Newbury Dramatic Society
Dick Whittington, 30th November to 1st December
Our family Christmas show, the Mini Pantomime Dick Whittington by Mike Brook.
The Phoenix Centre, 212 Newtown Road, Newbury RG14 7EB.
See our web site for ticket details.
Review of Arsenic and Old Lace
10th to 13th July 2019
Review from the Newbury Weekly News.
Macabre comedy classic a 'surefire recipe for success'
Newbury Dramatic Society: Arsenic and Old Lace, at The Watermill, Bagnor, from Wednesday, July 10 to Saturday, July 13
This gloriously-gruesome play by Joseph Kesselring is a favourite with dramatic societies, as having humour mixed with the macabre makes it a surefire recipe for success with audiences.
The story relates the strange goings-on in the Brewster family's Brooklyn home. The permanent residents are Abby and Martha Brewster (Phyllis Bennett and Ruth Tibbetts) and their brother Teddy (enjoyably played by Neil Padgen), who imagines he is Theodore Roosevelt. Teddy keeps busy digging graves in the cellar for 'victims of yellow fever'. In fact, the corpses come from his sisters who, with kind intentions, give lonely old men who visit them a glass of wine laced with "a spot of cyanide".
When Mortimer Brewster (Andrew Smith) discovers a body in the window seat and hears of the sisters' 'charitable' work, he has to decide what to do, in between sorting out his love life with Elaine (Lydia van Walsem Vas Nunes) the local minister's (Mike Brook) daughter.
Chaos ensues when Jonathan Brewster (David Tute) arrives accompanied by a corpse and the man who gives him new faces, Dr Einstein (Mike Huxtable). Mortimer, a drama critic, has left to write a review on his way to a play (not NWN practice) and returns to find the house in turmoil and a policeman-would-be playwright (John Hicks) insisting on discussing his latest script. When Lieutenant Rooney (Sarah Enticknap) arrives order is finally restored and the sisters can continue their 'charitable' work unimpeded.
Obviously, much work had gone into this production and the result was a performance that brought cries of "jolly good" from the audience at the end.
However, on the first night, American accents were obviously difficult for some cast members to maintain, though others did well.
There were several outstanding performances, including those from Smith, Tute, Huxtable and the wonderfully-named van Walsem Vas Nunes, backed up by those in minor roles.
Phyllis Bennett and Ruth Tibbetts deserve much praise, having mammoth roles to learn.
They acted well, though particularly in the first half on the first night, the dialogue could have been slicker. I am sure this would have improved as the performances continued.
Directed by Ann Davidson, this was a good effort from the Newbury Dramatic Society, with a well-chosen play that audiences surely relished.
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.
Arsenic and Old Lace, 10th to 13th July 2019
A Christmas Carole, 1st December 2018 at Morpheus Theatre. See the review in the archive.
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 .