Apr 2015 BT - Shinfield Players Theatre

april 2015
Shinfield Players’ Theatre’s mission is to provide a venue for creating and experiencing
theatre in all its forms. We aim to continue to train and develop our membership, so that
everyone may enjoy socialising, working together and participating in theatre.
We are extremely fortunate to have our own building to allow us to accomplish this. By
providing this public social and entertainment centre, we are able to fund Shinfield Players by
producing public dramatic performances.
From the editor: This month we have information about a number of upcoming events.
These include a quiz evening and a car boot sale. Make sure you book your tickets for the
next show, Radio Times. (see below – and also photos at the end of BT). As this is a rather
long BT, the Prague report has been held over until next month so we have the space to
include some photos of the Senior Youth Group in action! Gill Sharp
24th, 25th, 30th April, 1st & 2nd May 2015 at 7.45
Dawn Williamson organised an excellent evening with
demonstrations of hair styles, costume fitting and make-up plus tea
and homemade cakes all served in bone china cups. Thanks to Di
Capel (Photographs), Josh Lockwood, Charlotte Gilliam, Hannah
Walker, Suzie Williamson and her friend. So many people made
this a successful evening. Everyone looked absolutely amazing
and it gave the cast a real feel of the 1940's. Make sure you book
now to avoid missing this happy, feel-good show. (See photos at
the end of BT).
Front of House and Front of House Manager Training
We have a great team of volunteers for both Bar and FOH roles. In recent productions we
have had a number of new volunteers who have done a great job, with very little training..
As a result of this we have arranged a FOH and FOH Manager training session. This is open
to anyone that has or wants to assist in these roles. The training will take place on Tuesday
7th April 2015 at 7.45pm. Please gather in the Foyer.
Anyone wanting Bar training, please let me know and I will arrange a different training
session for this.
Any queries contact martin@shinfieldplayers.co.uk
Saturday 9th May, 7.30pm at the Theatre
 £6 per head.
 A Cold Buffet Supper will be provided in the interval.
 Teams of 4-6'ish.
If you want to come, please let Jon or Annette Chishick know on 0118-9843666 or put your name on the list in the theatre by May 3rd so that we have an
idea of numbers.
SUNDAY 10TH MAY 2015 12.30PM – 4.30PM
£5 a car for SPT members £10 a car for non-members
£10 a van for all (set up from 11.45am)
BOOK NOW Call or email 07949 948310 martin@shinfieldplayers.co.uk
As we reach the last few shows of the season, what better than to get the
audience to come to us. At the same time, help raise some funds for the theatre
and for yourselves. Have a clear out and make money for your summer fun!
Apart from the Car Boot Sale, we will also open the theatre foyer for use of bar,
coffee shop and toilets. We will be looking for some volunteers on the day for
bar and coffee shop and we also need people to help steward the car park area
and cars. An email will be sent to members when the FOH and Bar Rota goes out
for Radio Times.
If you can help, please email martin@shinfieldplayers.co.uk or call 0794 9948310.
As the SPT Committee puts together the What's On for next season,
a date has been set aside for a Christmas Concert, along with
specified rehearsal time. All this fits into the schedule of booking for
the theatre.
As we do with all plays and musicals, we require a director to come forward at
this planning stage, so if you are interested in directing the Christmas Concert this
year, please email karen@shinfieldplayers.co.uk
Along with your ideas of how you would like the concert to be this year, we can
then give you the full schedule of dates and discuss further with you. In the case
of more than one person coming forward, your ideas for the concert will be
taken into consideration by the committee before they make their final decision,
as they do with all plays and musicals.
This needs to be in place no later than 30th May 2015 so we can finalise the
schedule for next season.
IMPORTANT : Please do not adjust the heating temperature in the
Theatre (or cooling in the summer). The units are thermostatically
controlled, so turning the set temperature up will not increase the
output; it will just waste energy if the temperature gets too high
(especially if it is accidentally left on).
October production - ONE BIG BLOW
Set in a coal mining village in the 1980s, One Big Blow portrays the two sides of coal miners’
lives - the tough conditions under which they work and the effect this has on their health and
their escape from this when they play in the colliery brass band. However, even this escape
is tainted when Wally, the lead cornet player, begins to suffer from black lung disease
(pneumoconiosis) and can play no more. Now the search is on to find a replacement.
‘One Big Blow’, was written in 1981 by playwright John Burrows, with original music by Rick
Lloyd, a former member of the ‘Flying Pickets’ and is a strong indictment of the lack of
culpability shown by the then National Coal Board towards health problems suffered by
miners, such as emphysema and pneumoconiosis. Colourful, emotive, witty and with a
strong political message, the backdrop of the play surrounds the troubles caused to the local
band when its leading cornet player is stricken with pneumoconiosis before the crucial
Mineworkers Championship in Blackpool. The work itself emphasises its message by the
actors mimicking the sound of a brass band by the use of a capella singing - including a
complete performance of their ‘test piece’ based on ’Ten Green Bottles’.
It’s a play that made a huge impact before the 1984 Miners Strike, and played a major role in
leading to the eventual successful compensation actions for miners stricken by the
preventable illnesses.
“One Big Blow” is to be directed by Philippe Duquenoy and requires a cast of 5 males. Age
is anywhere between 25 and 65
Performance dates are scheduled for 2, 3 and 8, 9, 10 October
Play reading will be on Monday 18 and Wednesday 20 May at 7:45
Auditions on Sunday 24 May at 2:30pm and Wednesday 27 May at 7:45pm
Any enquiries should be sent to Philippe.
Mobile 0785 775 0430
Email philippe.duquenoy@btinternet.com
Good Day to 'e all. Well, it is becoming a busy time in the garden
and I was very grateful to Liz George who volunteered to give the
lawn its first cut of the year. Whilst talking to her I heard a very
familiar sound; being a country boy I recognised the distinctive
"Cock Up" of a male pheasant who was patrolling the grassed
area in front of Foster Wheeler bungalows. What a handsome
chap he is and I would wager he has a lady friend sitting on eggs
in the wooded area. Keep an eye out should the family appear;
there can be up to a dozen chicks.
The bergenias continue to carpet the border with their pink blossom and, peeking out
between, the yellow primroses can be seen.
They Came from Mars and Landed Outside the Farndale Avenue
Church Hall in Time for the Townswomen’s
Guild’s Coffee Morning – Review
(You have to read the whole thing)
I went to the Shinfield Players’ Theatre on 12th March to
see a production and … it was quite possibly the worst I’ve ever
seen at SPT!!!!
Firstly, director Liz George hadn’t bothered to cast SPT
members in this sci-fi production about Martians. No, she brought in some randoms from the
Farndale Avenue Dramatic Society instead. How she found these people, I do not know, but needless
to say they were best described as well-meaning but ditzy.
Mrs Reece tried her best to coordinate this bunch of (very) amateur actors, but to no avail.
She couldn’t even muster an EastEnders level of angst when everything that can go wrong does, and
a key member of the cast doesn’t even turn up, citing a stomach upset. Rather than replace him, she
had them acting as if he WAS there, mumbling his lines for him! Though her German accent for the
professor she played certainly made up for it!!
Thelma had a modicum of talent playing both a boy and a girl. Incredibly, the boy gets
neutralised twice, but never let being killed off get in the way of this wannabe A-lister. She was
found strutting around during the interval signing photos like a Poundland Renee Zellweger. She
redeemed herself in Act 2 when playing a girl being fondled by her loved one - only that the loved
one was played by the guy with the stomach upset, so had to do it all herself!
Gordon (Rev Allsopp) looked hopelessly lost on stage and couldn’t manage to enunciate a
single line with life or emotion. He even verbalised the script’s directions in a voice that was
(perfectly) stilted and unsure. Had he even read the script?
Felicity was charged with playing the Martian as well as Mrs Allsopp and (mis)placing the
props. Mostly, she let her water pistol leak and ended up in a right state. That and she didn’t know
which costume she was meant to be in, let alone which props had to go where…
Norah was left in a right pickle when her character Mrs Tompkins had to freeze, but due to
the incompetence of Gordon had to guide him through the whole scene.
Clearly, FADS crewed and backstaged the whole affair. The entire set was piled onto the
stage, meaning that the cast had to clamber all over it to move stage right and left, let alone up and
downstage. The doors hadn’t been put in properly…I could go on. Such was the disorganised mess
that FADS actors ended up using whatever was available: an iron for a phone, for example. As for the
sound cues, it appears that the sound technician was using a tape that didn’t work and as a result
she used the noise of a hoover for doorbells, phone rings, the lot. Where’s Steve T when you need
him? They did spend a lot of money, time and effort on a UV scene, which gave the impression of
space, finding Martians and Space Invaders rather well.
In all honesty and seriousness, it was so bad it was brilliant (which was of course the
intention) and made a great night’s entertainment for all. So, well done, Maggie Smith (Mrs Reece),
Hannah Walker (Thelma), Simon Trinder (Gordon), Charlotte Gilliam (Felicity), Sandra Miall (Norah),
Karen Bird (Hilda, unseen) and all else involved.
Martyn Washbourne
Jon Chishick and I met with Wokingham Council a couple of weeks ago and they have agreed
to look at "Stopping up" the tamac road between our lawn and the gravel footpath. This is
the technical term for withdrawing adoption of the road and does not involve it being
blocked off by Wokingham. This is a very important move which we hope will allow us to
sign the long overdue lease.
DEADLINE FOR NEXT BT – 25/4/15. Please email items to: