire show stood in the wings in my strongman suit and false moustache holding the said biscuit tin. Bearing in mind our sketch was halfway through the second half this was quite a feat, as it included the interval. But it also gave me the excuse to watch every song, dance routine and comedy skit from close range. And as each performer exited stage left into the tiny, tiny wings and squeezed past me muttering ‘get out of the bloody way’ I decided that this was what I wanted to do. And luckily for that little boy wearing his pants on top of his tights, he is. Thanks WADS!”
Hilary and I moved to Welford in January 1993 and our first experience of WADS was watching Big Bad Mouse, I will never forget Liz Scribbins short skirt!
During the Summer we attended what was then an annual cheese and wine evening at the home of Sue and John Waller. Hilary was keen to join and pick up acting which she had last done at school but had always enjoyed. She got an extremely small part in Listen To The Wind and on stage down day I turned up with my toolbox ,as a dutiful husband, to help. By the next show, Spring 1994, a Farndale Avenue version of Macbeth, things had changed. Hilary had a somewhat larger part with six characters and I was Stage Manager and that’s what I’ve been ever since – 36 shows as Stage Manager with just one off during that time for long service.
So why do I do it? Well, it’s a great antidote to a busy and stressful job. You really don’t think about much else during stage down weekends and you have to put the shows as a priority whilst they are on. But most of all its great fun, mixing with great people who have become great friends and I’d like to think that throughout this period we have set a high standard which we strive to improve upon for staging and effects, oh and of course, acting.
There’s a lot that goes on bringing a show to the village and a whole variety of unsung people who don’t take to the stage and get the applause contribute, simply too many to mention but thanks to all of you who have contributed in any small way.
WADS is friendly and welcoming and there will always be something for anyone to do whether they want to act or not.
Finally it never ceases to amaze me just how much talent exists in a village of 1,000 or so people. I do often wonder when I sit in front of my television and see multi-millionaire actors with less ability than people you can see on the Welford stage twice a year for less than the price of a cinema ticket.
We’re now well into a routine of twice weekly rehersals, with Wednesdays dedicated to the musical numbers and Mondays to run through the show. Last night was the first complete rehersal with “books down”, which was evident in the looks of terror among the cast at the start of the evening. The promt was kept busy as we all struggled to get to grips with the task at hand but no major disasters. On the whole the outcome was not too shabby and, given that we still have a couple of weeks to knock off the rough edges, the show is starting to shape up well. Certainly not Humbug!
We are setting up this website/blog to provide information about the Welford Amateur Dramatics Society and hopefully give some insight into the efforts of our members as we prepare for the upcoming show. This year our seasonal production is a musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”. Our twice weekly rehersals begin on Monday 12th September, starting the lead up to the opening night on the 23rd November (the show runs for 4 nights). More information will follow shortly…