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JUNE 2002

Membership News

We welcome two new members to the Society: Senior member: Susan Alves from Frittenden who has played many roles with both Groombridge and Rotherfield Societies and Junior Member Emma Lambert a 14 year old from Benenden. We wish them both happy times with the CODS (more recent new members will be mentioned in the next newsletter - so don't think you're forgotten!)

News on Previous Productions
UPDATE ON "PEEPING AT TOM"Great news! Jasper Publishing has accepted "Peeping at Tom" for publication. According to "The Stage", whom I contacted to know if it was a reputable firm before submitting the script, Jasper Publishing is the fastest growing publisher of plays, catering mainly for amateur companies but also professionals, so it sounds very promising. I don't know yet when it will be out, probably not for quite a while, but at least it's getting somewhere at last. And Dawn Kellogg at "The Stage" has said that she looks forward to reviewing "Tom". Many thanks once again for all the help and encouragement I've had from the CODS.
Pam Hudson.

Talking of "Peeping at Tom" - we have now received the NODA report - it is on the website - click on 'previous productions' and then on the attachment next to 'Peeping at Tom', or if you would like a copy ask Tina (01580 211989)

A note from Peggy Latter - the director
My thanks to cast, back stage,and everybody involved with Bonaventure, despite small houses it was a great success. Thanks to those who supported the show. A special thank you to Dennis for such a wonderful set.

Having recently witnessed the musical talent in this Society, I was interested to see their dramatic side - and was well rewarded.

The action of the play takes place in the Convent of Our Lady of Rheims, a nursing order. When the curtains opened, the set received well-deserved applause; the grey stone "walls" of the Great Hall appeared appropriately solid; the fire place was effectively warming and the 'piece de resistance' was a stained glass window! Many congratulations to Dennis Russell for the set design and decor and to Charlie Sharp for the construction.

The play is set in 1947 when wet weather causes the banks of the local dyke to burst. Villagers, and three strangers, seek refuge in the convent which is on high ground. The threesome turns out to be a convicted criminal and her prison warders en route back to Norwich prison after the appeal has been dismissed. One of the Sisters is not prepared to believe the pretty young Sarat Carn was guilty of deliberately overdosing her difficult brother and seeks to find out the truth. Act 2 comprises 3 scenes set in Sister Mary's room - at times this section was a bit slow (no fault of the actors) and over-wordy; I think I'd have found some way to cut some of the detailed dialogue!

The play opens with two nurses having their supper break between shifts. Michelle Sandys quickly portrayed her stern character, Nurse Phillips, who was concerned at the lax regime, while Nicola Wookey was a delightfully whimsical Nurse Brent, who provided some lovely comic lines. The mainstay of the culinary department was Sister Josephine, beautifully played by Joan Eade with a soft Scottish accent well maintained. This was a particularly important role, supporting Sister Mary throughout and giving us some lovely off-hand remarks; she was a very endearing character.

Mark Whitwood played the difficult role of the village simpleton, Willy. He maintained a Norfolk country accent throughout some violent changes of pace and temperament. His mother, Martha Pentridge, was played by Angela Woodcock who also maintained a good accent and gave a portrayal of the archetypal country housekeeper - but I thought she was his sister for a long time!

The pivotal character was Sister Mary Bonaventure, staunchly played by Lesley Whitwood, who had a huge amount of not particularly 'flowing' dialogue to impart. She portrayed her belief in the innocence of Sarat Carn with quiet conviction and calmly led the real culprit to incriminate himself. A masterful performance. Barbara Gray played the Mother Superior - her deep tone giving the appropriate air of authority in just a few words. She was obviously very supportive of Sister Mary but portrayed her divided loyalties well.

Dr Jeffreys was played by Jack Dale, as a very believable country doctor coping with a crisis. Melling and Miss Pierce, the prison officers, were well played by Maurice Wilkins and Valerie King. Not easy roles to get beneath, but they were always there and acted appropriately and with a natural air of authority.

Sarat Carn, the 'convict' was very competently played by Karen Elsworth. To start with she portrayed a private character, repelling any personal contact, but she eventually succumbed to Sister Mary's gentle persuasion to use her artistic skills which then led her to relax. One could believe she was 'on death row' - her flattering red dress helped the impact of the character right from her first entrance.

The costumes were very effective - particularly the Sisters' head-gear which was quite amazing but so authentic!! Many congratulations to the Director for the easy flow of actors moving around the stage and to everyone involved for an excellent portrayal of a somewhat dated play

Spring Charity Concert 2002 Some Enchanted Evening
On the Friday night of Bonaventure the presentation of a cheque for 750 was made by the President to Rachel Holweger, the Area Fundraising Manager of Demelza House Children;s Hospice, in the presence of the Mayor and Mayoress of Tunbridge Wells and Dennis Russell, Producer of the Concert. A photograph and report appeared in the Kent Messenger. Demelza House is completely reliant upon voluntary donations such as this. They are holding an Open day on July 4th and would welcome a visit from members of CODS. More information from Dennis.

Concert at Batemans
Batemans was 'Just So !'

CODS were delighted when, thanks to Greta Crane, The National Trust invited us to help them to celebrate the Centenary of Rudyard Kipling's arrival at Batemans, his wonderfully- preserved Seventeenth Century ironmaster's house at Burwash. Our three performances of Lesley's well-chosen programme of Edwardian parlour songs entertained visitors throughout the final day of 'Kipling's Week' on the lawn alongside the tearoom terrace. Outdoor performances by the society go back many years to the former open-air theatre behind the house at Baker's Cross and to the more recent ' Blue Remembered Hills ' at Angley School, but singing on the grass was a new experience for some of us. The first run was dogged by cloudy skies and a wind that wafted our words about but, as usual, Sue's skillful accompaniment kept us going through all the changes of her impeccably sorted music scores.The second and third shows were extremely well received by larger crowds in sunshine. The generous applause was not only for the songs and Nicola's reading of Kipling's amusing poem: it was also for 'the look of the thing!' The cast of fourteen and our helpers were splendidly dressed with meticulous attention to detail by Rita and Sheila and checked - especially the hair-pieces - by Peggy. Carol and the staff at Batemans looked after us very well and we enjoyed taking the refreshments provided at the tables on the terrace and relaxing between shows in the gardens. The photos should be worth waiting for! Many of the party were congratulated by visitors, some of whom wanted details of CODS and it seems very likely that further invitations for entertainment of this kind will be forthcoming.

George Hudson

CONCERT BY INVICTA SINGERS - Teston Church - Tel. 01233 633157

25th June
COMPLETE WORKS OF THE BIBLE by 'The Complete Works of Shakespeare Company' - Hazlitt Theatre. Tickets at 14 available from Lesley (01580 892005)

27 -29 June
'FARNDALE' CHRISTMAS CAROL - Horsmonden Players - Tel. 01892 722626

26-29 June
CHESS - The Complete Theatre Company - Assembly Halls Tunbridge Wells

28 June - 7 July
EGERTON MUSIC FESTIVAL - various venues- Tel. 01233 840630

30 June - 5 July
LONDON ASSURANCE - Tonbridge Oast - Tel. 01892 723459

12-14 July
LARK RISE -based on Lark Rise to Candleford by Flora Thompson (life in an Oxfordshire Hamlet in the 1880's) -GADS- Outdoor Production at Risebridge. Tel 01580 211989

12 -14th July
GOLDEN JUBILEE PAGEANT- Kent and Guildford - Detling County Show. Huge cast in period dress from 1066-1900.

20 - 27 July
DEAD GUILTY - Tonbridge Oast - Tel. 01892 723459

What or who is NODA?
NODA stands for the National Operatic and Dramatic Society. It is in effect, the national umbrella organisation which looks after the interests of any Society (and its members) who elect to join it.

NODA has a central Headquarters in London, and is divided into eleven geographical Areas. These in turn are divided into Regions - the number depending on the size of the Area. Each Area is run by a Councillor whilst all the Regions have a Regional Representative.

NODA's services include such items as Insurance, and the supply of Vocal Scores, plays, etc. at a discount. It also has a Sheet Music supply service covering several thousand songs- (have you ever wondered where that unusual song came from?). NODA also has an excellent Pantomime catalogue.

The Association issues a National magazine twice a year; the Areas have their own Newsletter, coming out every so often. The latter contains reviews of Shows including our own, written up by a Regional Representative, though these recently have also been sent to individual Societies to include in their own Newsletters.

There is an Annual Summer School, held usually at a Midland University. Any member can attend and indeed CODS have sponsored members to attend various courses over the years. The Summer Schools cover most aspects of Amateur Performing Arts.

If you are interested in learning more about these Summer Schools or any aspect of NODA ask Bill Marshall who is our own Regional Representative (01580 764461).


30th October - 2nd November 2002

Director - Sue Wightman
Assistant Director - Peggy Latter
Musical Director - Bryan Gipps
Choreographer - Rachel Elliott



Lazar Wolf
Grandma Tzeitel

Mark Whitwood
Jenny Caridia
Michelle Sandys
Charlotte Filmore
Jo Levett
Chloe Sullivan
Tina Gallagher
Nye Jones
Glyn Roberts
Sam Jenkins
Maurice Wilkins
Tom Foy
Lesley Whitwood
Mary Putt
Geoff King
David Jackson
Rhys Bennett
Roger Marchant
Jack Dale
Greta Crane


Family Mordcha
Marion Hobday (Delaiah)
Damian Elliott (Caleb)
Finnian Sturdy (Label)
Lesley Whitwood (Vashti)
Bernard Beardsmore (Mordecai)

Family Avram
Val King (Mirala)
Sue Boodle (Hannah)
Lizzie Gipps (Anya)
Alice Gipps (Sima)
Richard Guille (Kelita)

Family Yussel
Stephen Kent (Yussel)
Joan Marchant (Mitcah)
Oliver Levett (Zerah)
Rosie Levett (Leah)
Lydia Levett (Orpah)
Karen Kember (Jael)

Family Moab
Richard Hatcher (Moab)

Family Akkub
Alan Hodge (Akkub) + Russian Solo Tenor
Stella Dale (Rahab)
Stephanie Beeken (Fradel)+ Solo Prayer Ballet
Haydn Bennett (Hershel)
Hannah Gipps (Sarai)
Susan Alves (Mahalath)

Family Talmon
Mike Kerr (Talmon)
Nicola Wookey (Peninnah)
Katie Kember (Sheba)
Mary Putt (Berille)
Rebecca Hodson (Tirzah)

Rabbi's Family
TBA (Mahlah)
Charlie Guille (Abel)

Motel's Family
Leila Hobday (Miriam)
Henry Guille (Moishe)

Congratulations to everyone who auditioned. It was a very high standard again this year and the decisions were made very difficult. Looking forward to working with you all - see you at the first rehearsal.

Sue Wightman
Tel (01580 715483)

Thanks to Marian for organising the excellent after-show dinner at the Chequers Tree following 'Bonaventure'. The Society is greatly indebted to Mike at the Chequers Tree for all he and his assistants do for us. It is probably not known that he made a substantial donation to Demelza House and is always ready to take our advertising material for display, not only in his own hostelry but with other working colleagues in Goudhurst.

My One and Only
Again thanks to Marian for organising a trip to see this vibrant show on May 11th. Unfortunately we couldn't sell all the tickets but those who went had a great evening. It was a super show! (I think I might take up tap dancing!! (Ed)

Stop Press! Stop Press! Stop Press! To prepare flats for Fiddler at Flishinghurst
A Scrubbers Barbecue has been arranged On Saturday June 15th 9.30 am onwards PLEASE COME & HELP Bring wellies!!

The Kent Drama Association (KDA)


Run by Shirley Roche LRAM, ADB (examiner for London Academy of Dramatic Art.
SUNDAY 30th JUNE 2.00-5.00pm 5 in HERNE BAY
Contact Dennis at once if you wish to attend (01580 712283)

To be arranged for September/October

Please let Dennis know if you may be interested in either of the above two so he can inform the organisers and they can look at suitable venues depending on applicants.

The new KDA will be organising a Full Length Play Festival from 30 January to 24 May 2003 with short public adjudication followed by a private cast adjudication. This will be followed by two area workshops. The adjudicator will be Marian Baldwin who is well known to most of us.

A comedy by Charlotte Jones
A National Theatre Production - directed by John Caird - originally starred Felicity Kendall and Simon Russell Beale.BR> Exclusive special offer to members of NODA
For performances until 29th June you can take advantage of a 12.50 saving on top price seats (25.00 instead of 37.50). Call the Gielgud Theatre Box Office on 0870 890 1105 and quote NODA offer (or ask Dennis or Tina for further details)

"Lights! Camera! Action!"

In order that we can gauge interest and begin to choreograph numbers over the Summer Holidays, we are holding early auditions at the end of July specifically for those of you who would like to be considered as a DANCER in the February 2003 concert.
The show will feature song & dance numbers from the movies, including Grease, Footloose and Moulin Rouge. There will also be a James Bond medley which will involve the dancers and a tap routine or two!!!
You can, of course, audition as a dancer, but still come along to the main auditions in November if you would like to be considered for a solo/duet/chorus number as well.
So, if you have had some dance training, (experience in tap preferable, but not essential), give us a call to find out more details - Michelle: 01580 715547, or Teresa: 01580 712497. If you are interested, please contact us by Monday 15th July 2002.

What do you think of the new Newsletter layout? - feedback or suggestions to Tina (see back page for 'phone number').

Contributions for the next newsletter to the editor Tina Gallagher by 1 August 2002 (01580 211989), 3 Beech Drive Bedgebury Park, Goudhurst, Kent, TN17 2SJ; e-mail