Newbury Dramatic Society
Arsenic and Old Lace, 10th to 13th July
When Mortimer Brewster visits his sweet spinster aunts to announce his engagement, he makes a shocking discovery about his eccentric family. A gripping and farcical black comedy of kindly aunts and menacing brothers, all with murder in mind, Arsenic and Old Lace is one of the most iconic horror dramas of the mid-twentieth century.
The Watermill, Newbury.
See our web site for ticket details.
Report of A Christmas Carole from the Director
1st December 2018
From the Newbury Weekly News.
Dickens with a gender twist
Newbury Dramatic Society: Christmas Carole, at Morpheus Theatre, Phoenix Centre, on Saturday, December 1
Local writer Ruth Wheeler gave Charles Dickens a twist with this gender-bending mini-version of his most famous seasonal tale. Newbury Dramatic Society presented two performances of Christmas Carole on the first day of the month to appreciative audiences at the Phoenix Centre, Newtown Road.
What hadn't changed was the Victorian period setting, as the excellent costumes proved from the first scene, in which Miss Scrooge is visited by her niece Freda, excellently played by Jessica Spath.
The lead part of Elizabeth Scrooge was very ably maintained by Jacqui Trumper, who had very little time off stage. Her encounters with four spirits were high points of the play First came an exuberant performance from Sarah Enticknap as Jessica Marley, and an engaging comic turn from Isabel Oettinger as Christmas Past in full Miss Havisham bridal wear. Andrew Smith clearly relished his Fagin-inspired persona as Christmas Present, while Emma Morrisen made an enchanting and ethereal Christmas Future.
In this version it is Mr Cratchit (Steven Culpeper) who cooks the family's Christmas dinner. The scenes involving the Cratchit family at home featured an enthusiastic junior group of actors. Well done to Elsie, Reggie, Ellie, Amber and big sister Kerry for their convincing performance as a family in joy and grief.
The talented and hardworking cast was completed by Lisa Lund, Elizabeth Leake, Ruth Wheeler and Mike Brook, who also directed the show.
The challenge of staging 16 scenes and eight different locations in a straight hour put occasional strain on the backstage crew, but for the most part the story flowed effectively with good use of linking music, some of it joyously anachronistic: has the office of Scrooge and her clerk Barbara Cratchit ever before been introduced by Dolly Parton's 9 to 5?
This was NDS's first production at The Phoenix, a venue with excellent facilities and well-suited to these relatively short pieces. It is hoped there will be more to follow.
NDS is the oldest established amateur theatre group in the Newbury area. Current membership is around 45, and we stage a variety of shows each year in local venues, and also enter regional drama festivals. Between rehearsals we have an active social calendar - events planned include bowling, a car treasure hunt and group outings to other theatres.
A Christmas Carole, 1st December 2018 at Morpheus Theatre
London Suite, 5th July 2018. See the review in the archive.
The Interview, 7th to 12th August 2017 at the Edinburgh Fringe.
Stanley, 5th to 9th July 2017, on tour
Maskerade, 17th to 20th May 2017. See the review in the archive.
Just So Kipling, 13th to 15th July 2016. See the review in the archive.
The Interview, 21st to 23rd April 2016 and 7th to 12th August. See the reviews in the archive.
A Tale of Two Cities, 27th to 30th May 2015
Revolution and Revelations, 20th to 22nd November 2014. See the review in the archive.
The Local Heroes of 1914-18, 13th July 2014. See the review in the archive.
Tess of The D’Urbervilles, 3rd to 6th April 2013
Entertaining Angels, 8th to 10th November 2012 at ACE Space
The Taming of the Shrew, 2011 at New Greenham Arts
The Dog It Was That Died, 2011 at the Watermill
Curtain Up, 2010 at New Greenham Arts
Confusions, 2010 at the Watermill
Outside Edge, 2009 at New Greenham Arts
Ladies' Day, 2009 at New Greenham Arts
The Recruiting Officer, 2008 at the Watermill
Ladies Who Lunch, 2008 at New Greenham Arts
Far From the Madding Crowd, 2007 at the Watermill
A Fishy Business, 2007, Festivals
Abigail's Party, 2006 at the Watermill
What's for Pudding, 2006, Festivals
Racing Demon, 2005 at the Watermill
Babysitting Calvin and A Radio Reminiscence, 2005 at Waterside, Newbury
Whose Life is it Anyway?, 2004 at the Watermill
2004 Review, 2004, on tour
An Ideal Husband, 2003 at the Watermill
Arms and the Man, 2003 at New Greenham Arts
Taking Steps, 2002 at the Watermill
Sganarelle and People ARE Odd! A joint revue and radio play with Kingsclere Players, 2002 at the Mencap Centre
Sganarelle, 2002, Festivals
The Crucible, 2001, Thatcham and The Watermill
World Première, 2001, Festivals
Love Begins At Fifty, 2000 at New Greenham Arts
Is It Something I Said?, 2000, Festivals
It Could be Any One of Us, 2000 at the Watermill
A Midsummer Night's Dream, 1999 at Kintbury
Habeas Corpus, 1998, at the Watermill
Parentcraft, 1997, Wallingford Festival
Move Over Mrs Markham, 1997 at the Watermill
Caught On The Hop, (Festival Winner) 1996, Wallingford Festival
Flying Feathers, 1996 at the Watermill
If you are interested in joining us in any capacity - whether as an actor, director, stage manager, backstage helper or programme seller - get in touch for details! Contact Ann Davidson at .