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ODS - In a Street

16th to 18th November 2000

By B. Mayor

Directed by Elizabeth Wood

Cast List

Eliza   Courtney McLuskey
Anna   Natasha Figg
Old Gentleman   Oliver Cannon
Young Man   Toby Barker
Rag and Bone Children   Clare Guy, Alice Hearn, Emily Pinchin, Zena Williams, Vanessa Wiltshire
Dancer   Katrina Charman
Street singer   Lauren Walker
Actor   Rupert Thorne

Plus...

Assistants to the Director   Eileen Saunders, Shelley Barnes
Stage Manager   Joan Hayes
Prompt   Shelley Barnes
Make-up   Gillian McLusky

ODS - Anyone for Drama?

By Douglas Jackson

Directed by Derek Farenden

Cast List

Iris, the maid   Shelly Barnes
Lady Magnolia Smythe   Annie Walker
Lady Megan Forster   Sylvie Beckett
Mrs Perkins   Doris Lemon
Mrs Higgins   Jane Charman
Fiona Farraday   Yvonne Featherstone
Miss Warren   Trudi Hathaway
Mrs Ferguson   Gill McAllen

Plus...

Assistant Director / Prompt   Chris Scott
Stage Manager   Phil Stringer
Properties   Joan Haynes

Joint production team

Set design   Yvonne Featherstone
Lighting   John Tanswell
Sound   Ed Staines
Wardrobe   Doris Lemon
Front of House   Eileen Saunders
Publicity / Programme   Derek Farenden, Martin Pratt, Jim Wright
Box Office   Sylvia Farenden

Pictures

Synopsis - Anyone for Drama?

A one act play for eight women, set in a garden. Lady Magnolia has written a powerful morality play - in her own opinion - and calls her cast of ladies together for rehearsal. Unfortunately, they are ill-assorted both as to social standing and histrionic ability. When Iris, the maid, is asked for her frank opinion of their efforts her devastatingly honest criticisms wreck the proceedings. Undismayed, Lady Magnolia decides to rearrange her characters: but she is flabbergasted by a surprise request from the vicar's wife.

Review

From the Dorking Advertiser, 14th December 2000:-

The Ockley Dramatic Society is quickly establishing itself as a fertile nursery of young theatrical talent, as was so entertainingly demonstrated in its Autumn Double Bill production. The first offering of the evening (before the ever-popular fish and chip supper) had a title and a flimsy plot but was really a showcase for the singing and dancing talents of Ockley's younger performers. Set, perhaps unsurprisingly, in a street, it is the story of a rough youth of the town ( Toby Barker) who falls in love with the elegant dancer Fifinella (Katrina Charman), 'Starry Princess' from the pantomime, to the great displeasure of her father. The youth pleads his case impressively with some toe-curling poetry, but Fifinella's toes still manage to sparkle in a delightful balletic display. There are amusing sub-plots involving silk shoes and sausages and every so often a chorus of rag-and-bone children invade the street in search of rabbit skins. All very confusing and surreal, but full of good humour and charm. Lauren Walker, who wordlessly stole the show last year as Dick Whittington's cat, has now found her tongue as a singing street urchin and gave the appreciative audience a flawless rendition of Cockles and Mussels Alive Alive-O. There is great promise in this young cast and director Elizabeth Wood is to be congratulated on bringing such renewed youth and vigour to the Ockley stage.

New talent was also in evidence after the break in Douglas Jackson's Anyone for Drama?. Lady Magnolia Smythe is rehearsing an artistic play about good versus evil, but newcomer Shelly Barnes as Iris the maid, and understudy for all parts, punctures her ladyship's pretentiousness at every turn with great poise. Lady Magnolia, regally rendered by Annie Walker, remains oblivious as she puts hilariously-cast friends and a token villager or two through their dramatic paces with disastrous results. Sylvie Beckett is perfect as Satan (alias lady Megan), exuding evil in her warm-up routine as Lady MacBeth, while Yvonne Featherstone poses prettily as the flapper Fiona Farraday, playing a wronged slave girl. Miss Warren ( Trudi Hathaway), fresh from being pulled out of a ditch after falling off her bicycle on her way to rehearsal, presents a convincing myopic and bedraggled high priestess. The locals prove troublesome, though, and things start to go wrong when Mrs Higgins, played by Jane Charman (whose comic characterisation, whether speaking or not, was so funny it was hard to look at her without laughing) refused point blank to play the part of the beggar woman. Mrs. Perkins ( Doris Lemon) agrees to do it and overacts wonderfully at being pathetic and cowed, but proves too portly to get up from the prone position required by the part. Iris, the maid, delivers the death blow to this farce with a devastatingly honest critique of the peformances. The day is saved only by the appearance on the scene of the vicar's wife (played by Gill McAllen, who, I am told, really is a vicar's wife) offering them all parts more suited to their talents in a play of her own. All in all, a hugely entertaining evening from a thriving society which seems to promise even better to come.