Saturday 20th August 2016. - The enterprising CHADS ensemble produced a captivating evening of merriment and murder, in which a wedding party sat down to dinner and watched the bride and groom's family as they started to air their prejudices and grievances about one another. An audience of nearly 100 sat down to dinner and eagerly awaited the foul deed to be committed; this duly occurred and the police were called to interview the potential miscreants. We were encouraged to ask questions, as the protagonists came to each table and allowed themselves to be interrogated. This probably served to confuse us and I wonder how many managed to guess the murderer correctly? The little grey cells had been immersed in too much alcohol by then and we were happy just being entertained!
November 2015 and it was panto time again, as the CHADS latest production fed an eager audience with the requisite frivolities all wrapped up in Little Red Riding Hood. The show was ably and most wackily written by Hugh Pilcher-Clayton and included a delightfully random selection of pantomime and other infamous characters; even Long John Silver (Clive Heginbotham) got a look in! No need for a plot line here, suffice to say that despite many mishaps Red Riding Hood, splendidly played by Talia Spencer, is safely delivered to the denouement where it all gets happily sorted.
Along the way Tinkerbell (Pete Goodenough) and assistant Peach Blossom (Steve Hardy), both excellent, did their incompetent best to chivvy things along with the help of a bright cast in support, achieving good humour even if it wasn’t all quite intended! Well, some of the best moments are often undirected, it’s how you deal with them that matters and this cast were up for it. Tinkerbell’s seven little helpers were at their enchanting best and the whole production was skillfully driven by director Linda Swann. All three shows were very well attended demonstrating that pantomime is alive and kicking. Oh yes it is.
CHADS had a very successful run of the Pantomime “Jack and the Beanstalk” on November 29th and 30th with almost capacity audiences for all performances. The stand-in Pantomime Cow - Snowflake the Horse-and the Jackdaw made this an unusual take on the traditional panto, but was enjoyed by all - oh yes it was!!! Watch out in the Villages for news of CHADS next production scheduled for mid 2014.
The Pantomime, written and directed by Hugh Pilcher-Clayton, deserved Rave Reviews. An immediate atmosphere was created with a beautifully decorated hall with spectacular jackdaws on the walls. A great cast and a very special choir of children who were Amelia Haley, Kitty Henly, Alice Priest, Amelia Reis, Isobel Reis, Talia Spencer and Lily Wiltshire. One of the songs they sang which was specially composed for the pantomime was written by Mary Pilcher-Clayton with a very catchy tune:
I’m not scared of the Giant
Giants don’t scare me
I’ll kick his shins
And I’ll jump up on his toes
I’ll climb up high
And I’ll biff him on the nose
He is bumpy, he is plumpy
And he is stumpy
And he is grumpy
But he wont scare me
It was really great to have a pantomime with lots of bean jokes, Flapjack and the scarf which must be a mile long by now. Our congratulations to you all in whatever way you were involved in making the three performances such a success.
On the evening of 24,25 and 26th May Compton Bassett Amateur Dramatic Society presented “Enchanted Evening” by Mathew Barber.
A two act play set in 1922 which was very well produced by Jen Floyd with a cast of nine. This was CHADS seventeenth production and their full house each night was not disappointed. If you would like to know more about CHADS contact Fran Creasey on 814539 or Jen Floyd 817063 or Chris Lawrence 760691.
With a cast of just six it is always a challenge to fill a stage for two hours plus, for any amateur dramatic group. But what a treat was in store for all who entered the doors of The Benson Hall in Compton Bassett to see the latest production by Compton Hall Amateur Dramatic Society (CHADS) during the first weekend of December 2012.
With a stage built to represent your average single man’s bedsit, complete with unmade bed, dirty washing everywhere and a floor used more as a waste paper basket, the lead actor, Tony Horseman’s portrayal of Edward Pinfold in the David Tristram play “Ghost Writer”, was nothing short of superb! He was joined in the first half by the ghost of his wife Ruby, dead for the last year and eager to right the wrong done to her at the time of her death, played brilliantly by Deborah Locke. He was supported by the part of his gay landlord and good friend Alex who was played by Paul Thomas to an exemplary standard and the three of them hung the first half together into a thoroughly entertaining hour. They were joined on stage towards the end of the first half by Glenda, Edward’s new love interest, the fruits of Alex’s matchmaking, played by Mel Deugo. Her portrayal of Glenda, a shy, insecure and sensitive recent divorcee was as convincing as it was beguiling.
In the second half they were joined on stage by Hedley and Francis. Hedley, played by Clive Hegginbotham, a stalwart of CHADS, bringing his own mix of comedy and competence to the part as he always does. The part of Frances was played by Lindsey West and it is a mark of the quality of the acting when you find yourself disliking the character because of the bitchiness of her dialogue and the quality of her presentation.
This production was produced and directed by Christine Lawrence and her firm grip and understanding of both the play and the cast was shown by a thoroughly enjoyable performance. Thanks must also go to the team both backstage and front of house to make this a night to remember.
The CHADS production of "They Call it Murder" was performed on June 3rd and 4th in the Benson Hall, Compton Bassett. This was a play set in a middle class household in 1976 and acts out the drama of a family speculating on the imminent inheritance from their Grandfather. The three granddaughters do not know what is in the will and as the story unfolds there is no shortage of drama and suspense. The play builds to a climax which kept us all on the edge of our seats with anticipation and surprise.
All those who performed on stage were very accomplished and competent. Special mention must go to Fran Creasey and Tony Horseman who were outstanding. Our thanks and congratulations to everyone involved in this show, both on and off stage. We were well entertained. P.A.B
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